Petr Yan hit back at sniping from Henry Cejudo and vowed he was ready to take on all-comers after landing the UFC bantamweight title.

The 27-year-old Russian scored a fifth-round TKO victory over Jose Aldo at UFC 251, landing the vacant belt at 'Fight Island' in Abu Dhabi.

He plans to be back in the octagon by October, saying that would be "a perfect time" to fight again, with the search now on for Yan's next opponent.

Cejudo, who adopted the Triple C nickname to befit his status as an Olympic wrestling champion and a UFC title winner at bantamweight and flyweight, announced in May he was retiring from mixed martial arts. It meant he gave up the belt for which Yan and Aldo fought.

However, social media goading of Yan on fight night suggested Cejudo might not be quite finished. The 33-year-old told Yan: "You absolutely suck", describing him as an "ugly potato" amid an attempt at provocation.

That nevertheless looks set to fall on deaf ears, with Yan vowing: "They can say whatever they want now – it is my time, I will fight anyone, and I will beat anyone."

He suggested it should be Aljamain Sterling, another American fighter, who gets the next shot at the belt.

"I think Aljamain Sterling deserves to fight for the title. He's on a good streak and has beaten a lot of good guys," Yan said.

Naturally, Sterling agreed, sending out a message to UFC boss Dana White on Twitter: "There is NOTHING to THINK about @danawhite! I am the next guy in line! I earned my shot and it's time for me to realize a dream! Cut the games!"

Yan said he was "insanely happy" to land the title and said the battle had been one between "two warriors".

He said his pre-fight plan was to wear down Aldo by encouraging him to "go for broke" and tire himself out, before finishing off the Brazilian in the late stages.

"It means a lot for me to have this belt now," Yan added.

And he vowed the success would not change him negatively as a man.

"I'm not afraid of this," Yan said. "I've been through a lot in my life, so I think this belt is just going to make me a stronger person."

UFC president Dana White pledged to "tighten up our refs and judges" after expressing bemusement at Alexander Volkanovski's featherweight title win over Max Holloway.

Volkanovski battled to a successful first defence of his belt, eking out a split-decision triumph for a second victory over former champion Holloway.

All three judges awarded Holloway the first two rounds, before Volkanowski did enough on two of the three cards to edge the verdict.

That was certainly not how White saw things at UFC 251 on 'Fight Island' in Abu Dhabi.

"You can't leave it to these guys. We've got some bad judging," White said at the post-fight news conference.

"I'm sure [Holloway] is devastated. Did anybody here score it for Volkanovski? Anybody? Nobody in the media? I don't know. We'll have to figure it out.

"Looks like we've got to tighten up our refs and judges here on Fight Island."

Volkanowski extended his winning run to nine fights – the fourth-longest active streak in UFC – and conceded he was forced to adapt by Holloway, using takedowns to ultimately decisive effect.

"I'm always going to play what's in front of me. I'm a well-rounded fighter. I wasn't using the right kick as much – it's still bloody sore from the last fight," he said.

"Once I touched that I couldn't really use it and then it happened with the left leg. The pain wouldn't go away but I kept using it anyway, trying to break that rhythm.

"He's tough, he's a gamer. We're both hard workers but I got the job done. No one can outdo me in there.

"Nothing but respect to Max. I know we had words, maybe he was trying to get in my head. Again, he did well, but I got the job done."

Jorge Masvidal said he will do "whatever it takes" to get back in front of Kamaru Usman after producing what he described as "a s***** performance" in his defeat at UFC 251.

Masvidal stepped in as a late replacement for Gilbert Burns, who tested positive for coronavirus, for Saturday's bout at Fight Island in Abu Dhabi.

Having had just six days to prepare, Masvidal was second best in his first UFC title shot, but was in no mood for making excuses for his display.

"I'll do whatever it takes to get back in front of that man, compete again and get my hand raised," Masvidal told a media conference.

"We'll do it again, I just can't wait, they'll put an opponent in front of me and I'm going to take care of business.

"I'm going to come back better than ever. I'm not going to disappear from the sport without this belt being wrapped around my waist.

"I just feel like I let a lot of people down, it was a s***** performance. Right now I'm just f****** very butthurt.

"I know I can do more, I know a lot of people will make the excuse for me 'six days notice' but it's no excuse. I just feel like I should have been in overall better shape."

Kamaru Usman wants a "crazy fight" with Georges St-Pierre after equalling the UFC great's record for consecutive wins in the welterweight division.

Usman retained his welterweight title with a dominant victory over Jorge Masvidal at UFC 251 at 'Fight Island' in Abu Dhabi on Saturday.

It marked his 12th successive UFC welterweight victory, matching St Pierre's streak, and Usman is keen to lure the Canadian - who retired last year and has not fought since 2017 - out of retirement.

Asked how he could usurp St-Pierre as the consensus greatest welterweight of all time, Usman told a media conference: "Just continue to do what I've been doing, just dominating opponents and winning, that's how Georges got there.

"If a lot of MMA fans really look at what Georges did towards the latter part of his career, they looked a lot like that, dominate a guy, take them down and just beat them up and utilise each and every aspect of the mixed martial arts.

"I think I'm on that same track, we're both tied for most consecutive wins and that's a fight I look at and I love and I want.

"I want a fight like that to be able showcase all my skills and have him showcase all his skills. I think that's a crazy fight, it's a huge fight and I think a lot of people would want to see it."

Kamaru Usman dismissed suggestions his UFC 251 win over Jorge Masvidal was boring, comparing such criticism to that received by Floyd Mayweather during his unbeaten boxing career.

Usman retained the welterweight title with a methodical victory over Masvidal on 'Fight Island' in Abu Dhabi on Sunday, winning via unanimous decision.

Asked about the fight being described as dull by fans and former fighters on social media, Usman told a post-fight media conference: "There was a time when people started hating Floyd Mayweather because he was so dominant, because his defence was so good, he was just so good at what he did to where everyone is like 'oh that's boring' because people want to see a bar fight.

"We're risking our lives in there. What's the point of training each and every day and going in there and just slugging around and taking punches?

"You train to be able to make to someone miss, to be able to control them in a certain way. That's what training is for, so you're not just taking punishment at will and I do that better than anybody.

"They can say whatever they want but come share the octagon with Jorge Masvidal for 25 minutes and let's see what you want to say."

Masvidal stepped in as a late replacement for Gilbert Burns, who had tested positive for coronavirus, giving Usman under a week to prepare for a new opponent.

Despite the one-sided nature of his victory, Usman is keen to take on Masvidal again.

He said: "We both feel that we'll do [it] again, I would like a lot more time to prepare for a guy like that and be able to dominate in the way that I want to, picking my spots and trying to get that finish.

"I would love to do that fight again. You've seen my last couple of fights: I like to pick my spots, I like to really pick a guy apart, I've evolved so much but I've still got tools in the tool shed.

"I need to showcase a lot more of what I have in the toolbox. I would love to do that with a lot more time.

"In this division, there's no shortage of contenders: Leon Edwards is there, Gilbert had an amazing year, he's there, Cody [Garbrandt] thinks he's there... there's no shortage of challengers.

"There's always going to be a challenger and they're always going to throw somebody in there with me."

Kamaru Usman defended his welterweight title with a dominant win over Jorge Masvidal at UFC 251 on Sunday.

After Masvidal made a decent start, Usman controlled the fight on his way to a unanimous-decision victory in Abu Dhabi.

Usman was awarded the fight 50-45, 50-45 and 49-46 against Masvidal, who took the bout on six days notice after Gilbert Burns tested positive for coronavirus.

It marked Usman's second successful defence of his welterweight title.

WHERE WAS THE FIGHT WON?

After Masvidal landed most of the early blows, Usman started taking control, highlighted by a dominant fourth round. As Masvidal looked to be tiring, Usman landed numerous strikes.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

Usman's win was his 16th straight and second successful defence of his welterweight championship. After being withdrawn due to his positive COVID-19 test, Burns is likely to get his shot at Usman next.

THEY SAID WHAT?

"I'm just at levels better, I have more tools in the toolbox and when I need to pull them out I can pull them out and use them," Usman told ESPN after his win.

NEW RECORDS (W-L-D):

Usman: (17-1-0)
Masvidal: (35-14-0)

REST OF THE CARD

In a blockbuster card featuring three title fights, Alexander Volkanovski defended his featherweight championship and Petr Yan claimed the vacant bantamweight crown. Volkanovski extended his winning streak to 19, edging Max Holloway by split decision, while Yan claimed a fifth-round TKO win over Jose Aldo.

UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman can defeat Jorge Masvidal if he avoids a stand-up fight, according to Demian Maia.

Maia is the only man to have stepped into the Octagon with both Usman and Masvidal, who will meet at UFC 251 in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.

The title-holder was initially scheduled to fight Gilbert Burns but the Brazilian contracted coronavirus and was replaced by Masvidal on six days' notice.

Maia gained a split-decision verdict against 'Gamebred' after three rounds in 2017 and the following year lost on points to Usman after 25 minutes.

He believes the 'Nigerian Nightmare' has the skills required to get the better of Masvidal.

"Fights are all about styles and match-ups. It doesn't mean that if I had a difficult time with Kamaru and I won against Jorge, that the same will reflect on the fight," Maia told TMZ Sports.

"I think there's some things that make Kamaru [the] favourite for this fight. I think he's more well-rounded, he's a very good wrestler and he had that full camp.

"Masvidal didn't have this camp, he just got this fight, so that's why I think Kamaru is the favourite.

"But MMA is a crazy sport. Even when there is a big difference it's hard to tell who's going to win. I think that's what makes the sport so exciting – it's because it's very hard to predict fights and winners."

Asked what advice he would give to Usman, Maia responded: "What he should do is for sure do what he does best, which is mixing his boxing and his takedown skills.

"Because even though Usman has very good boxing and he's very technical, he changes stances, and he's powerful also, he has heavy hands, I think in this matter Jorge is more experienced. He's been in more stand-up fights and boxing fights, so it's dangerous for Usman, even with all his skills, to keep the fight like that.

"I think [if] he mixes boxing and taking down Jorge, who then gets a little bit tired especially because he didn't get a full camp, then it will be easier for him to get a better outcome."

Dana White said UFC 251 was "trending off the charts" and was comparable to Conor McGregor's fight with Khabib Nurmagomedov.

Headlined by Kamaru Usman's welterweight title fight against Jorge Masvidal, UFC 251 – to be held in Abu Dhabi on Sunday – will see three title bouts.

UFC president White said the only event that compared was Khabib's win over McGregor in Las Vegas in 2018.

"This thing is trending off the charts. This thing is trending higher than a Conor McGregor fight," he told reporters.

"The only thing that this fight is comparable to is Conor-Khabib."

White added: "This thing is trending as big as a fight as I've ever seen in my entire career."

Masvidal will fight for the title on six days notice, replacing Gilbert Burns after the Brazilian tested positive for coronavirus.

Despite the short notice, Masvidal (35-13) insisted he was ready to go against Usman (16-1).

"I had six days notice, how prepared could I be? I'm just as prepared as I need to be for Usman, but it's not like a full training camp, it's not like I've had six months to prepare," he said.

"That would be different, my weight wouldn't have been as high so I'm not going to say weight-wise my weight is 100 per cent.

"But everything else, my mind is ready, my skill set is better than him on any day of the week so I just get to go out there and prove it."

UFC president Dana White claims he was not surprised to hear about Mike Perry being involved in an altercation at a restaurant, insisting he had seen controversy brewing for "several months".

A video began circulating on Wednesday showing Perry engaging in a row with staff at the establishment in Texas, with the incident escalating into a physical confrontation.

The clip showed an older man appearing to be knocked to the ground by Perry.

A UFC statement released the following day condemned Perry's behaviour, though it also outlined the 28-year-old "believes he has some issues related to alcohol abuse" and apparently committed to seeking professional help.

As a consequence, UFC vowed to not offer Perry any bouts until he completes a programme.

White was not shocked to hear of the incident, saying he was convinced the recent behaviour of 'Platinum' had given rise to concerns.

"I saw this coming in the last several months with Mike Perry," White told reporters after the UFC 251 weigh-ins on Friday. "All you have to do is watch his interviews. Watch the way he's interacted with [the media].

"He literally said in an interview leading up to his last fight, 'I hate all of you. I hate the media. I hate the fans. You guys want to say stuff to me on Twitter and walk up to my face and be nice to me. I'm telling you, don't walk up to me. If you see me in the streets, don't touch me, don't say hi to me.'

"He said that leading up to that last fight. He is a man of his word, apparently, and here we are today.

"He obviously needs some help. That's not normal behaviour. He's gotten a lot more angry and agitated. You see this happen with guys, and girls, when they start to get a little bit of fame, and start to get famous."

As well as the professional help, White also suggested Perry take a break from social media, because while some thrive on such platforms it can impact others in an entirely different way.

"I have a blast on social media," White added. "You see a lot of people that don't have fun on social media. There's been some horrible things that have happened to people in dealing with social media. Everybody deals with it differently.

"I love criticism. I love, whatever you want to call it, that goes on with social media between media, fans and all that stuff. I'm just built that way. He is definitely not built that way and he's definitely a guy that should stay off of social media.

"He needs to make some changes in his life, and we're going to do everything we can to help him."

Late replacement Jorge Masvidal made weight for his first title fight with UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman on Sunday.

Masvidal and Usman tipped the scales at 170 pounds to ensure the belt will be on the line at UFC 251 at 'Fight Island' in Abu Dhabi this weekend.

The 35-year-old, known as 'Gamebred', took the fight on six days' notice and claimed he needed to cut around 20lbs in the build-up to Friday's weigh-in.

Masvidal agreed to step in after initial challenger Gilbert Burns tested positive for coronavirus and was forced to withdraw.

Speaking to the media on Thursday, Masvidal said: "Usman for a fact has crossed lines that no other competitor that I've fought has talked about. He's talked about things he's going to do to my butt hole. I don't understand why he's talking about my butt hole.

"He's talking about my ethnicity – whether I'm this, I'm that. He's telling people that I'm saying I'm God. You can't find a video or Twitter thing with me ever saying that I said I'm God.

"So, this guy's just doing a lot of things that's going to cause him to get hurt in a violent way. And if the referee trips on the way to stopping me, and I get to get a couple extra punches, I wouldn't mind.

"They're going to be a little more than super necessary punches. It's going to be a little something special where I'm going to have to go into my fast-forward speed, and truly send this guy to another plain."

Burns was handed the fight after initial talks between Masvidal and UFC broke down, with the fighter and the organisation becoming embroiled in a public pay dispute.

Usman questioned Masvidal's motives for speaking out, having taken a fight so soon after calling for all UFC competitors to receive better pay.

"First of all, I never said Kamaru Usman was not getting paid, so let's not think that. But at the end of the day, I'm true to myself and I'm real with what I say," said Usman.

"My negotiations with the company are done behind closed doors, and they get done, which is why I'm here to fight.

"He was the one complaining, advocating [that] all fighters need to get paid, fighters need this, fighters need that. But the moment he got a little bit of extra money, guess what, he said: 'Bye, I'm out. I'm signing, and I'm going to fight.'

"So, where's all that unity now? Where is all of that? You talked all of this big game about you're not going to fight, fighters don't get paid, but now, here you are. So, it goes to show that he's out for himself.

"But it is what it is. I'm glad he's getting some money for this, because I wouldn't want to not get paid for getting my ass beat by somebody named the 'Nigerian Nightmare'."

Alex Volkanovski and Max Holloway made weight for their featherweight title clash, while Petr Yan and Jose Aldo also ensured a new bantamweight champion will be crowned.

Jorge Masvidal being confirmed as welterweight champion Kamaru Usman's opponent at UFC 251 saw the anticipation surrounding the first event at 'Fight Island' step up a notch this week.

After initial talks with Masvidal broke down amid a public pay dispute with UFC, Gilbert Burns was handed the opportunity to take on Usman in the Octagon following his impressive victory over former champion Tyron Woodley in May.

However, the Brazilian was forced to withdraw from the fight on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi after testing positive for coronavirus.

Step forward Masvidal, who agreed to take on Usman with just six days' notice and give fans the fight they really wanted to see.


WHY THE HYPE?

Usman has steamrollered his way through UFC's welterweight division but Masvidal is a notable name not on the resume of the 'Nigerian Nightmare'.

After trading barbs on social media and almost coming to blows at Super Bowl LIV's Radio Row earlier this year, the pair are keen to settle the score in the cage.

Usman's only professional MMA defeat came way back in 2013 and he has yet to be beaten in UFC, with the biggest names in the 170lbs division unable to stop him.

After ending Tyron Woodley's impressive reign, Usman silenced the big-mouthed Colby Covington. It means there are few true tests in the division.

Masvidal has never been one to shy from a challenge and after a stellar 2019, 'Gamebred' is more than worthy of his shot at the welterweight title.


GREATEST ACHIEVEMENTS

There's a reason they call him the 'Nigerian Nightmare'. Usman's record is phenomenal. Huge wins over Demian Maia and Rafael dos Anjos led to a title fight with the great Woodley, which he won via decision a little over a year ago.

His first defence ended in a fifth-round stoppage of Covington in a gruelling encounter last December.

While Masvidal has been around the game for a long time, it was three hugely impressive and significant victories in 2019 that saw the veteran soar to prominence.

It started with a second-round knockout of Darren Till, was followed up by a shock five-second triumph over Ben Askren and culminated when he defeated Nate Diaz in a brutal bout to win the UFC's BMF belt.


WHAT'S THEIR MMA RECORD (W-L-D)?

Usman: 16-1-0

Masvidal: 35-13-0

 

TALE OF THE TAPE

Usman:

Age: 33

Height: 6'0" (182cm)

Weight: 170lbs (77kg)

Reach: 76"

Leg Reach: 41"

 

Masvidal:

Age: 35

Height: 5'11" (180cm)

Weight: 170lbs (77kg)

Reach: 74"

Leg Reach: 39.5"


WHAT THEY'VE SAID ABOUT THE FIGHT

Usman told ESPN: "All I'm going to say is, I'm going to bless him with these hands in any way possible. Whether he's on his back, I'll bless him with these fists. Whether he's standing up, I'll bless him with these fists. It's up to him how he's able to handle that. Whether he lets me bless him in the first round where there's no more suffering, or he can take it like Covington and I'll bless him for 24 minutes until I get him out of there."

Masvidal told ESPN: "I'm not in Ben Askren shape because he's a hell of a wrestler, or even to fight a guy like Darren Till. But am I in shape for this bum I'm about to decapitate and baptise? Hell yeah. Cold-blooded as can be. His body's [gasping] for air as I got my hand raised over him. I'm going to baptise him for the world to see. It's going to be violent. It's going to start violent. It's going to end violent."

FIGHT STATS IN UFC

Usman:

- Usman has landed with 843 of his 1,594 attempted significant strikes. A success rate of 53 per cent.

- Of the 83 takedowns Usman has attempted, he has completed 42 (51 per cent success rate).

- In defense, Usman has avoided 60 per cent of significant strikes against him and remarkably 100 per cent of takedown attempts.

- From his significant strikes, 51 per cent have come from a standing position.

Masvidal:

- Masvidal has a significant strike accuracy of 49 per cent. 967 of his 1,957 attempted strikes have landed.

- The Miami native has completed 15 of 31 takedown attempts.

- In terms of defensive abilities, Masvidal has protected himself against 67 per cent of significant strikes and 78 per cent of takedown attempts.

- As for striking targets, 526 (62 per cent) have landed on the head, with 204 (24 per cent) and 122 (14 per cent) to the body and legs.

Jorge Masvidal was delighted to get "very, very close" to the money he wanted to face UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman after stepping in to replace Gilbert Burns.

Burns was named as Usman's opponent for the first event at 'Fight Island' in the United Arab Emirates this weekend after negotiations between UFC and Masvidal broke down.

The 35-year-old had previously been critical of UFC in a public pay dispute that light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones said he would vacate his title over.

However, Burns was forced to pull out of UFC 251 after contracting coronavirus and the organisation turned to Masvidal.

While heading into the fight with just six days' notice is far from ideal for Masvidal, he was pleased it meant he got paid closer to what he felt he deserves.

"Friday night's when they called, Saturday the deal was in place," Masvidal told ESPN after agreeing his new UFC contract.

"We had to break them down. That's why some people don't seem too happy to see me, you can see it in their face. I'm gonna do my job always, I'm gonna provide for me and my family.

"I see on pay-per-view what I bring in, we know – me and my team – what I deserve, so when we got undercut and low-balled, 'Alright, cool, no problem.' Let's see what happens.

"I told several people, 'Watch, at the last moment they're probably gonna call me back and some craziness is going to happen.' I didn't get exactly what I wanted, but I got very, very close to it.

"I'm happy because I get to break this guy's face and get paid for it. But what I'm not gonna do, which I've done a long part of my career, is get underpaid.

"That's not gonna happen from here going forward. Moving forward after this fight they're gonna treat me accordingly or I'll just step in last minute, six days to go, and get paid then I guess."

Masvidal will need to cut around 20 pounds in order to make weight for the fight and revealed although he kept active after initial talks with UFC ended, he "wasn't training like if I had a fight camp".

Masvidal owns the BMF belt after the doctor stopped Nate Diaz continuing beyond round three last November due to a cut around the eye.

Diaz criticised the UFC for going with Burns and Masvidal would like to offer him – and Stephen 'Wonderboy' Thompson, who handed him his last defeat in November 2017 – a shot at the title if he wins.

"There's two guys that are on my radar and Nate is definitely one of them, because no matter what it's a good fight and me or the world didn't get the results we wanted," he said.

"I know Nate obviously wants to run it back. I'm telling you I want to run it back, so when I get this title there would nothing be better than to give him the opportunity he gave me to fight for the belt.

"Another dude who we're definitely gonna be scraping at some point is Thompson, not because of anything personal but I would just love to run it back.

"I could definitely do better than that night that we first met. That's definitely something that'll be happening."

Jorge Masvidal will get his first title shot against welterweight champion Kamaru Usman at UFC 251 on six days' notice as a late replacement for Gilbert Burns.

Masvidal, who claimed the one-off BMF title by defeating Nate Diaz last November, stepped in after Burns was forced to withdraw from the first main event at 'Fight Island' in Abu Dhabi due to contracting coronavirus.

The 35-year-old American reportedly passed his COVID-19 test in Las Vegas and will fly out the United Arab Emirates on Monday.

Masvidal has recently been critical of UFC for the amount it pays fighters and aired a number of grievances on social media after Burns was given the Usman fight.

However, with Burns having been deemed unfit to enter to Octagon, the organisation turned to Masvidal to keep its main event alive.

Masvidal has won his past three fights to improve to a 35-13 record in mixed martial arts.

Usman is 16-1 after defeating Tyron Woodley and Colby Covington in his two most recent bouts. His only defeat came in his second professional fight in May 2013.

Jorge Masvidal will get his first title shot against welterweight champion Kamaru Usman at UFC 251 on six days' notice as a late replacement for Gilbert Burns.

Masvidal, who claimed the one-off BMF title by defeating Nate Diaz last November, stepped in after Burns was forced to withdraw from the first main event at 'Fight Island' in Abu Dhabi due to contracting coronavirus.

The 35-year-old American reportedly passed his COVID-19 test in Las Vegas and will fly out the United Arab Emirates on Monday.

Masvidal has recently been critical of UFC for the amount it pays fighters and aired a number of grievances on social media after Burns was given the Usman fight.

However, with Burns having been deemed unfit to enter to Octagon, the organisation turned to Masvidal to keep its main event alive.

Masvidal has won his past three fights to improve to a 35-13 record in mixed martial arts.

Usman is 16-1 after defeating Tyron Woodley and Colby Covington in his two most recent bouts. His only defeat came in his second professional fight in May 2013.

Justin Gaethje can beat UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov if he follows a particular game plan, according to Dustin Poirier.

The undefeated Khabib is expected to return to the Octagon to face interim champion Gaethje in September, though an official announcement has not yet been made.

Poirier, the number two ranked lightweight in UFC after defeating Dan Hooker in a Fight of the Year contender in Las Vegas last weekend, knocked out Gaethje in April 2018 but was submitted by the Russian at UFC 242 last year.

Poirier explained how Gaethje can hand Khabib his first defeat in mixed martial arts.

"If Justin can keep his back off the fence, I believe he can out-scramble Khabib in the open," Poirier told TMZ Sports.

"He just has such a pedigree in collegiate wrestling and that open mat area is going to be where Justin shines in the wrestling.

"If Khabib can get him against the fence, I believe Justin will be in trouble, but we'll see if he can stick to the game plan.

"I would assume that's gonna be his game plan – to stay in the middle, make Khabib wrestle in the open and throw big punches."

Asked about his hopes of fighting for the lightweight belt in future, he added: "If I'm to get a title shot and Justin wins … it's more of a guaranteed lock for me to fight for the belt if Justin wins.

"I'm the last guy to beat him. I'm the only guy still in the organisation who beat him. So it would make a lot of sense. And, I know he wants that fight as well."

However, if a second fight with Khabib stood between him and the title, Poirier is confident he would be able to make the required adjustments to get the win.

"Every fight I watch of mine I can do things better. [I] always can do things better and execute the game plan better," he said.

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