It sounds like the UFC is swaying towards a trilogy fight between Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor as the next bout for the two lightweight stars, just two weeks after their rematch at UFC 257.
Ariel Helwani of ESPN announced the news Monday on his DC & Helwani talk show. Reports are that the former two-weight champion McGregor wants to return in May. It’s currently unclear whether the trilogy fight will be for the UFC lightweight title.
“So now it looks, two weeks later, we’re going back in the direction of DP vs Conor 3,” Helwani revealed, speaking about the lightweight title picture. “Now the big question is, belt or not? That seems to be up in the air. I think there is a chance they still don’t make it for the belt.”
The news places major confusion on what the promotion will do with the vacant UFC lightweight belt. With Khabib Nurmagomedov likely retired, there’s something of a toss-up in the title picture between Poirier’s claims for UFC gold, and the likes of Charles Oliveira, Michael Chandler, and Justin Gaethje as potential challengers.
Poirier (27-6, 1 NC) became the first man to knock out McGregor last month in Abu Dhabi, avenging his loss from when they first met in 2014. ‘The Diamond’ is unbeaten in his last two fights, going back to his 2019 loss to Nurmagomedov – including getting his hand raised after a five-round war with Dan Hooker in July of last year.
McGregor (22-5) has lost two of his last three bouts in the Octagon. The rematch with Poirier marked McGregor’s first fight in over a year, having not fought since stopping Donald Cerrone in 40-seconds at UFC 246. Before his recent loss to Poirier, McGregor said a fight with Manny Pacquiao was being discussed, but it’s unclear whether or not that fight is currently still on the table.
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