UFC president Dana White revealed the huge stakes up for grabs at UFC 264 on July 10. The UFC boss told MMA Junkie that the winner of the main event battle between Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor would “100 percent” be the top contender in the division and presumedly that means he would get the next crack at UFC lightweight champion Charles Oliveira.
The Brazilian filled the vacant 155-pound title by defeating Michael Chandler at UFC 262 earlier this year, and now he’s ready for his first title defense.
Poirier is currently ranked the No. 1 contender in the division, while McGregor is ranked No. 5.
A win by either star should earn the fighter another chance at capturing the title. Poirier is a former interim champ while McGregor is a former UFC “champ champ”.
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White on McGregor’s Future With UFC
White said he doesn’t really think about what happens next for his fighters until after their fights are over, but that he believes McGregor will let him know what he wants to happen next in his career whenever the time comes.
“The question is, ‘How much more of this does he want?’ How hungry is he? We’ll find out on Saturday night. Win, lose, or draw, we’ll find out probably a couple weeks after that what he wants to do next,” White said.
White believes McGregor will be ready to fight on Saturday in Las Vegas, and a win over “The Diamond would vault the “Notorious” superstar back into the spotlight.
“The thing is with Conor McGregor is this guy has always stepped up and been willing to fight anybody, anywhere, anytime,” White said.
Other potential fights for McGregor should he lose at UFC 264 include him completing his trilogy against Nate Diaz, a fellow UFC superstar who is also coming off a loss.
But the best thing for McGregor and maybe even the UFC because of his star power, is for McGregor to win his fight at UFC 264.
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UFC 264 on July 10
UFC 264: Poirier vs. McGregor 3 takes place on July 10 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. It’s the next UFC pay-per-view event of the year, and it should turn out to be one of the most-watched fight cards of 2021.
Poirier defeated McGregor by second-round stoppage in the last fight at UFC 257 in January 2021, but McGregor stopped Poirier in the first round of a featherweight contest in 2014.
That means the two stars are heading into an important rubbermatch at UFC 264, and it could end up defining their rivalry for all-time.
The card also includes a top-notch welterweight battle between popular contenders Gilbert Burns and Stephen Thompson, as well as several other high-profile UFC stars in important battles.
McGregor’s Fight to Recapture Gold Continues
Most of the hubbub surrounding the pay-per-view card is about McGregor. He’s the biggest UFC superstar in history, but another loss on his record would send him tumbling down the rankings and maybe out of title contention for good.
But McGregor has the chance at UFC 264 to earn another title shot after failing in his last bid against Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229 in 2018. The 32-year-old has to defeat Poirier at UFC 264 on July 10 if he hopes to make that happen, and that’s a tall order. Poirier is one of the most complete fighters in MMA.
The stakes are huge for both McGregor and Poirier at UFC 264, but they seem particularly large for the Irishman right now. He’s the UFC’s original “champ champ” and one of the most decorated fighters in MMA history.
But he’s just 1-2 in his last three UFC fights, and he needs to score a big win at UFC 264 to continue his trek back toward the top of the sport.
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