Former UFC featherweight and lightweight champion Conor McGregor has accepted a fight against lightweight fighter Dustin Poirier, with the intention to have the bout occur on Jan. 23, 2021, at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas:
McGregor also stated his intent to have a boxing match with eight-time division champion boxer Manny Pacquiao after the Poirier bout.
He also explained Monday that he's looking at the Poirier fight as a way to better prepare for a potential Pacquiao match since the two fighters are both southpaws:
Conor McGregor @TheNotoriousMMA
Correct. Southpaw box style. Continue to sharpen my MMA skills with some tough competition, while leading into my Manny bout preparation. It’s not easy going between both sports and then coming back to the one sport again. Just want to keep sharp guys, that’s all. It’s only fair. https://t.co/PnjHb4VP9j
Poirier, who held the interim UFC lightweight belt after beating Max Halloway in April 2019, responded to McGregor on Twitter:
Poirier will turn 32 years old on Jan. 19. He is from Lafayette, Louisiana, which is a little over 400 miles from Arlington.
The ex-interim champ lost a lightweight title bout to the undefeated Khabib Nurmagomedov in September 2019. He rebounded with a unanimous-decision win over Dan Hooker in June.
For his career, Poirier is 26-6 with one no-contest. He has knocked out 12 fighters and submitted seven more.
McGregor, 32, is 22-4 lifetime with 19 knockouts. He most recently defeated Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone by first-round TKO in 40 seconds in January.
Prior to that match, McGregor lost via submission to Khabib in October 2018. His role in a post-fight brawl between his and Khabib's camps led to a six-month suspension, and he did not fight again until facing Cerrone.
The two fighters fought once before in September 2014, when McGregor beat Poirier by first-round TKO.
Both are more decorated fighters now. Poirier is also the No. 2 lightweight contender, per the UFC rankings, while McGregor is No. 5.