UFC: Conor McGregor says he’s using Poirier fight to prepare for Manny Pacquiao

Daniel Cunningham
Conor McGregor, UFC
January 18, 2020; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Conor McGregor holds an Irish flag as he celebrates his first round TKO victory against Donald Cerrone following UFC 246 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The UFC is in the process of trying to finalize the potential rematch between Conor McGregor (22-4) and Dustin Poirier (26-6, 1 NC). The fight materialized after McGregor challenged Poirier to a charity MMA match. Both fighters have said they’ve accepted the fight.

McGregor is pushing for the fight to be in 2020 while the UFC is wanting to do the fight in January. Either way, the UFC is working to get the fight done. It was a crazy couple of weeks when it comes to Conor McGregor news.

McGregor had announced that he would be boxing Manny Pacquiao before stepping back into the UFC. Pacquiao’s team confirmed that the rumors were true. However, then the plans shifted and it now appears that McGregor will face Dustin Poirier.

In an interview with Teddy Atlas, Poirier said that he believes fighting him is apart of McGregor’s ultimate plan to fight Manny Pacquiao. He pointed to the fact that he’s a tough southpaw fighter so he would make sense for McGregor. McGregor took to Twitter to confirm that.

UFC and Boxing for McGregor

As you can see from the above tweet, McGregor is still planning on venturing back into the squared circle against Manny Pacquiao. The plan is still to face Dustin Poirier in the UFC, but this will ultimately lead into his fight with Pacquiao.

Granted, I’m not sure if this will ultimately happen. Yes, both the Pacquiao and McGregor camps are interested, but it’s not a done deal. If McGregor defeats Poirier this year, the UFC will likely push to have McGregor face the winner of the UFC 254 main event.

McGregor has longed for the rematch with UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov (28-0). If a win over Poirier leads to a boxing match with Pacquiao or a title match against Nurmagomedov, I find it hard to believe that McGregor would chose boxing over UFC gold.