The star-studded UFC lightweight division is packed with some of the biggest names in the sport, and now the UFC has an epic plan to get those fighters back in action soon. According to ESPN’s Ariel Helwani, the UFC’s current plan for some of its biggest names in the 155-pound division includes megafights for Conor McGregor, Michael Chandler, and Tony Ferguson. Helwani revealed the news during Monday’s “DC and Helwani” show.
Helwani said the UFC’s plan at 155 are the following three megafights: Conor McGregor vs. Dustin Poirier 3, Michael Chandler vs. Justin Gaethje, and Tony Ferguson vs. Beneil Dariush.
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Poirier vs. McGregor 3: ‘Common Knowledge’
Poirier defeated McGregor by second-round knockout at UFC 257, and now the two 32-year-old rivals seemed destined for an epic trilogy bout.
“That’s pretty much common knowledge,” Cormier told Helwani about the assumed third fight.
Recently, Poirier told Joe Rogan in an interview that he hopes Poirier vs. McGregor 3 happens this summer. McGregor’s longtime boxing coach said the same thing last week, so most pundits expect there to be an announcement soon about the summer showdown.
The two stars are currently knotted 1-1. McGregor beat Poirier in 2014 in a featherweight contest, but Poirier won the rematch earlier this year at lightweight.
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Ferguson’s Next Fight: ‘Done Deal’
Ferguson, 37, famously won 12 UFC fights in a row without ever having received the chance to fight for the undisputed lightweight title.
Heck, Ferguson didn’t even get to compete against McGregor over that same timeframe, but now the American is on a two-fight losing streak and hoping to turn things back around.
Helwani said Ferguson’s next fight would be against Dariush and that it was “a done deal” for UFC 262 on May 15.
Despite back-to-back losses to Gaethje and Charles Oliveira, Ferguson is still ranked No. 5 in the lightweight division.
Dariush is ranked No. 9 after winning his last six UFC fights.
In his last contest, Dariush defeated Diego Ferreira by split decision in a thrilling brawl. Beating Ferguson would help the 31-year-old climb the rankings toward a title shot.
Gaethje vs. Chandler: ‘In The Works’
Finally, Helwani said a lightweight showdown between former UFC interim champ Gaethje and ex-Bellator champ Chandler was “in the works”.
Chandler made his UFC debut at UFC 257, and the 3-time Bellator lightweight king looked formidable in stopping Dan Hooker in just one round.
But Gaethje, 32, would be a stern test for the American. He lost his last fight to Nurmagomedov, but “The Highlight” is one of the hardest hitters in the division, and he’ll be anxious to get back into the win column.
Gaethje is currently ranked No. 2 behind Poirier at 155, while Chandler, 34, sits two spots behind him at No. 4.
Notably left out of the UFC’s current plan for the division, at least so far, is what’s next for Oliveira.
The 31-year-old Brazilian is ranked No. 3 in the division after thrashing Ferguson in his last fight, but his high ranking hasn’t yet seemed to get him fights against the other top stars.
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