If Conor McGregor is coming out of retirement to fight Dustin Poirier, he’s going to have to take the fight on Jan. 23, 2021, take it or leave it. At least that is what UFC president Dana White told ESPN’s Brett Okamoto on Wednesday.
McGregor declared himself retired in June. He has since been adamant that he was indeed retired. That is until he recently had a public dust-up with White over a private conversation that McGregor recently made public.
In part of making that conversation public, McGregor pushed the envelope, saying that he was preparing to box Manny Pacquiao in the Middle East. Shortly thereafter, he cut a deal with Poirier to do an exhibition MMA bout for charity in December in Dublin.
When the exhibition bout was made, White stepped in and offered the two the fight in the Octagon. With the rest of the UFC’s pay-per-view plans laid out for 2020 with multiple championship fights, White offered McGregor and Poirier a Jan. 23 date.
McGregor pushed back, saying he accepted the fight with Poirier, but only with the stipulation that it had to take place in either November or December of 2020. He wasn’t willing to wait any longer.
Though White has often acquiesced to McGregor’s wants in the past, he seems to be holding to his Jan. 23 offer on this one.
Dana White’s comments to ESPN on Conor McGregor vs. Dustin Poirier:
“We offered him a fight, we got him his own date. 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.
“It’s a yes or no answer.
“[Rearranging the UFC 255 or UFC 256 line-ups for McGregor] is 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.”