Dana White seems to have a mini-tournament on his mind for the UFC lightweight division.
The UFC president said Friday night on FS1’s TUF 28 Finale post-fight show that Dustin Poirier would make a logical next opponent for Conor McGregor. If that happens, then the winner of that fight would face the winner of a lightweight title bout between champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and top contender Tony Ferguson.
White also shot down rumors that McGregor would be fighting Donald Cerrone next.
“The ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone fight has never, ever been discussed,” White said. “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.”
Of course, as White noted, McGregor and Nurmagomedov are both facing suspensions and fines from the Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC) as a result of the post-fight brawl at UFC 229 in October. The two will have to go before the commission Dec. 10 in Las Vegas for disciplinary hearings. Any potential fight booking for either of them is dependent on how long they might be out.
Nurmagomedov beat McGregor at UFC 229 via fourth-round submission to retain the lightweight title. On that same card, Ferguson stopped Anthony Pettis to solidify himself as the No. 1 contender.
Poirier was supposed to fight Nate Diaz at UFC 230 on Nov. 3 in New York, but withdrew from that fight due to injury. He is coming off a finish of former champion Eddie Alvarez at UFC on FOX 30 in July.
McGregor and Poirier have fought before, at UFC 178 in 2014. McGregor finished Poirier by first-round TKO in a featherweight fight. McGregor went on from there to win the featherweight title and then lightweight belt. Poirier has lost just once since, winning eight times since moving up to lightweight.