Both Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor have laid out their interest in a trilogy, rubber-match next to settle their score, and according to UFC president, Dana White — the organization is going to work on nailing down a third fight between the two for this summer.
Currently tied one apiece, McGregor got the better of Poirier at the featherweight limit back at UFC 178 in 2014 — stopping the Louisianan via an opening-round knockout, with less than ninety-seconds elapsed into their anticipated clash.
Righting his wrongs three weeks ago at UFC 257 — Poirier welcomed McGregor back from a year on the sidelines in a lightweight headliner on ‘Fight Island’, becoming the first to finish the Dubliner via strikes, courtesy of a lengthy second-round flurry at the fence.
Seemingly primed to clash for lightweight spoils if he so desired, Poirier remained coy on the possibility of challenging for potential vacant 155-pound gold next, instead noting his interest in a rubber-match against the Dubliner.
Following suit, both McGregor and co, particularly head coach, John Kavanagh spoke of their intentions to seal a rubber-match with Poirier in his Octagon return this year, ideally landing at a May comeback.
Expected to run back their January rematch next, UFC president, Dana White has laid out a tournament bracket — all but officially, including Poirier and McGregor, as well as Justin Gaethje, Charles Oliveira, Michael Chandler, Tony Ferguson, and Rafael dos Anjos — with the one of the septet expected to determine the next challenger to still billed lightweight titleholder, Khabib Nurmagomedov, despite the Dagestan native’s constant stance that he’s retired since October of last year.
Speaking on ESPN’s Get Up show this morning, White claimed that a trilogy matchup between Poirier and McGregor made sense next given the respective interest from both sides in the rubber-match.
“Well, when you have two guys that are in their positions — Dustin (Poirier) is the #1 ranked guy in the world, you got Conor (McGregor) who is ranked #6 and they want the trilogy, you got to go with the trilogy,” White said. “We’re probably going to try and put that fight together this summer.“
Reflecting on McGregor’s stoppage defeat to Poirier in Abu Dhabi last month, White laid out his hope to see a more motivated McGregor arrive at a trilogy matchup against the Lafayette native.
“If you look at Conor — if you look at the way he fought, the leg kicks that he was eating, the stance he was in, he was completely overlooking Dustin Poirier,” White explained. “I’m not taking anything away from Poirier, but when you pull in on a superyacht and you’re living the life that Conor lives, you need to be hungry and you to take every guy serious (sic). It doesn’t matter how you beat Dustin Poirier the first time, that’s not the same guy you are going to be facing and obviously, Dustin Poirier is training like it’s the most important fight of his life.” (H/T MMA Fighting)
Finding himself on the receiving end of a dozen-odd brutal calf kicks from Poirier, McGregor’s southpaw lead was severely compromised, and despite taking the opening round on all three judge’s scorecards, the Straight Blast Gym mainstay succumbed to strikes in the second frame.
With White’s recent claims, it seems the lightweight title picture isn’t any clearer than it was following UFC 257. White had transparently campaigned for a rematch between rivals Nurmagomedov and McGregor if the Dubliner emerged victorious against Poirier, and by all accounts, if afforded a chance to lodge a second career win over Poirier, White would be more than happy to book a rematch between the two, despite Nurmagomedov’s intentions to honour a promise made to his mother and stick to his retirement.