It looks like the UFC and Conor McGregor are at a standstill.
An offer has been made to book McGregor against Dustin Poirier in a rematch against the lightweight on January 23. Sadly, McGregor has made it clear recently that while he’s more than happy to face Poirier again, he wants the fight to be booked in 2020 and he doesn’t. to wait until next year to compete again.
Hello Dustin! I accepted the @ufc offered to fight you, but told them it was due in 2020. I’m ready for November 21st, given that the cards have recently suffered injuries, as well as all December dates, December 12th and 19th. I will also continue to donate the $ 500,000 to the Good Fight Foundation https://t.co/23hN4AHtoI
– Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) October 8, 2020
Now, according to UFC president Dana White, the decision is up to McGregor whether or not he wants to fight on January 23, but the promotion won’t give him an earlier date.
“We offered him a fight, we got him on his own date,” White told ESPN on Wednesday. “We haven’t had a date this year. We’ve got it all planned for this year, with world champions fighting for the titles. He wants to fight Dustin Poirier apparently, so we went to [broadcast partner] ESPN and gave him his own date.
“He was offered Dustin Poirier on January 23. It’s a yes or no answer.
McGregor insisted in a previous social media post that it was an all-or-nothing proposition to book him in November or December because he didn’t want to wait until 2021 to fight again.
The former UFC two-division champion first contacted Poirier about a charity sparring match in Ireland, which led to the promotion officially offering the fight to both athletes.
Sources close to Poirier’s camp have told MMA Fighting that the former interim lightweight champion is more than willing to take on McGregor whenever the UFC wants, so the decision will ultimately rest with the Irish superstar.
White said the UFC had already booked pay-per-view plans in November and December with no wiggle room for McGregor to step in. UFC 255 in November is currently featured by a pair of flyweight title fights: Deiveson Figueiredo takes on Alex Perez and Valentina Shevchenko takes on Jennifer Maia.
Then at UFC 256, Amanda Nunes is expected to defend her featherweight title against Megan Anderson, while Petr Yan is targeted to face Aljamain Sterling in a bantamweight title fight.
White said he had “no idea” why McGregor had insisted so much on fighting in November or December instead of waiting a month to compete.
“That’s not how it works,” White said when asked to move fights to meet McGregor’s request. “We have fitted out this year. He was retired. Would anyone disagree that it was removed? During this crazy pandemic year that we are going through, we have faced many challenges. There have been a lot of things that have to be done to make this work. We did it.
“We have established our schedule. The combatants are committed to it. The fighters began to train for these fights. Conor has come back and wants to fight Dustin, so we went out and had him on his own date. We are January 23. “
McGregor fought most recently in January, when he beat Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone by TKO in the first round at UFC 246. After being unable to book another game right away, he then decided to withdrawing from the sport, although he continually hinted at a comeback.
It remains to be seen whether McGregor will accept the UFC for a fight against Poirier in January, or stick to his guns and pull out of this potential match that won’t take place until 2021.