Justin Gaethje and Dustin Poirier could have been coaching TUF 31 against one another.
The head coaches of TUF 31 are Michael Chandler and Conor McGregor but before the Irishman agreed, Gaethje says the UFC reached out to him and Poirier. Yet, it was ‘The Diamond’ who turned it down, and Gaethje doesn’t have any hard feelings as he says he also wasn’t too interested in it.
Justin Gaethje on Dustin Poirier
“Before I signed the Fiziev fight, they asked if I wanted to do ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ against Poirier, and he said no,” Gaethje said on Daniel Cormier’s YouTube channel. “I don’t blame him. I wouldn’t do it if I was him when you’ve got that much money. What, you’re going to pay me $80,000 to go f*cking six weeks away from my family? No thanks.”
After Poirier said no to coaching TUF 31, Gaethje took a fight against Rafael Fiziev at UFC 286 where he won a decision in an absolute war. Following the win, ‘The Highlight’ called for a rematch with Poirier and the hope is the fight can be made.
“I think that’s the obvious answer,” Gaethje told MMA Fighting regarding the Poirier rematch. “He’s No. 2, he has no dance partner, and the same with me. I think that fight is certainly a title contention fight. The winner of [Charles] Oliveira and [Beneil] Dariush fight, obviously [they] are going to fight for the title in October, so I need to fight Dustin in August, September, or October to put me on that perfect timeline.”
“You can’t force anybody to fight. I’m not saying he doesn’t want to fight me, but he probably doesn’t need to ever fight again with how much money he’s made. So I don’t know. I think he’ll take it. Some people around me think he won’t take it. All I can do is focus on myself in that regard.”
Justin Gaethje (24-4) returned to the win column with a victory over Rafael Fiziev. Prior to that, he suffered a submission loss to Charles Oliveira for the title and before that, beat Michael Chandler. Justin Gaethje and Dustin Poirier fought back in 2018, with Poirier winning by fourth-round TKO.