While that’s the same fight that seemed to be on its way for weeks now, there also seemed to a slight snag in regards to UFC officials getting Poirier to sign his part of the contract.
In fact, ESPN’s Ariel Helwani reported on Monday that his UFC sources were saying Poirier remained “a hurdle” in making the McGregor vs. Poirier rematch happen, and that “the UFC has said it would be willing to replace Poirier with Gaethje” or someone else in the proposed showdown.
But now the fight is officially on, at least per MMA Fighting, a well-known and highly reputable MMA news outlet.
McGregor later confirmed the bout was on the way via social media.
McGregor is now set to face Poirier on January 23 in a rematch between two of the best and most popular UFC fighters in the world.
McGregor defeated Poirier via first-round knockout over six years ago.
Now, the American contender is getting another chance at knocking off the UFC’s biggest superstar.
McGregor Might Still Prefer December 12
While MMA Fighting revealed the fight was “officially booked” for January 23, the UFC has not yet formally announced the fight.
But that might just be because of something else MMA Fighting reported in the same story.
McGregor, who all along suggested he wanted to fight in 2020 over waiting until next year, could still be trying to convince UFC officials to let him and Poirier have the main event slot on the UFC’s upcoming December 12 pay-per-view event instead.
That card was previously headlined by UFC women’s featherweight and bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes defending her 145-pound title against Megan Anderson. However, that fight fell off the card after Nunes pulled out of the event earlier this week for an undisclosed reason.
Regardless, McGregor vs. Poirer 2 is officially on per MMA Fighting, and it’s most likely going to take place on January 23.
After all, UFC 256 on December 12 still has a title fight scheduled on the card between UFC bantamweight champion Petr Yan and streaking contender Aljamain Sterling.
Because of the way the UFC’s payment structure works for its pay-per-view events, it makes much more sense for the company to put McGregor vs. Poirier 2 on its own card without any other title fights.
Dana White Called Fight ‘Done Deal’ Last Week
UFC president Dana White prematurely called the McGregor vs. Poirier rematch a “done deal” last week during the post-fight press conference for UFC Las Vegas 12 in Las Vegas.
White told the media, “Yeah, it’s done…As far as I know, it’s done.”
But it took nearly 10 more days for reports about the fight being booked to finally begin to surface.
That led some to believe Poirier might have priced himself out of the fight.
Had that been the case, UFC officials might have turned their attention over to ex-interim champ Justin Gaethje next or even newly signed ex-Bellator champ Michael Chandler instead.
Regardless, McGregor’s next fight will be against Poirier.
White said the same thing after the news broke on Tuesday, though he refused to call it a “done deal” this time until he gets both signed bout agreements back.
Regardless, White also seemed to suggest the fight was on its way for January 23 as originally reported by MMA Fighting.
ESPN Reports One Final Step Looming
While MMA Fighting reported the fight was “officially booked”, ESPN’s Ariel Helwani later suggested McGregor still needs to sign his bout agreement to make things official.
However, that seems like a matter of semantics at this point since McGregor already verbally agreed to terms for the bout last month per ESPN.
At this point, it would be a shocking development to see McGregor change his mind about facing Poirier next on January 23.
Per MMA Fighting, McGregor vs. Poirier 2 is official. Per ESPN, it’s just about that, too.
That can only mean one thing.
It’s timed to get hyped about McGregor’s next UFC fight.
MMA Fighting Updates Language in Original Story
Several hours after the story broke over at MMA Fighting, some of the language in the original article was updated from calling the fight “officially booked” to being “nearly a done deal”.
The reason for the change seems to be because of White’s previously mentioned comments to ESPN about needing McGregor’s signed bout agreement back.
Regardless, McGregor vs. Poirier 2 seems as done as it gets in the sport without the UFC actually having announced the fight itself.
The fight is on the way for January 23.
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