With Dustin Poirier emphatically dismantling Conor McGregor in their long-awaited rematch, the deciding trilogy bout looks set to take place the very same year. This news will no doubt come with some level of controversy to fans and fighters alike. Poirier is currently at the very top of the lightweight rankings, whereas McGregor has fallen out of the top 5. The general consensus appeared to be that Poirier should face Charles Olivera for the 155lb title.
Dana White on McGrgeor vs Poirier 3
However, Conor McGregor’s status as the UFC’s biggest PPV draw often allows for special treatment. On ESPN’s Get Up, Dana White had the following to say about a potential trilogy fight (as transcribed by MMA Fighting).
“Well, when you have two guys that are in their positions. Dustin is the No. 1 ranked guy in the world, you got Conor who is ranked No. 6, and they want the trilogy, you got to go with the trilogy. We’re probably going to try to put that fight together this summer.”
White also adds if Poirier and Conor meets again, he hopes Mcgregor will put on better performance.
“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 told Get Up. “I’m not taking anything away from Poirier, but when you pull in on a super yacht [in Abu Dhabi] and you’re living the life that Conor lives, you need to be hungry and you need to take every guy serious. 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.
“There were a lot of things lined up there for the upset. I guess the good part is the trilogy McGregor is hungrier that he’s ever been, he wants this fight back, he wants this fight badly so it will be a fun third fight.”
It’s clear the lightweight title is not on the line for Mcgregor vs. Poirier trilogy. No doubt Poirer is deserving of title. ‘The Diamond’ is coming off back to back wins and has defeated much of the 155lb elite. The 2nd ranked Justin Gaethje was TKO’d by Poirier in 2018, leaving only Charles Olivera and UFC newcomer Michael Chandler as legitimate prospective title challengers.
Olivera has continually reaffirmed that he only has interest in a title shot. He most recently shutdown rumours of a potential Nate Diaz matchup.
Depite all, UFC president Dana White is set to meet Khabib Nurmagomedov in Vegas and will try to lure him out of retirement. Khabib however had mentioned his intentions that he doesnt want to hold the division. (H/t MMAJunkie)
“I’m still going to meet with him here in Vegas,” White said. “We’re supposed to go to dinner soon. First of all, the one thing that he says is he doesn’t want to stall and keep the title in limbo – which he’s not, anyway. All these guys need to fight. I saw some talk yesterday where everyone is like, ‘Dustin should be the champion.’ Well, Dustin just got smoked by Khabib. Conor got smoked by Khabib. Gaethje got smoked by Khabib. There’s no guy that you look at and go, ‘Oh, this guy.’ They’re going to have to fight it out.
“What’s fun for us, being the fans, if you look at the No. 1 ranked guy in the world, Dustin Poirier, all the way down to No. 7, Rafael dos Anjos, the fights that can be made to find out who becomes the next champion are unbelievable. So we’re in for some incredible fights to find out which two of these guys from 1 to 7 will square off to become the next world champion.”
Chandler initially appeared to believe that he should be the one to face Dustin Poirier, following both their victories on Fight Island. However, Poirer has since rebuffed this idea.
The future of the UFC lightweight division remains in turmoil. Khabib Nurmagomedov remains champion despite being retired, whilst the top ranked 155er looks set to face off against a No. 6 ranked McGregor.