UFC superstar Dustin Poirier has named Justin Gaethje the ideal opponent for Conor McGregor’s return fight.
McGregor is coming off a loss to Poirier in his latest outing at UFC 264 when he suffered a horrific leg injury that has kept him sidelined. He’s going through a skid in his professional career that saw him drop three in the last four getting a sole win over Donald Cerrone.
Meanwhile, the 33-year-old Louisiana native went on to challenge for the lightweight title one more time against uncrowned champion Charles Oliveira at UFC 269. Oliveira made a comeback after getting dropped early in the fight to finish Poirier in the third round with a rear-naked choke submission.
In a recent appearance on ESPN’s “DC & RC” show, Poirier shared his thoughts on the perfect competitor for the return of the biggest draw in the sport.
“Justin Gaethje vs. the return of Conor McGregor,” he said. “The hype, the build-up, somebody’s going to sleep. I mean, you’re tuning in for a car wreck. A head-on collision and I wanna see it.”
Poirier has moved on from competing against his old foe: “I’m probably not going to fight Conor again. I don’t really want to fight Conor again. For me, that door is closed. The only reason I’d do it is for money. I beat him two times in a row.
“Can I beat my two performances? Can I knock him out quicker? Can I 10-7 him? What can I do? I’ve done it. If I do it again, it’s just for money, right? So that’s a completely different thing.”(h/t Mirror)
Poirier took on Gaethje in the latter’s third fight under the UFC banner in the headlining bout of UFC on Fox 29 in April 2018. Gaethje kept it competitive in a close-fought war but failed to come out on top after Poirier knocked him out in the fourth round.
Conor McGregor vs. Justin Gaethje – A Striker’s Delight
A showdown between Gaethje and McGregor would be a striker’s delight. Both stand-up specialists are sure to brawl it out in the cage making for entertaining viewing.
McGregor holds the record for the fastest knockout in a UFC championship fight, while the human “Highlight” reel put on a Fight of The Year performance with Michael Chandler at UFC 268.
Gaethje just had nose surgery and will need over a month before he can get back to training. This might work in the favor of the UFC as they await a return date for “The Notorious,” who recently got back to training in all areas of MMA after breaking his leg in July 2021.
In his last outing, Gaethje lost out a second shot at the gold when Oliveira tapped him out in the opening round at UFC 274. McGregor took the opportunity to fire shots, tweeting: “Gaethje is a jacka**. The amount of absolute dribble he speaks as well. Over and over. A Grade-A jacka**! A bird brain with a bird-brain manager. Two bum t**** they are. He is. A Jacka**.” (h/t Mirror)
‘The Notorious’ Wants To Win a Third UFC Belt
McGregor had expressed interest in making his return at 170 lb against the UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman. It will be a tough fight back for the Irish icon, considering how dominant Usman has proven to be.
Jorge Masvidal has been rallying for a matchup with McGregor. The two have gone back and forth online but no concrete developments have come yet.
Masvidal is also currently facing charges for the alleged physical attack on Colby Covington, effectively ruling him out of competition until the case is resolved.