Daniel Cormier: Islam Makhachev should become villain, fight Dustin Poirier next

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Zi Nazi
Dec 31, 2014

Add Daniel Cormier to the list of fighters who think Dustin Poirier should get the next shot at Islam Makhachev.

Poirier is just the kind of name that Makhachev needs to cement himself as a bonafide octagon star, the former two-division UFC champ said Wednesday on his video podcast.

“For Islam to get to where he truly needs to be as a champ, he’s got to have those familiar names on his resume, or at least have competition with them,” Cormier said.

Cormier, of course, is not entirely unbiased in his pick for the next lightweight title fight. Lightweight champ Makhachev is a former training partner at his longtime gym, American Kickboxing Academy, and Poirier is from his hometown of Lafayette, La.

Prior to his big UFC 299 win over Benoit Saint Denis, Poirier said one big win could qualify him for a title shot. Afterward, he called out Makhachev, who brushed him off as his next challenge contender in a way that many champs do to their next contenders.

Cormier thinks Makhachev may be more interested than he let on.

“When Conor McGregor was Conor McGregor, he knocked out Jose Aldo to be the champion. It was an amazing tool to spring him into superstardom. Because by that point, it didn’t matter who he fought at lightweight. He was already a star because he had just beaten the greatest featherweight of all time in the manner in which he did it.

Then when he left, the [featherweight] belt needed to be contested. Who did they put out there? Frankie Edgar, former champion, Jose Aldo, former champion, because the names are recognized. [Max] Holloway beat Jose Aldo. It meant much more for Max Holloway, in terms of becoming a star, to beat Jose Aldo than some random guy for the belt.”

Daniel Cormier: Islam Makhachev should become villain, fight Dustin Poirier next - MMA Fighting