As expected, it will be a trilogy fight against Dustin Poirier, with their rivalry currently even at one win apiece. However the date for the third fight has been pushed back from its original May slot to Saturday 10 July, 2021.
Originally a 10 May date had been scheduled but, as reported by Sportsmail, the two parties are taking longer to come to an agreement than anticipated. But now MMA journalist Giorgi Kokiashvili, who writes for UFC's official broadcast partner in Georgia, has claimed a new date is settled.
That would likely make McGregor vs Poirier III UFC 264 - and right in the middle of International Fight Week, where the UFC host their Hall of Fame induction ceremony, among other events. Perfect timing.
:rotating_light::rotating_light::rotating_light:- Giorgi Kokiashvili :flag_ge: (@iHeartGeorgius1) March 23, 2021
I don't want to alarm you, but per @adjarasportTV and my sources, Poirier vs. McGregor 3 is being targeted for July 10th ! ⚔#UFC #UFC264 #DustinPoirier #ConorMcGregor #PoirierMcGregor3 #adjarasport #adjarasporttv #ufconadjarasport https://t.co/Qlt97TEksc pic.twitter.com/ruwGubpFAl
'The Notorious' fight fought Poirier in 2014 and stopped him inside the first round. That made McGregor a strong favourite going into their rematch at lightweight in January.
However this time it was 'The Diamond' who shone, breaking down McGregor's resistance with some powerful leg kicks and stopping the tiring Irishman in the second round.
That perfectly set up a third and deciding fight - and while the delay to July wasn't part of the plan, it might be good news for McGregor.
The 32-year-old clearly needs to work on his strategy and MMA technique going into the third fight, amid accusations that he's become too reliant on his boxing and punch power, while standing flat-footed in the Octagon rather than displaying his movement of old.
Poirier, meanwhile, goes into this bout with the knowledge that he can outlast his opponent, but also aware that McGregor can still hurt him.
It's a fascinating set up and it looks like we'll see who pulls clear in the rivalry on 10 July, presumably in Las Vegas.
All imagery: PA Images
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