Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier may be close to fighting for the vacant UFC lightweight title this coming January.
Please note this is pure speculation, but the stars are beginning to align.
Remember, UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov announced his retirement from the sport following a submission win over Justin Gaethje last weekend at UFC 254. Khabib has yet to officially vacate the title, but he is expected to walk away from the game at 29-0 and leave a void atop the 155-pounds class.
While other contenders like Gaethje, Tony Ferguson, Michael Chandler, and even Charles Oliveira make good candidates for an interim title fight, UFC is already planning a rematch between McGregor and Poirier. That bout hasn’t been made official but UFC and ESPN reportedly carved out a Jan. 23 date just for “Notorious.”
Earlier this month, McGregor’s head coach, John Kavanagh, hinted that the rematch between McGregor and Poirier was to be contested at 170 pounds. It’s a comfortable weight for both men, but something that UFC president Dana White quickly shot down, claiming the fight must happen at lightweight in order for the winner to get a divisional title shot.
Luckily, McGregor has come around and is now ready to make his move on the 155-pound division. The former two-division UFC champion posted the following message to Twitter early Friday confirming that he will be making the cut down to compete at lightweight, not welterweight.
Fresh out of the McGregor FAST Laboratory today. Full body composition scan complete and the results came back =— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) October 30, 2020
Lightweight Division incoming pic.twitter.com/4CiZOFkL2H
“Fresh out of the McGregor FAST Laboratory today. Full body composition scan complete and the results came back = Lightweight Division incoming,” wrote McGregor.
In addition, McGregor and Poirier posted the following messages to social media on Thursday just 10 minutes apart, suggesting that a contract could have been offered, or even signed, for their proposed rematch in January.
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) October 29, 2020
— The Diamond (@DustinPoirier) October 29, 2020
Again, this is all speculation. Nothing has been made official and White even believes that Khabib could return for one more fight in effort to leave the sport at 30-0. It’s unlikely because Nurmagomedov seems like a man of his word, but you never really know.
McGregor, who retired himself earlier this year, hasn’t competed at lightweight since a submission loss to Khabib just over two years ago. “Notorious” is coming off a 40-second TKO win over Donald Cerrone this past January, but he needs a win at 155 pounds to justify another UFC title shot.
What say you, Maniacs? Is McGregor vs. Poirier II for the vacant lightweight title the fight to make?