UFC: Conor McGregor eyes 2021 lightweight run before going after the welterweight title

Conor McGregor, UFC

The biggest star in the UFC wants to become a champ-champ again. However, this time, Conor McGregor (22-5) is eyeing the lightweight title and the welterweight strap. The Notorious one wants to be the first man with a title in three weight divisions.

At least, that’s what the former two-division champion posted on Twitter. McGregor was very active on social media during UFC 261. This past Saturday we saw Kamaru Usman (19-1) knock Jorge Masvidal (35-15) out to retain the welterweight title.

After the fight was over, McGregor unveiled his plans for 2021 and 2022. We all know that the next step for McGregor is the trilogy with Dustin Poirier (27-6, 1 NC). The two men are headlining UFC 264 in Las Vegas in July.

Whoever wins that matchup will likely be the next in line for the lightweight title. At UFC 262, Michael Chandler (22-5) and Charles Oliveira (30-8) are fighting for the vacant lightweight title.

If McGregor is able to defeat Poirier in July, it will likely setup his lightweight title fight for the end of the year. That is a big if, but McGregor is certainly capable of winning. If he does capture the title, it’s off to the UFC‘s welterweight division for McGregor.

UFC future for McGregor

Conor McGregor is no stranger to making bold claims that make most people roll their eyes. When he first came into the UFC, he vowed that he would become the featherweight and lightweight champion.

While most thought he would never capture even the featherweight title, McGregor did what he said and became a two-division champion. After that, he turned his attention to Floyd Mayweather. Again, most rolled their eyes at the thought of McGregor securing a boxing match with Floyd.

Yet, McGregor did just that. Back in January, McGregor suffered his first knockout loss in the UFC at the hands of Dustin Poirier. McGregor is very confident he will win the third fight between the two men.

While the odds at UFC 264 should favor Poirier, McGregor has always proved he can beat the odds. I actually like McGregor’s odds against Chandler and Oliveira more than Poirier so him capturing the lightweight title is extremely possible should he win in July.

However, the 170 talk is where I take a step back. Conor McGregor is great for the UFC and business. However, I really think he should strongly consider staying at 155 pounds if he was to ever win the title again.

Kamaru Usman is a massive welterweight and with his improved striking, I don’t know how McGregor can defeat him. There are certainly welterweight matchups where McGregor could succeed, however, Kamaru Usman is not one of them.

At the end of the day, McGregor always aims for the highest of highs and you have to admire that. Whether his UFC claims are crazy or not, he’s always proven in the past that you should never doubt him. July is a massive test, but if he can win, the sky is truly the limit again for McGregor.

UFC 264: Poirier – McGregor 3 is official and open to a full crowd

The trilogy is set for UFC 264. Dustin Poirier (27-6, 1 NC) and Conor McGregor (22-5) will settle their score on July 10th at the T-Mobile Arena. Dana White announced that the fight was official on his Twitter today.

The event will be the UFC‘s first event in Las Vegas with a full crowd. Nevada is planning on opening the state fully on June 1st and the UFC is ready to get right back to having full crowds in the fight capital of the world.

Earlier this week, there seem to be some doubt on if the fight would take place. McGregor and Poirier had been going back and forth on social media over a donation that McGregor pledged to give Poirier’s foundation.

The former two-division UFC champion said that he was waiting to hear how the money would be used before he made the donation. Poirier said that McGregor’s team simply hasn’t replied to them or sent the money.

McGregor then took to Twitter and said that the fight was off before throwing more insults at Poirier. There is now a ton of heat between the two and it’s setting up for quite the buildup to UFC 264.

UFC 264 Settles it All

There is no doubt that this will be the biggest fight of 2021 for the UFC. This trilogy matchup is going to have a ton of heat and animosity. It’s also massive considering the way the first two fights went.

McGregor won the first matchup by TKO. However, Poirier took the second matchup by TKO. With both men having finished the other, the third matchup is going to be insane at UFC 264.

In all likelihood, the winner of this matchup will also get a shot at the UFC lightweight title. Michael Chandler and Charles Oliveira are fighting for the vacant title at UFC 262 next month.

Conor McGregor on Poirier and UFC 264: ‘The Fights off btw. I’m going to fight someone else on the 10th’

Conor McGregor, UFC

Well, UFC 264 might have just hit an unexpected roadblock. A couple of weeks ago, it was reported that Dustin Poirier (27-6, 1 NC) had signed his contract for UFC 264. With Conor McGregor (22-5) already on board, the fight appeared to be finalized.

However, it appears that might not be the case. Over the weekend there has been some drama that has developed between the two top lightweights. The drama stems from a donation that McGregor pledged to give Dustin Poirier for his foundation.

Poirier took to Twitter over the weekend and claims McGregor’s group went silent about the donation after their fight at UFC 257. McGregor then replied saying that they never received information on where the money would go which is why they paused the donation.

After that, Poirier responded saying that they did send an email with no response. What followed was a scathing response from the former two-division UFC champion where he is claiming that their fight is off in July.

McGregor said the following on Twitter:

You’re ripped you inbred hillbilly. Why do you wink with your ears? You f*cking brain dead hillbilly. 500k with no plan in place. Ye hang tight. Fool. You must be new to money. The fight is off btw. I’m going to fight someone else on the 10th. Good luck on your old contract kid.

UFC 264 Update

My guess is that emotions are running high at the moment and that the matchup between the two men at UFC 264 will go on. I have a hard time believing that the fight is truly off.

Hate him or love him, nobody can deny that Conor McGregor knows how to sell UFC PPVs. Over his last two appearances, we’ve seen more of a generous and subtle McGregor. A much different version from the Conor McGregor we saw early in his career.

However, it appears that The Notorious one is going back to the bad guy version of himself. There has been no word from the UFC on the drama between the two men, but I think it will ultimately play into the story of the fight. I fully believe these two are going to conclude their trilogy on July 10th.

McGregor concluded his Tweets with the below message. It appears that the buildup to UFC 264 will be a good one.

UFC books Greg Hardy – Tai Tuivasa

The UFC is finalizing a big time matchup in the heavyweight division for their July PPV. MMA Junkie reported yesterday that the promotion was closing the deal on a heavyweight clash between knockout artists Greg Hardy (7-3, 1 NC) and Tai Tuivasa (11-3).

The matchup will take place at UFC 264 on July 10th. Greg Hardy has been asking for this matchup and the former NFL player is getting his wish. Hardy wanted someone to stand and trade with and he will get that in Tuivasa.

In 2020, it looked like Greg Hardy was taking a big step forward in his UFC career. He had a good decision win over Yorgan De Castro before knocking out Maurice Greene in October.

After that knockout of Greene, the UFC turned Hardy around quickly to have him fight Marcin Tybura in December. A win over Tybura would have likely put Hardy in the UFC‘s top fifteen in the heavyweight division.

In the first round, Hardy looked fantastic. His striking was good and his speed was giving Tybura fits. However, Hardy gassed out badly and in the second round he was taken down. Once on the ground, he looked completely lost and Tybura got the TKO over an exhausted Greg Hardy.

For Hardy to take the next step in his UFC career, he needs a signature win. He needs a win over a big guy with a good following behind him. He’s going to get that chance on July 10th.

UFC 264 heavyweight clash

In June of 2019, it looked like Tai Tuivasa was going to challenge for the UFC heavyweight title. The Australian was a perfect 9-0 and he was souring in the heavyweight division. That’s when he met former champion, Junior Dos Santos.

JDS knocked Tuivasa out in the second round. After that, the UFC gave Tuivasa the tough Blagoy Ivanov and Ivanov won by decision. At UFC 243, Sergey Spivak was able to secure an arm-triangle choke against Tuivasa in the second round.

After starting his career perfectly, Tuivasa has lost three in a row. With his back against the wall, the UFC gave Tuivasa a fight with Stefan Struve last October. Tuivasa got back to his winning ways with a first round knockout.

He followed that up with another first round knockout a couple of weeks ago over Harry Hunsucker. Now, with back-to-back knockout wins, Tuivasa looks to have his mojo back. Whoever wins at UFC 264 is going to take a big step forward and I think it’s safe to say this fight won’t go the distance.

UFC booking Stephen Thompson – Gilbert Burns

The UFC is in the process of finalizing a major matchup in the welterweight division. Dana White told ESPN’s Brett Okamoto this evening that Gilbert Burns (19-4) and Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson (16-4-1) have verbally agreed to face each other.

Per White, the matchup will take place at UFC 264. Earlier today, we learned that Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor had both signed on to headline the card on July 10th.

Given the magnitude of this welterweight matchup, it will likely serve as the co-main event on July 10th. Wonderboy has been wanting to fight the elites of the division again and he will get his chance at UFC 264.

Stephen Thompson took on arguably the two scariest young contenders at welterweight in his last two fights in Geoff Neal and Vicente Luque. Wonderboy dominated both of them and completely outclassed them on the feet.

After both of those wins, Wonderboy made it clear that he didn’t want to be the UFC‘s gatekeeper at 170 pounds. He’s been calling for a fight with Leon Edwards, but in my opinion, he’s getting one better in getting a shot at Gilbert Burns.

Potential UFC title eliminator?

After Gilbert Burns moved to the UFC’s welterweight division, he looked like a destroyer. Burns had defeated every fighter who stepped in front of him and that earned him a title shot at UFC 258 against Kamaru Usman.

When the fight started, it looked like Burns was going to have his crowning moment. Burns used his speed and power to drop Usman in the first round. However, after that moment, things went downhill.

Usman was able to regain his composure and ended up dominating the fight. The UFC welterweight champion stopped Burns early in the third round. Since that loss, Burns has been itching to get back into the cage.

This is a fantastic matchup at UFC 254. The welterweight division is in a very unique spot, but this could serve as a potential title eliminator. Either way, whoever wins, is going to be squarely in the discussion for the next crack at the championship.

UFC: Contracts for Conor McGregor – Dustin Poirier 3 have been signed

Conor McGregor, UFC

The biggest fight the UFC could make in 2021  in terms of dollar signs is official. Yes, this matchup is even bigger than the potential heavyweight title fight between Jon Jones and Francis Ngannou in terms of PPV revenue.

ESPN’s Ariel Helwani was the first to report that Dustin Poirier (27-6, 1 NC) had officially signed his contract for UFC 264. Multiple reports had already stated that Conor McGregor (22-5) had already agreed to the deal.

Over the weekend it was reported that the UFC was targeting the trilogy matchup for July. However, until ink hits the paper, anything could happen so it wasn’t a guarantee. Now, that ink has hit the paper and UFC 264 has it’s headliner.

Dustin Poirier turned down an opportunity to fight for the vacant lightweight title to take this trilogy matchup with McGregor. Poirier exercised his demons by finishing The Notorious one back at UFC 257.

High UFC stakes in July

This fight is massive for both of these fighters. Both of these UFC champions hold knockout victories over the other. Their first matchup came when both men were on the rise and McGregor scored the knockout win.

However, Dustin Poirier turned the tables and knocked McGregor out in January. For Conor McGregor, this is almost a do or die fight for him and his brand. It would be really hard to come back after losing two times in a row to Dustin Poirier.

McGregor was in a very similar position back in 2016 with Nate Diaz. After Diaz won the first fight, McGregor was adamant about running things back right away. In their rematch, McGregor made the adjustments and won a decision.

It will be interesting to see if he can make adjustments at UFC 264. Dustin Poirier exposed Conor McGregor the last time they fought. McGregor’s boxing heavy style came back to bit him as Dustin Poirier destroyed him with calf kicks.

The big question about this fight is whether or not McGregor can make the adjustments. McGregor outstruck Poirier in the first round at UFC 257, but the calf kicks did him in during the second round. Can McGregor defend those or will he get chopped down again by The Diamond.

UFC targeting Dustin Poirier – Conor McGregor 3 for July

Arguably the biggest money fight for the UFC in 2021 is close to being finalized. Dana White said last night in his post-fight press conference that the promotion is targeting UFC 264 on July 10th for the trilogy between Dustin Poirier (27-6, 1 NC) and Conor McGregor (22-5).

Today, Poirier seemingly confirmed the date on Twitter saying, “July 10th.” The promotion has been working on booking the trilogy fight as it’s the fight that both men want after their second fight at UFC 257.

Both men hold a knockout win over the other and there’s no bigger fight to make. Dana White said this week that Poirier turned down a shot at the vacant UFC lightweight title in order to pursue the McGregor trilogy.

In terms of a business decision, that was definitely the right move. Originally, the promotion wanted to do the trilogy in May, but there were some negotiation hurdles. We know appear to be clearing those hurdles and it looks like were getting close to UFC 264 being official.

UFC 264: Poirier – McGregor 3

White also said last night that the promotion has high hopes that UFC 264 would be in Las Vegas at the T-Mobile arena. Last night might have been the final UFC PPV that was held inside the APEX.

Starting with UFC 261, the promotion is wanting to have PPVs in front of full audiences. Time will tell how feasible that is with other venues and locations. We know the next two events are already booked to have full audiences.

If the UFC does return to Las Vegas in July with a full crowd, they are doing it with the biggest fight possible. Despite the loss in the rematch, Conor McGregor is still the biggest star in the sport.

With Khabib Nurmagomedov retired, Dustin Poirier is the best lightweight in the UFC. This is a much bigger fight than the title fight in May between Michael Chandler and Charles Oliveira. I would expect this fight to be the biggest PPV buy rate of 2021.