Las Vegas, October 15: Conor McGregor has accepted the UFC’s offer to fight Dustin Poirier on January 23, though the retired former champion wants the bout to be held in Dallas. McGregor announced his decision to retire in June, having returned to the UFC in January after a 15-month absence and knocked out Donald Cerrone at welterweight in just 40 seconds. Former featherweight and lightweight champion McGregor has not fought since – the Irish star had been planning to fight three times in 2020, but the coronavirus pandemic scuppered that strategy.
UFC president Dana White revealed on Wednesday (October 14) that a take-it-or-leave-it bout against Poirier at the start of 2021 had been offered to McGregor. Last month, McGregor and Poirier agreed to face one another in a charity mixed martial arts fight. “We offered him a fight. We got him his own date,” White told ESPN. “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.”
McGregor – who has been in talks to take on boxing legend Manny Pacquiao in the ring – responded via Twitter midweek. He also said he wants the showdown to be held at AT&T Stadium – the home of NFL franchise the Dallas Cowboys. “I accept, Jan 23rd is on! My goal is to see this fight take place in Cowboy stadium,” McGregor tweeted. “Proper Style! “Jerry Jones is a friend and the stadium can hold our crowd. I will be ready for Texas and Texas will be ready for my fans! Then Manny.”
Poirier added via Twitter: “Close to home for me on my birthday weekend! What weight?” McGregor was the victor when he fought Poirier at UFC 178 in September 2014, scoring a first-round TKO. The 32-year-old – who previously faced Floyd Mayweather Jr. – is set to return to the boxing ring and face eight-division world champion Pacquiao, whose camp has said he will donate his earnings from the fight to victims of the coronavirus pandemic in the Philippines. Talks are ongoing and no date or venue has been set, though McGregor claimed it would take place in the Middle East.