It looks like we won’t be seeing Conor McGregor in action this year again.
McGregor recently revealed that he had accepted an offer to fight Dustin Poirier but put forth the condition that the bout take place before the end of 2020. The Irishman was notably looking to headline either the UFC 255 card in November or the UFC 256 card in December.
Since McGregor made those demands, there had been no response from the UFC. Until now seemingly. The latest according to ESPN’s Brett Okamoto is that a bantamweight title fight between Petr Yan and Aljamain Sterling has been targeted to co-headline UFC 256.
“Per additional sources, contracts have not been signed but UFC working on finalizing it.”
Per additional sources, contracts have not been signed but UFC working on finalizing it.
— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) October 14, 2020
UFC president Dana White then confirmed (via Kevin Iole) that a women’s featherweight title fight between Amanda Nunes and Megan Anderson would headline the card.
— Kevin Iole (@KevinI) October 14, 2020
McGregor To Only Fight In 2021?
Okamoto would then report that White had offered McGregor a fight with Poirier for January 23 and was not willing to change that offer.
“We offered him a fight, we got him his own date,” White told ESPN. “We didn’t have a date this year. We have everything laid out for this year, with world champions fighting for titles. He wants to fight Dustin Poirier apparently, so we went to [broadcast partner] ESPN and got him his own date. He’s been offered Dustin Poirier on Jan. 23. … It’s a yes or no answer.”
As for why White was not willing to accommodate McGregor’s request to compete in 2020, it’s simply not how that works according to the UFC head honcho.
“That’s not how it works,” White said. “We laid out this year. He was retired. Would anybody disagree he was retired? Through this crazy pandemic year we’re going through, we faced a lot of challenges. There were a lot of things done to make this thing work. We made it happen. We have our schedule laid out. Fighters have committed to it. Fighters have started training for these fights. Conor came back and wants to fight Dustin, so we went out and got him his own date. It’s Jan. 23.”
With UFC 255 already featuring two title fights — albeit low-profile ones — in Deiveson Figueiredo vs. Alex Perez for the flyweight title and Valentina Shevchenko vs. Jennifer Maia for the women’s flyweight crown, it does appear that McGregor will have no choice but to compete only in January.