Conor McGregor wants to fight Dustin Poirier inside the Octagon in 2020, however UFC president Dana White has confirmed that there is no room on the promotion’s calendar for “Notorious” this year. In an interview with ESPN, White said that he’s offered McGregor a fight with Poirier for January 23, 2021.
“We offered him a fight, we got him his own date,” White told the outlet. “We didn’t have a date this year. We have everything laid out for this year, with world champions fighting for titles. He wants to fight Dustin Poirier apparently, so we went to [broadcast partner] ESPN and got him his own date. He’s been offered Dustin Poirier on Jan. 23.”
“It’s a yes or no answer,” White said.
Update: McGregor accepted the January 23 date. Click here for more information.
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White Is Unwilling to Switch Fights Around in 2020 to Accommodate McGregor
Notorious is the promotion’s biggest pay-per-view star, but November 21’s UFC 255 and December 12’s UFC 256 do not have room for the Irishman, according to the promotion’s president. During UFC 255, two fights have been scheduled, flyweight champ Deiveson Figueiredo vs. Alex Perez and women’s flyweight champ Valentina Shevchenko vs. Jennifer Maia.
For UFC 256, women’s featherweight and bantamweight champ Amanda Nunes is set to defend the featherweight strap against Megan Anderson. And as reported by ESPN on Wednesday, bantamweight champ Petr Yan will defend his belt against Aljamain Sterling.
White is unwilling to move around dates or championship fights to accommodate McGregor.
“That’s not how it works,” White said to ESPN. “We laid out this year. He was retired. Would anybody disagree he was retired? Through this crazy pandemic year we’re going through, we faced a lot of challenges. There were a lot of things done to make this thing work. We made it happen. We have our schedule laid out. Fighters have committed to it. Fighters have started training for these fights. Conor came back and wants to fight Dustin, so we went out and got him his own date. It’s Jan. 23.”
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McGregor Wants to Box Manny Pacquiao, Using Fight With Poirier to Help Prepare
Notorious revealed on Twitter a major reason why he is interested in fighting Poirier. During a recent interview with Teddy Atlas, “The Diamond” theorized it was because he was a southpaw with good boxing and Notorious has expressed interest in boxing Manny Pacquiao, who is also a southpaw.
“Correct,” McGregor tweeted. “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.”
McGregor has made it clear that he intends to face the boxing icon, however Dana White “has no idea what is going on” with the potential fight, according to ESPN.