Dana White has settled on a contentious next fight for Conor McGregor
Nate Diaz is not happy about it, and he's not the only one
UFC president Dana White has been thinking hard about the 'Conor McGregor next fight' dilemma and believes he has cracked the code. He is still not sure, though, if it will be for the lightweight title.
McGregor suffered a second round TKO loss to Dustin Poirier at UFC 257 as he was hobbled with multiple leg kicks before being finished off with a barrage of punches.
Following the bout, McGregor said the trilogy fight with Poirier had to happen, while he also mentioned Nate Diaz as a future opponent and dared current champion Khabib Nurmagomedov to return after he mocked his defeat on social media. "Them's fighting words," the beaten Dubliner proclaimed.
That loss for McGregor has seen him slip to sixth in the official UFC rankings of the lightweight division. He has now lost two of his three fights in the promotion's 155lbs division with his sole victory the won over Eddie Alvarez, in 2016, that won him the belt and made him 'The Champ Champ'.
Following his loss to Poirier, there are other fights out there that fans would prefer to see over an immediate rematch. They include:
- Justin Gaethje
- Tony Ferguson
- Charles Oliveira
- Nate Diaz
John Kavanagh, McGregor's coach, was also pushing for a Diaz trilogy fight, 48 hours after McGregor had lost to Poirier. However, the Pay-Per-View numbers may have just swayed Dana White on his next move.
According to Tapology, McGregor vs. Poirier II did 1.6 million PPV buys, putting it joint second in the all-time list alongside McGregor vs. Diaz II from August 2016.
Given that the latest fight came in slightly under the radar, was not for a title and the build-up was very cordial [no bottles were flung or buses attacked], that 1.6m figure would have greatly pleased White and the UFC brass. Despite being an interim lightweight champion, Poirier's star has never been higher. That is what a win over McGregor gets you.
On ESPN's Get Up, White spoke about the course of action he wants to pursue over the coming months. He said:
"Well, when you have two guys that are in their position - Dustin is the No. 1 ranked guy in the world, you got Conor who is ranked No. 6, and they want the trilogy, you got to go with the trilogy. We're probably going to try to put that fight together this summer."
With their fight history tied at 1-1, White believes the time is right to go for the trilogy fight. If they can stage it in Las Vegas, during the summer, and go full-on hype with it, the promotion will be hoping to breach the 2 million PPV mark that has, thus far, only occurred once, in 2018, when Nurmagomedov defeated McGregor.
One man who baulked at the news was Diaz, who has not fought since losing to Jorge Masvidal in 2019. He took to Instagram and with a picture of him making McGregor tap out, declared:
'Don’t forget who started this G shit. The real uncrowned King
'No rematches ever given. Dustin you do what your told by your daddy’s u lil b***h'
As for the rest of the lightweight division, White is still not giving up on Nurmagomedov as his lightweight champion and plans to welcome him to Las Vegas for more talks in the coming weeks.
As for the likes of Gaethje, Chandler, Oliveira and Ferguson, expect them all to be squared off in a mini tournament early this summer.