Dana White: Conor McGregor 1 of Best Ever If He Beats Poirier, Oliveira for UFC Title

Blake SchusterContributor IJuly 7, 2021

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - JANUARY 23: (R-L) Conor McGregor of Ireland battles Dustin Poirier in a lightweight fight during the UFC 257 event inside Etihad Arena on UFC Fight Island on January 23, 2021 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)
Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

UFC president Dana White has made the stakes abundantly clear for Conor McGregor's legacy. 

If the Irishman can defeat Dustin Poirier and Charles Oliveira, McGregor (22-5-1, 19 KOs) can freely call himself one of the greatest mixed-martial artists of all time. If not, he's another contender for his sport's pantheon that fell short. 

"He'll go down as one of the greatest of all time," White told ESPN's Brett Okamoto. "To have lost the belt and gone through the things that happened to him personally, professionally—to come back and beat the No. 1 contender, who just beat him, and then fight for the title and win? Financially, it's off the charts. Professionally, it's off the charts."

McGregor will attempt to take down Poirier on Saturday at UFC 264 as the two meet for the third time having each won one bout. If Poirier wins, he'll not only claim the trilogy, he'll have ensured McGregor drops back-to-back fights for the first time in his career. 

Poirier earned a technical knockout victory over McGregor via punches at UFC 257 in January. It was McGregor's third loss in his last six bouts but he's bounced back with a victory each time. 

Saturday will be another test of McGregor's ability to rebound after a loss. 

If he wins, he's likely to face Oliveira next according to White. 

There's just a few steps between that. The first is taking care of Poirier. With White tossing McGregor's UFC legacy in the balance, it may end up being a career-defining outing for the 32-year-old. 

"There's so much at stake in this fight, and I love that," White said. "Because the big question about Conor right now is the guy has so much money, 'Is he the same Conor? Is he focused?' We know this kid loves to fight. He doesn't need to fight right now. He's fighting because he loves it and has an opportunity. If he can beat Dustin Poirier, the No. 1 guy in the world, he can get a title shot."