UFC superstar Conor McGregor made it absolutely clear after his last fight that he wanted an immediate rematch against Dustin Poirier. According to ESPN’s Ariel Helwani, McGregor is now just a signature away from getting exactly that. Helwani reported on Friday for the UFC’s television partner ESPN that Poirier has officially signed on for Poirier vs. McGregor 3 and that McGregor’s signing of the same contract is just a formality at this point.
Helwani posted, “Dustin Poirier has officially signed his contract to fight Conor McGregor on July 10, sources say. McGregor, as we know, was already in.”
Dustin Poirier has officially signed his contract to fight Conor McGregor on July 10, sources say. McGregor, as we know, was already in.
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) April 2, 2021
According to MMA Junkie, UFC president Dana White already revealed the fight would be targeted for UFC 264 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, so Helwani’s report seems to confirm the UFC’s plan is going to happen.
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Is McGregor’s Legacy on the Line?
Poirier vs. McGregor 3 seems to be on the way now, and at least one top pundit sees McGregor’s legacy on the line in the important trilogy capper.
ESPN’s Brett Okamoto wrote, “…it’s not outlandish to say that the entire narrative of McGregor’s athletic career could be on the line in this fight.”
Okamoto goes on in his column to explain how McGregor’s resume inside the Octagon only, which means minus the money he’s made and all the pay-per-views he’s sold, might not actually be to the level McGregor had foreseen when he first entered the UFC.
McGregor’s UFC record is 10-3. He went 7-0 as a featherweight, 1-2 as a lightweight, and 2-1 as a welterweight, and Okamoto rightly suggests all those numbers would be satisfying for most MMA fighters.
But McGregor’s recent troubles in the cage seem to have his legacy teetering on the edge of a knife right now.
If McGregor loses again to Poirer on July 10, he would lose that important rivalry as well as his credibility as one of the top MMA fighters of the era.
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‘No Silver Lining’ for Another Loss
Okamoto argues in his column that McGregor to this point could be given the “benefit of the doubt” for various reasons for going just 1-2 over the last three years.
But if he runs that record to 1-3?
Okamoto writes about that potential future, “…there will be no silver lining. History will remember Poirier was better. History will remember McGregor asserted himself as the best featherweight in the world in late 2015, but he didn’t even have a winning record in the five years that followed.”
So Okamoto suggests beating Poirier at UFC 264 is vitally important to how present fans and even future historians might see McGregor’s MMA career.
Will the Irish superstar be remembered as one of the best MMA fighters ever? Or will he just be seen as an incredibly popular fighter who was overrated by fans and media until Poirier finally put the final nail into the coffin of his career?
According to Helwani’s ESPN report, the world will find out on July 10.
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