10:30 PM ET
Brett OkamotoESPN Staff Writer
- MMA columnist for ESPN.com
- Analyst for «MMA Live»
- Covered MMA for Las Vegas Sun
Additional UFC sources confirmed to ESPN that the promotion on Tuesday sent a physical contract to McGregor for a potential bout against Poirier.
Sources close to McGregor confirmed to ESPN’s Ariel Helwani that the Irish star was offered the Poirier fight, but his management team reaffirmed its desire to fight Manny Pacquiao and have a charity sparring match with Poirier instead of the proposed Jan. 23 UFC fight between the two.
«We offered Dustin and Conor a fight, so we’re waiting to hear back from them both,» White told Barstool Sports.
On Wednesday, Poirier wrote on Twitter, «I accept,» with no additional details. He later told ESPN via text that he has not yet received a contract from the UFC for a bout against McGregor.
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McGregor (22-4) recently voiced his frustration with the UFC on social media, essentially claiming that he was willing and able to fight multiple times in 2020, but the promotion failed to book him a fight. The Irish star even shared screenshots of direct messages with White, in which he asked the UFC to create an event around him in May in Dublin.
White has said that the UFC offered to make McGregor a replacement fighter for a lightweight title fight between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson in April, which McGregor declined. McGregor expressed interest in fighting interim lightweight champion Justin Gaethje this summer, but Gaethje came out and said he preferred a title unification fight against Nurmagomedov. The UFC has since booked that matchup to headline UFC 254 on Oct. 24 in Abu Dhabi.
In the wake of his shared screenshots with White, McGregor has publicly stated that he will box Pacquiao, the Filipino legend, later this year, though that fight is not official. McGregor publicly asked Poirier to participate in the previously mentioned charity MMA match on Dec. 12 — the same date as a UFC pay-per-view event. He also said that he has interest in fighting MMA veteran Diego Sanchez.
McGregor, 32, is coming off a 40-second knockout of Donald «Cowboy» Cerrone in January. Leading up to the fight, McGregor said he wished to treat 2020 as a «season» and compete frequently. Poirier has won six of his past seven contests. The UFC targeted a fight between Poirier and Tony Ferguson for Oct. 24, but they were unable to come to terms on the matchup.
McGregor and Poirier fought each other at UFC 178 in September 2014, when they were both contenders in the UFC’s featherweight division. McGregor won via TKO in the first round.
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