UFC President Dana White told ESPN’s Get Up on Friday that he is targeting a summer date for a third meeting between Poirier and McGregor, following their main event bout at UFC 257 in January. Poirier won by second-round TKO in the rematch to avenge a loss to McGregor from September 2014.
Shortly after the loss, McGregor stated that he would like to have a rubber match with Poirier for “all the marbles,” a suggestion to which White is amenable.
“Well, when you have two guys that are in their positions—Dustin is the No. 1 ranked guy in the world, you got Conor who is ranked No. 6, and they want the trilogy, you got to go with the trilogy,” White said. “We’re probably going to try to put that fight together this summer.”
In a separate interview addressing the status of recently retired champion Khabib Nurmagomedov (White has not given up on Nurmagomedov fighting again), White laid out a scenario where the current crop of lightweight contenders fight it out to determine who will compete for the 155-pound championship next. That list includes Poirier and McGregor, as well as Charles Oliveira, Michael Chandler, Justin Gaethje, Tony Ferguson, and Rafael dos Anjos.
Poirier and McGregor could be the first domino to fall to start those matchups being booked. Should they meet again, White hopes that a more motivated McGregor will put on a better performance than at UFC 257.
“If you look at Conor, if you look at the way he fought, the leg kicks that he was eating, the stance he was in, he was completely overlooking Dustin Poirier,” White told Get Up. “I’m not taking anything away from Poirier, but when you pull in on a super yacht [in Abu Dhabi] and you’re living the life that Conor lives, you need to be hungry and you need to take every guy serious. It doesn’t matter how you beat Dustin Poirier the first time, that’s not the same guy you are going to be facing and obviously Dustin Poirier is training like it’s the most important fight of his life.
“There were a lot of things lined up there for the upset. I guess the good part is the trilogy McGregor is hungrier that he’s ever been, he wants this fight back, he wants this fight badly so it will be a fun third fight.”