With Dana White finally acknowledging Khabib Nurmagomedov’s official retirement, the UFC matchmakers have been hard at work in the lightweight division. Charles Olivera has already been booked to face off against Michael Chandler for the 155lb belt. Tony Ferguson is also back in action, scheduled to fight Beneil Dariush on the same card.
However, via a report from ESPN MMA’s Ariel Helwani, the UFC are looking at finalising a date for the much-anticipated rubber match between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier. Helwani posted the following on Twitter:
“There was once a hope McGregor-Poirier 3 fight would get done for May 15 but it’s taken longer than hoped/expected so they moved on from that a while ago, sources say. Won’t happen on June 12 (Figueiredo-Moreno on that card), so latest hope is the July 10 card. We’ll see.”
Could July be the sweet spot for Poirier and McGregor?
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) March 19, 2021
While many believed it should be Poirer to fight for gold next. ‘The Diamond’ opted to step back and allow Olivera and Chandler to duke it out, whilst he makes yet another seven-figure payday against the ‘Notorious one.
Rubber Match An “Obsession” For McGregor
It may be money that motivates Poirier into completing the trilogy, but for Conor McGregor, it has reportedly become an obsession to get the win back over his former foe. This comes by way of Dana White, who spoke about the future of the 155lb division in a recent interview with ESPN. The UFC president had the following to say:
“He’s completely obsessed with the rematch now and wants the fight back… we’re in for some incredible fights to find out which two of these guys from one to seven will square off to become the next world champion” (transcribed via SportsSkeeda).
And while the financial aspects of the fight may be playing a bigger part in Poirier’s motivations, he is by no means taking the matchup lightly. Speaking with Joe Rogan, he discussed how both he and Conor will have to make numerous adjustments to their games in order to try and stay one step ahead.
Dustin Poirier predicts the Conor McGregor trilogy fight to be completely different than the first two meetings 🔮 pic.twitter.com/uUoFSb1iug
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) February 26, 2021