On October 8, McGregor revealed on Twitter that he had accepted a fight in the UFC with Poirier with the stipulation that it had to happen before the end of 2020.
During a recent interview with Teddy Atlas, Poirier speculated on the reasoning why McGregor wanted to fight him and compete before 2021. Poirier said that he believes “Notorious” wants to box Manny Pacquiao in 2021 and that “The Diamond” being a southpaw has something to do with McGregor’s opponent selection.
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“Going back to why I think he wants this fight, it’s because he’s angling to fight Pacquiao. That was in the news,” Poirier said via MMA Junkie. “So I don’t know if the UFC wants him to fight one more time before they allow him to fight Pacquiao or if he just wants to get one more this year before starting next year with the Pacquiao fight, but what better way to do it against another southpaw?
“I think that might be his mind set. He wants to fight another southpaw before he fights another southpaw. I don’t know what’s going on, but I think that’s what the alignment is.”
On Monday night, Notorious took to Twitter to confirm The Diamond’s reasoning.
“Correct,” McGregor wrote. “Southpaw box style. Continue to sharpen my MMA skills with some tough competition, while leading into my Manny bout preparation. It’s not easy going between both sports and then coming back to the one sport again. Just want to keep sharp guys, that’s all. It’s only fair.”
Poirier responded to Notorious’ tweet, writing, “Box we will. See you soon!”
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Poirier Said That the Fight With McGregor Is ‘The Perfect Storm’
Another motivator for McGregor is possibly earning a crack at regaining lightweight gold, according to Poirier. In the interview with Atlas, Poirier said that the match was the “perfect storm.”
“Khabib [Nurmagomedov], the current champion, said that if Conor or Tony [Ferguson] fights me and wins then he’ll give him another title shot, so that’s in his head too,” Poirier said via MMA Junkie. “I think that’s creating a perfect storm, and it’s coming together that he’s coming out in public and saying, ‘Hey, I want to fight Dustin Poirier this year.’”
The Winner of Poirier vs. McGregor Could Earn Themselves at Shot at Gold
If the match between McGregor and Poirier comes to fruition, it is unclear if the fight will be at welterweight or lightweight. McGregor hasn’t competed at lightweight since his losing effort against Khabib Nurmagomedov in October 2018.
Regardless of McGregor’s plans to box Pacquiao, both fighters are ranked high at lightweight and the fight has serious title ramifications. Poirier is ranked No. 2 in the division and McGregor is at No. 5. The winner of the potential bout could earn themselves a shot at the winner of UFC 254’s title fight between champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and interim champ Justin Gaethje.
Both Poirier and McGregor’s last loss came at the hands of Nurmagomedov, but a victory over the other could cement themselves at the top contender in the stacked lightweight division.