The promotion formally offered McGregor the Jan. 23 battle in opposition to Poirier late final month, shortly after McGregor proposed a charity exhibition match in opposition to Poirier in December. Final week, McGregor introduced on social media that he had “accepted” UFC’s supply however mentioned the battle should occur on considered one of UFC’s Nov. 21 or Dec. 12 pay-per-views.
UFC 255 on Nov. 21 has two title fights booked, as does UFC 256 on Dec. 12. White mentioned he’s not prepared to rearrange the schedule to accommodate McGregor’s request.
“We provided him a battle. We bought him his personal date,” White advised ESPN. “We did not have a date this 12 months. We have now all the things laid out for this 12 months, with world champions combating for titles. He desires to battle Dustin Poirier apparently, so we went to [broadcast partner] ESPN and bought him his personal date. He is been provided Dustin Poirier on Jan. 23.
“It is a sure or no reply.”
White mentioned he doesn’t know why McGregor is adamant he has to battle earlier than Jan. 23.
“I’ve no clue,” White mentioned.
UFC 255 includes a male flyweight title bout between Deiveson Figueiredo and Alex Perez and a feminine flyweight title battle between Valentina Shevchenko and Jennifer Maia. UFC 256 will function dual-weight champion Amanda Nunes defending her featherweight title in opposition to Megan Anderson and bantamweight champ Petr Yan in opposition to Aljamain Sterling.
Requested whether or not there was any likelihood UFC may transfer a few of these fights round to satisfy McGregor’s timeline, White mentioned the corporate couldn’t.
“That is not the way it works,” White mentioned. “We laid out this 12 months. He was retired. Would anyone disagree he was retired? By means of this loopy pandemic 12 months we’re going by way of, we confronted quite a lot of challenges. There have been quite a lot of issues accomplished to make this factor work. We made it occur. We have now our schedule laid out. Fighters have dedicated to it. Fighters have began coaching for these fights. Conor got here again and needs to battle Dustin, so we went out and bought him his personal date. It is Jan. 23.”
One twist in all of that is McGregor has expressed curiosity in boxing Filipino legend Manny Pacquiao, confirming on social media not too long ago that he’s concerned with going through Poirier as a result of Poirier is a southpaw — like Pacquiao — with good boxing abilities.
For his half, White mentioned he has no concept what’s going on with a possible boxing match between McGregor and Pacquiao.