UFC: Could Justin Gaethje replace Dustin Poirier against Conor McGregor?

Daniel Cunningham
May 9, 2020; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Dana White puts the championship belt on Justin Gaethje (blue gloves) after defeating Tony Ferguson (red gloves) during UFC 249 at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Dana White said last week that the UFC fight between Conor McGregor (22-4) and Dustin Poirier (26-6, 1 NC) was done. However, shortly after that statement we learned that the contracts hadn’t been signed yet for the matchup in January.

In fact, Dustin Poirier tweeted out at the UFC to stop playing games. It appears that the holdup in the fight getting finalized is once again with The Diamond. If you recall, Dustin Poirier was originally supposed to fight Tony Ferguson at UFC 254.

However, the fight was called off after the UFC and Poirier failed to agree on financial terms. The promotion also tried to make a fight with Poirier against Michael Chandler, however, Poirier said that the offer was a slap in the face to him. 

McGregor and Poirier originally agreed to fight for charity on Twitter. However, the UFC turned around and worked on getting an actual fight between the two men finalized. It appeared that the official announcement was imminent.

However, we have hit another speedbump. Ariel Helwani reported yesterday that Poirier and the UFC remain apart in their financial negotiations. However, the promotion has a card to play in their back pocket which could force Poirier’s hand. That card is former interim champion, Justin Gaethje (22-3).

Will the UFC make the switch?

Justin Gaethje is just itching to get back into the octagon after his last performance. Gaethje was choked out by Khabib Nurmagomedov in their undisputed title match last month. However, Gaethje said he wanted to immediately get back into the cage.

A fight with McGregor in January would sure fit his timeline. In my opinion this will all come down to what Conor McGregor wants. If McGregor is adamant about fighting Dustin Poirier, I think the UFC will ultimately cave a little to make the fight happen.

However, if McGregor takes the stand that he doesn’t care who it is, I think it becomes 50/50. Gaethje and McGregor have some heat between them which could make for a very fun matchup. It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out. Time will tell on who The Notorious one will face in January.