With recent developments in the UFC’s lightweight division a trilogy bout between Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor has been pushed back to July at the very earliest.
After Khabib Nurmagomedov officially announced his retirement earlier this week UFC quickly turned around and booked a vacant lightweight title fight between top contenders Charles Oliveira and Michael Chandler for UFC 262 on May 15. Many believed that event and date was being reserved for Poirier vs. McGregor 3, but now the awaited trilogy bout will have to wait even longer.
According to ESPN’s Ariel Helwani, the focus for Poirier vs. McGregor 3 has shifted from May to July in light of the recent lightweight bookings. That would put the trilogy in line with UFC’s International Fight Week later this year.
There was once a hope McGregor-Poirier 3 fight would get done for May 15 but it’s taken longer than hoped/expected so they moved on from that a while ago, sources say. Won’t happen on June 12 (Figueiredo-Moreno on that card), so latest hope is the July 10 card. We’ll see.— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) March 19, 2021
There was once a hope McGregor-Poirier 3 fight would get done for May 15 but it’s taken longer than hoped/expected so they moved on from that a while ago, sources say. Won’t happen on June 12 (Figueiredo-Moreno on that card), so latest hope is the July 10 card. We’ll see.
The promotion can turn its attention to a new date and event but doesn’t mean anything is guaranteed to get booked. While Poirier and McGregor have both vocalized their wish for a third fight a deal is far from being struck. Poirier is using his leverage after knocking McGregor out at UFC 257 earlier this year (highlights HERE) and waiting for the “right deal” to come along. McGregor, who took a major step back in the lightweight division with his loss to “Diamond,” is never easy to lock down. Both fighters are currently negotiating with UFC officials but that doesn’t always end well.
All of that said, it would be surprising if a trilogy bout was never booked. Poirier’s rematch with McGregor at UFC 257 produced 1.6 million PPV buys and will go down as one of the biggest events for the promotion in 2021. UFC would be doing itself a disservice if it didn’t do everything in its power to schedule another lucrative fight between “Diamond” and “Notorious.” And considering the only other lightweight contender without a current fight is Justin Gaethje, Poirier and McGregor almost have to face each other.
It’s a work in progress and something we’ll keep a close eye on moving forward.