UFC matchmakers Joe Silva and Sean Shelby have some of the toughest jobs in the sport when any given day they are expected to fix cards ripped apart by injuries or any other litany of issues when it comes to making a fight happen. At other times, however, the fighters do their jobs for them — such is the case with a potential featherweight matchup between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier.
The two featherweights have been linked to each other for some time now, especially after it was hinted that Poirier would receive a fight with McGregor if he was successful in his bout on Saturday against Diego Brandao in Dublin, Ireland.
McGregor passed that test with flying colors, knocking out Brandao in the first round of their fight to cap off the main event from the UFC’s return to the Emerald Isle. It didn’t take long for Poirier to take to Twitter to respond to McGregor’s performance, and offer up a potential matchup for the upcoming UFC 178 card in Las Vegas.
Poirier was so quick with his challenge that McGregor was able to address it while still sitting at the UFC Fight Night post fight press conference. The Irishman was riding high from the win in front of his hometown, but he quickly turned his attention back to the business at hand and happily accepted the fight with Poirier.
"That would be perfect for me. I already know that guy does not want to fight. His teammate Cole Miller, they’re from the same camp, pulled out of the fight he was scheduled to be here to compete tonight, he pulled out. You’re trying to tell me Dustin Poirier, top 10 guy, and Nik Lentz, a top 10 guy, both of whom had no fights scheduled didn’t know about Cole’s injury? They would have known before the UFC would have known. They would heard that Cole was pulling out before the UFC would have heard. And yet nothing — they didn’t campaign for it, this is a main event slot, one of the fastest selling, it’s a big, big event, but yet there wasn’t a peep out of both of them," McGregor said while addressing the three fights who all hail from American Top Team in Florida.
"I know he doesn’t want that fight. He can pretend that he wants the fight and send out his little tweets about this and that, but let’s do it. One by one I will take every single one of them out — if next in line is Dustin, that’s no problem."
UFC president Dana White was non-committal about putting the fight together just minutes after McGregor stepped out of the Octagon, but he didn’t exactly decline making the matchup either.
McGregor sat out for the last year rehabilitating a surgically repaired knee and has stated on several occasions that he wants to stay as busy as possible now that he’s back.
Poirier is currently ranked No. 6 in the world while riding a three fight win streak in the UFC. With both fighters on board to make the fight happen and with UFC 178 still more than two months away, it definitely seems plausible that it would come together.
UFC matchmakers often strike while the fire is hot, and this rivalry could certainly produce an inferno especially if added to the already stacked UFC 178 card in Las Vegas featuring Jon Jones against Alexander Gustafsson in the main event not to mention the returns of both Dominick Cruz and Cat Zingano on the undercard.
Adding McGregor vs. Poirier could push that show to new heights as one of the biggest fight cards of all 2014.