Conor McGregor Offered UFC Fight vs. Dustin Poirier on Jan. 23, Says Dana White

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistOctober 14, 2020

Conor McGregor poses during a ceremonial weigh-in for the UFC 246 mixed martial arts bout, Friday, Jan. 17, 2020, in Las Vegas. McGregor is scheduled to fight Donald
John Locher/Associated Press

UFC president Dana White said Wednesday the promotion has no plans to rearrange its schedule to accommodate a request from Conor McGregor to move his proposed fight against Dustin Poirier to either Nov. 21 or Dec. 12. 

White told ESPN's Brett Okamoto he's offered McGregor a Jan. 23 date to take on Poirier and it's a "yes or no answer."

"We offered him a fight, we got him his own date," White said. "We didn't have a date this year. We have everything laid out for this year, with world champions fighting for titles. He wants to fight Dustin Poirier apparently, so we went to [broadcast partner] ESPN and got him his own date. He's been offered Dustin Poirier on Jan. 23."

McGregor initially announced he'd set up an exhibition sparring match against Poirier for Dec. 12. It was scheduled to take place in Dublin to benefit charity.

Last Thursday, the 32-year-old Ireland native provided an update, saying he'd "accepted" an offer from the UFC to face the former interim lightweight champion under the condition that it would take place in 2020.

"I'm ready for Nov 21st, given that cards recent injury issues, as well as any of the December dates, the 12th and the 19th," McGregor wrote on Twitter. "I'll also still donate the $500k to The Good Fight Foundation."

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White, who told Okamoto he's got "no clue" why McGregor is now trying to expedite his return to the Octagon, said he's not going to rearrange other fights to meet The Notorious' demands after he spent most of the year embarking on his third career retirement:

"That's not how it works. We laid out this year. He was retired. Would anybody disagree he was retired? Through this crazy pandemic year we're going through, we faced a lot of challenges. There were a lot of things done to make this thing work. We made it happen. We have our schedule laid out. Fighters have committed to it. Fighters have started training for these fights. Conor came back and wants to fight Dustin, so we went out and got him his own date. It's Jan. 23."

McGregor has also hinted at a potential boxing match against Manny Pacquiao in recent months.

The former featherweight and lightweight titleholder previously secured a first-round knockout victory over Poirier at UFC 178 in September 2014.

He's fought in the UFC just twice since late 2016, however, an October 2018 loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov and a win over Donald Cerrone in January.

McGregor is still one of MMA's biggest draws, but it doesn't sound like he'll be back in the Octagon until 2021.