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Dana White says Conor McGregor vs. Dustin Poirier has to happen at lightweight: ‘That fight means nothing at 170’

McGregor/Poirier (EL, MMA Fighting) Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

If the fight between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier is finalized for Jan. 23, the former UFC champions better be ready for a weight cut.

Despite McGregor previously competing at welterweight for fights against Nate Diaz and Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone, and Poirier saying numerous times that he’s willing to move to 170 pounds for the right opportunity, their proposed bout has to take place in the lightweight division.

That’s according to UFC president Dana White, who shot down any potential catch weight or welterweight fight between McGregor and Poirier as the promotion works towards booking that matchup in early 2021.

“It’s 155 pounds,” White confirmed when speaking to BT Sport. “I’m not putting on a freaking multi-million dollar fight at a catch weight that means nothing. That fight means nothing at 170. Neither one of those two are ranked at 170 pounds and it doesn’t do anything in the [155] pound division if either one of them win cause they’re fighting at 170. It literally makes no sense.

“There are plenty of organizations that put on fights that make no sense. You can go and watch those kinds of fights every weekend. That’s not what we do here.”

Despite White’s proclamation, the UFC did allow McGregor to compete at 170 pounds in his most recent outing against Cerrone and it was previously stated that a win in that fight would put him back into title contention at lightweight.

McGregor proceeded to steamroll Cerrone inside one-minute in the opening round but he never got the chance to compete for gold again after the coronavirus pandemic threw the UFC schedule into upheaval.

Regardless, White is adamant that McGregor and Poirier compete at lightweight, especially with the winner likely taking a huge step forward towards a title shot against either Khabib Nurmagomedov or Justin Gaethje, who meet in the UFC 254 main event this weekend.

As far as the likelihood that McGregor returns to face Poirier in January, White says nothing is a done deal just yet but all signs are pointing in that direction.

Both fighters have publicly accepted the fight and the date on social media.

“We’ve offered the fight. We got him his own date,” White said about McGregor’s return. “That wasn’t a date, that date didn’t exist. We worked with ESPN, we got him his own date and we’ve offered them the fight.

“I know that contracts haven’t been signed yet. Conor likes to play games. Conor plays games and he does his thing. One thing Conor doesn’t do, Conor doesn’t commit to a fight and then not fight. Conor fights.”

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