UFC president, Dana White has claimed that he believes former two-weight world champion, Conor McGregor was overlooking UFC 257 opponent, former interim lightweight titleholder, Dustin Poirier prior to his January knockout defeat on ‘Fight Island’.
Making his Octagon return for the firs time in just over a year, McGregor entered the potential lightweight title-eliminator against former featherweight rival, Poirier, off the back of a forty-second blitzing of Donald Cerrone at UFC 246 in January of 2019.
The knockout win for the Dubliner had marked his first Octagon victory since UFC 205 all the way back in November of 2016, where he dispatched common-foe, Eddie Alvarez to add the lightweight championship to already obtained featherweight spoils — subsequently becoming the first two-weight world champion held simultaneously in promotional history.
Averting from his usual brash character in both the lead up to his showdown with Cerrone and his rematch with Poirier, McGregor had spoken openly about the possibility of a boxing match against veteran world champion, Manny Pacquiao — even claiming that the re-run with Poirier would offer him the chance to hone his skills against a southpaw before drawing the Filipino puncher.
Somewhat denying the factor that McGregor’s calm and collected persona played in his ‘Fight Island’ knockout loss to Poirier, White claimed that as far as he believed, the Dubliner was overlooking the former interim gold holder.
“No, I don’t think there has to be any trash talk or any of that stuff,” White said during a recent interview with BT Sports reporter, Caroline Pearce. “I think that — and I don’t know if this is true, I mean, only Conor (McGregor) can answer this question — I think Conor was overlooking Dustin (Poirier), and (was) like, ‘Let me get through this and then work on other things.’“
Whilst White has maintained that current undisputed lightweight champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov could still return, despite his retirement from professional mixed martial arts back in October of last year at UFC 254 — the lightweight championship won’t be up for grabs for the foreseeable future it seems, with contenders ranked from #1 to #9 all expected to battle in order to solidify a number-one contender.
Both Poirier and McGregor have openly voiced their interest in a trilogy, rubber-match this summer, and White detailed how that’s likely the next outing for each of them, with dates in both May and July currently available.