Ahead of tonight’s blockbuster rematch with former interim lightweight champion, Dustin ‘The Diamond’ Poirier, former two-weight world champion, ‘The Notorious’ Conor McGregor has claimed that he would fight out the remaining four-fights on his UFC contract in the opening quarter of this year if the promotion provided him with a list of dates.
Slated for his first Octagon appearance in just over a year, the Dubliner returns to action as well as the 155-pound lightweight limit for the first time since his UFC 229 bad-blooded submission loss to current undisputed titleholder, Khabib ‘The Eagle’ Nurmagomedov.
Hitting the scales as the first combatant at yesterday morning’s weigh-ins, McGregor hit the championship weight of 155-pounds, before he was soon followed up by fellow headliner, Poirier who landed at 156-pounds.
Last competing at a welterweight limit, McGregor snapped a lengthy hiatus a UFC 246 in January of last year, taking a highlight-reel high-kick knockout victory over former lightweight title chaser, and future Hall of Fame inductee, Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Speaking with ESPN analyst, Stephen A. Smith ahead of tonight’s pairing with Poirier, McGregor detailed how he has four-fights remaining on his current Octagon deal. And if afforded the opportunity by the UFC, he’d fight out his contract in the opening four-months of 2021.
“I’ve got four-fights left on this contract with the UFC,” McGregor said. “I’d do it (complete the contract) in the first quarter of 2021 if they (the UFC) gave me the dates.“
The 32-year-old appears to be as hungry as he could be seen during his initial rise to ultimate featherweight spoils back in 2014 and 2015, as well as his three-fight calendar in 2016 which involved a double-header against Nate Diaz, as well as a Madison Square Garden outing against Eddie Alvarez where he clinched the lightweight title — becoming the first in promotional antiquity to lift two-titles simultaneously.
McGregor, who announced intentions for a three-fight “season” last year, saw those plans scuppered and ultimately shelved due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which forced the UFC to host events to a closed gate.
With a capacity of around two-thousand spectators expected to feature at the newly built Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi, UAE for tonight’s UFC 257 card, McGregor also claimed how he would expect to make the Octagon walk three-times this year, if not four.