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Dustin Poirier's UFC 249 bid falls short; keeps training for Dan Hooker

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Poirier is available to fight at UFC 249 (1:44)

Dustin Poirier tells Ariel Helwani that he notified the UFC that he's available to fight at UFC 249, but doubts he'll be able to fight in May as originally planned. (1:44)

As news broke Monday that UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov might not be able to fight in UFC 249 against Tony Ferguson on April 18 because of travel issues related to the coronavirus pandemic, Dustin Poirier texted Dana White.

"I'm open," Poirier informed the UFC president.

But the response from the UFC was to keep training for Poirier's scheduled bout against Dan Hooker, which is supposed to go off on May 16 in San Diego.

Will that bout take place as scheduled?

"I don't think so," Poirier said. "I really don't. I don't have that feeling."

There has been no word of any postponements of that card or any card beyond April 11, so Poirier keeps training -- as best he can.

"Honestly, there's no way to properly prepare," he told Ariel Helwani during an Instagram live chat Tuesday. "I have my own personal gym here in Louisiana, and I can go hit the bags. I have two buddies who I train with there that are social-distancing themselves, as well, so I kind of trust them to not bring the fungus among us in my gym, but other than that, I'm there hitting the bag or rolling with those guys or I'm in my house.

"I can jog and stuff, I can get in shape, but to be fine-tuned for a fight at the highest level, I can't do it. I don't know what my opponent is doing, if he's not being able to train. So May seems like a push, but we'll see."

Poirier said he weighs in the low 180s at the moment, but he said if he needed to cut down to 155 to face Ferguson -- or possibly Justin Gaethje, he would do it.

"In the midst of what was happening [Monday], an opportunity like that, of course I'm 100 percent jumping on," he said. "No disrespect to Dan Hooker, but guys like him are going to be around. Opportunities like that are going to be there, always for the rest of my career, up-and-coming good guys, will be around."

Poirier said he would beat up Ferguson and beat Gaethje, which he did via fourth-round stoppage on April 14, 2018.


Bantamweight Marlon Vera is home and itching to get back into the cage.

Vera (15-5-1) is staying on track with his training during the UFC's hiatus while also watching his two young kids at home and spending plenty of time at the grill. He was supposed to fight on March 28 against Eddie Wineland, but due to the ongoing pandemic and Wineland's being a firefighter, Vera doesn't believe that fight will be easily rescheduled.

"I have no idea what's going to happen," Vera said to Ariel Helwani. "I'm just staying ready. ... If they call me to fight on Saturday, I'm fighting. Anyone."

Vera has told Dana White he's on standby for a fight at 135 or 145.

"I'm not going to the gym," said Vera. "I'm not training with too much people. ... I'm just basically running a little bit over 10 miles to make sure my weight is low and my cardio is good. I'm hitting the bag, throwing some combos. My conditioning coach gave me a couple sandbags and a couple dumbbells. I'm feeling good because I'm also resting more than normally."

While he maintains his fitness, one thing that has changed at this time is Vera's hair color, which is now a shade of pink.

"This is the quarantine color."