Poirier has been lined up to welcome McGregor back to the famed Octagon on January 23.
'The Diamond', who hasn't fought since his war with Dan Hooker in June, is eager to face 'The Notorious' for a second time following their 2014 clash.
However, McGregor vs. Poirier is in danger of collapsing due to the American's financial demands.
Ariel Helwani reports that the promotion could now draft in Gaethje to take on McGregor at UFC 257.
'The Highlight' last fought at UFC 254 when he lost to Khabib Nurmagomedov but suffered little damage en route to a submission defeat.
The ESPN journalist, though, states McGregor would have to be on board with facing Gaethje.
He claims: "The UFC has said it would be willing to replace Poirier with Gaethje (or even another fighter), sources say.
"Of course, for this to happen, McGregor would have to be on board, and I'm not sure if he is, to be honest.
"That's because Gaethje is coming off a loss and because of things Gaethje has said about McGregor (specifically about McGregor as a father) in the past.
"At this point, McGregor might be Poirier's biggest ally. If McGregor says he'll only fight Poirier, the UFC will have to work much harder to figure things out with Poirier.
"However, if McGregor says he's open to other options because he just wants to fight, Poirier might be in trouble. Ultimately, I'll say right now that they'll figure things out with Poirier and the Jan. 23 fight will get done.
"That's just a guess, because this can go sideways at any minute. But, because Poirier will realize this is too big an opportunity to pass up and because McGregor wants it, I'll say it will get done."
So, McGregor vs. Poirier isn't completely off the table yet. But there's work to be done to finalise the match-up for UFC 257.
Though the promotion is eyeing Gaethje, or someone else, to fill the spot if Poirier drops out.
Featured Image Credit: Conor McGregor/UFC
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