We Could Have a Mini-Tournament on Our Hands… UFC President Dana White Wants Conor McGregor to Fight Dustin Poirier Next… And Tony Ferguson to Fight Khabib Nurmagamedov… With the Winners to Face Each Other…
There’s been a lot of discussion about what Conor McGregor should do next. While the Irishman has made his millions, his next stage is to cement his legacy. Whoever his next opponent is could play a significant role in this. Realistically he’s not going to get an immediate shot against Khabib Nurmagamedov. Instead, he looks likely to fight another high-level lightweight.
McGregor has been heavily linked to a fight against Donald Cerrone. ‘Cowboy’ is very popular with UFC fans and has already tried to push for this himself, after announcing he’d be dropping back down to 155lbs from welterweight. However Dana White has another opponent in mind for McGregor, and it’s a familiar face.
Dustin Poirier is the forgotten man at the top of the lightweight division. The No. 3 ranked fighter was meant to take on Nate Diaz but now it looks like he could be given a shot at redemption against ‘The Notorious’. That’s directly from Dana White, who spoke to media after the Ultimate Fighter Finale.
White seems to have a mini-tournament in mind. He wants Khabib Nurmagamedov to fight Tony Ferguson, while McGregor would rematch with Poirier, who he previously crushed at featherweight. The two winners would then fight for the lightweight championship of the world. The UFC President said:
“The ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone fight has never, ever been discussed. That’s completely not true. I said the fight that makes sense right now is probably Poirier. And then Tony gets a shot at the title and the two winners fight each other. But I’m not sure exactly on a date when Conor is gonna fight yet. We have to get through this Nevada State Athletic Commission stuff first.”
Does it actually make sense though? A win for McGregor would definitely put him back in the title frame and you can bet that Poirier would love a second shot at a red panty night. However, ‘The Diamond’ was dissected by McGregor when they first fought in Las Vegas back in 2014.
However, a lot has changed since then. Poirier moved straight back up to lightweight after that loss and has only lost once in 10 contests since then (with one no-contest). He’s looked superb in his last few fights, with vastly improved striking against ferocious and tenacious opponents like Justin Gaethje and Eddie Alvarez.
Despite this, a lot of fans are very much on the McGregor v Cowboy hype train. The UFC would be foolish to just discount that. ‘Cowboy’ has much more of a personality than Poirier and the fight would probably sell more. In terms of rankings, McGregor v Poirier 2 actually does make sense, but if you asked anybody last year if this fight would ever happen, most people would think you’re crazy.
One thing is certain though. The UFC needs to protect their biggest asset and give him the best chance to gain some momentum. Another immediate loss to Nurmagamedov would be out of the question.