The Notorious one may soon have a shot at redemption as UFC President Dana White announces plans for Conor McGregor vs Dustin Poirier 3 to occur at UFC 264 during International Fight Week (currently scheduled for July).
ESPN journalist Ariel Helwani first reported the main event was being finalised days ago, hinting we’d know for certain by week’s end. And based on the fact Poirier tweeted “July 10th” followed by a diamond emoji – not to mention McGregor’s (understandable) enthusiasm for a rematch against the former interim lightweight champion/current division top dog – a betting man would certainly like the odds.
The soon-to-be-completed Conor McGregor vs Dustin Poirier trilogy began at UFC 178 in 2014, wherein McGregor managed to level Poirier with a first-round TKO. This loss, however, would not go by unavenged. Earlier this year at UFC 257, Poirier surprised many with strategic leg kicks, superior distance management, punctuated by a decisive TKO halfway through Round 2.
“The kicks accumulated, for sure,” says McGregor.
“I knew when I saw he had Thiago Alves in his corner.”
After the undefeated and unparalleled Khabib Nurmagomedov confirmed his retirement, the lightweight title is now up for grabs. Bellator transplant Michael Chandler – who also made quite the splash at UFC 257 against Dan Hooker – is on track to face Charles Oliveira at UFC for the vacant championship throne. The winner will likely face whoever prevails from Conor McGregor vs Dustin Poirier 3 – potentially the other former interim lightweight champion and division #2, Justin Gaethje, depending on how the timeline unfolds.
Interestingly enough, Dana White revealed Poirier actually turned down a title fight offer to focus on the forthcoming trilogy, hence Chandler vs Oliveira. A logical move, no doubt, considering the superior earning potential attached with fighting the prolific Irishman, as well as that whole nutshell of cementing one’s legacy a la Israel Adesanya.
“Dustin wants the rematch [with Conor McGregor]… That’s smart. That’s what he should do. He should take the rematch, take that fight. It’s a big fight for him,” says White.
“Kid’s worked hard his whole life, his whole career to be in a position like this. That’s the fight you take. We’ve been in positions like this before with others who have made the mistake of not taking that fight, and [it was the] biggest mistake of their lives.”
UFC 257 generated 1.6 million pay-per-view buys, reportedly earning Conor McGregor over US$3 million and Dustin Poirier a respectable US$830,000.