McGregor vs Poirier Scheduled For UFC 257
The next chapter of the heated rivalry between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirer is set to take place at UFC 257 in January. After UFC Lightweight Champion Khabib Nurmagomedov’s shocking retirement last Saturday, there is speculation that the highly anticipated bout could be for much more than just pride.
Considering each of their rankings in the welterweight class, (where Poirier is ranked second and McGregor is ranked fourth), it is being speculated that the winner of the clash could potentially be the winner of the vacant lightweight championship. This would certainly up the ante for the two fighters while also offering an answer to the company as to how they will fill the vacant title.
While the two fighters have yet to officially sign a contract for the fight, UFC president Dana White has no doubt that the clash will take place as scheduled.
“In the history of dealing with Conor McGregor, Conor McGregor has never come out publicly and said, 'I accept this fight' and then not fought and turned down a fight,” said White. “So, I expect the fight to go on.”
White did say, however, that the fight will have to happen at light heavyweight (155 lbs), and not welterweight (170 lbs), as McGregor had previously hoped.
“I’m not putting on a frigging multimillion-dollar fight at a Catchweight that means nothing,” said White. “It means nothing at 170. Neither one of those two are ranked at 170 pounds, and it doesn’t do anything in the 155-pound division if either one of them wins because they’re fighting at 170. It literally makes no sense.”
Luckily for White and the rest of the UFC, McGregor has continued to train for the fight after receiving this news, despite not yet signing the official contract. Additionally, the fact that the title is now up for grabs in the light heavyweight division could provide even more motivation for the dejected former champion.
The fight will be the first between the two men since their September 2014 clash that saw McGregor make quick work of Poirier at UFC 178 and continue his rise to inevitable superstardom. Even though the two men may not have gone head to head in the ring, this is a rematch that has been years in the making.
While losing in the fashion that he did to McGregor would have derailed the career of most fighters, that was not nearly the case with Poirier. The 31-year-old has since beaten some of the best fighters in the company and has only lost two fights since his disappointing performance in 2014.
For McGregor, the upcoming bout means more than just a rematch against a heated rival or a possible opportunity for another championship reign. He is also using the fight as a training opportunity for a boxing match against the eight-time division champion Manny Pacquiao, who, like Poirier, is also a southpaw.
Only time will tell what the future for each fighter will hold, but one thing that is certain: with a motivated McGregor and determined Poirier, sparks will fly when the two former champions go head to head on January 23, 2021.