Conor McGregor has received an ultimatum from UFC president Dana White regarding his proposed fight with Dustin Poirier. After seeing the former featherweights agree to have a charity match on Twitter, the UFC offered the pair the opportunity to rematch one another early next year.
Poirier immediately accepted the offer, which McGregor also agreed to a few weeks later.
McGregor’s acceptance of the fight, however, came with a caveat: that it take place before the end of 2020.
The former two-division champion has offered to compete at UFC 255 on November 21 or at UFC 256 on December 12.
The UFC brass, however, want McGregor vs Poirier II to headline their first pay-per-view card of 2021 – UFC 257 – on January 23.
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He’s been offered Dustin Poirier on Jan. 23. It’s a yes or no answer.
Dana White on Conor McGregor’s desire to fight Dustin Poirier before the end of 2020
And White has made it clear the promotion are not going to reshuffle the deck just to accommodate their poster boy.
“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.
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“He’s been offered Dustin Poirier on Jan. 23. It’s a yes or no answer.”
The reason behind McGregor’s insistence he fight before year’s end is unclear to White, who added: “I have no clue.”
The UFC have been guilty of bending to McGregor’s will in the past, most notably when he demanded an immediate rematch with Nate Diaz and when he wanted to box Floyd Mayweather Jr.
They will not, however, relent on this matter.
“That’s not how it works,” a defiant 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.”
McGregor, 32, hasn’t fought since defeating Donald Cerrone via first-round TKO at UFC 246 in January.
‘The Notorious’ was eager to fight three times this year but had those plans scuppered by the coronavirus pandemic and less than amicable talks with the UFC brass.
Should a showdown fan favourite Poirier come together, the contest will be a rematch of the pair’s UFC 178 showdown, which McGregor won via first-round TKO to solidify himself as a legitimate featherweight title contender.
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