The trilogy is on for UFC 264 as Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor have agreed to meet each other on July 10th 2021 in their rubber match.
The two met in January at UFC 257 in their second fight against each other and the first in the lightweight division, with Poirier earning a second-round knockout win thanks to an excellent game plan involving leg kicks and boxing.
That bout came after their first meeting at featherweight back in 2014, which ended when the ‘Notorious’ one was able to stop ‘The Diamond’ in the first round with a trademark left hand followed by some ground and pound.
After going 1-1 in the first two bouts, the rubber match is now set for the summer with the UFC likely to hold the event in front of a sold out arena following on from their return at UFC 261 next month.
It will be the first time that McGregor will compete more than once in a calendar year since 2016 where he bounced back from a defeat to Nate Diaz by beating him in their rematch, before going on to capture the lightweight championship from Eddie Alvarez with the best performance of his career.
There is an eerily similar situation at stake here, after being defeated by Poirier and a rematch coming in the summer. With Charles Oliveira and Michael Chandler set to meet in May at UFC 262 for the newly vacant 155lbs title, it’s more than likely that the winner of this fight will be the next contender for the title.
The timeline seems likely to match up perfectly and with Poirier seen as the rightful number one contender to the title, but passing up the chance at a title fight to chase the bigger cheque against McGregor, and the Irishman being the biggest draw ever – both men will have a case for a title shot with a win.
This has led to question marks about where Justin Gaethje sits in the conversation. ‘The Highlight’ tweeted out after the bout between Oliveira and Chandler was made official that he was preparing for a fight with Chandler himself and was expecting a bout agreement “any day now”, but obviously that won’t be happening.
As the number two ranked lightweight in the world after his defeat to Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 254, the current situation leaves all of the rest of the top five tied up against each other while Tony Ferguson will fight Beneil Dariush at UFC 262 in the co-main event.
UFC president Dana White confirmed that he still holds Gaethje in high regard and said that he “couldn’t be in a better place” after he was asked the question at UFC 260. He also confirmed that it’s possible they could look to book ‘The Highlight’ on the same card or even as an alternative to the Poirier/McGregor trilogy bout.