UFC

McGregor-Poirier 'done' but Khabib keeping title, Adesanya facing Blachowicz

By Sports Desk November 01, 2020

Dana White says Conor McGregor versus Dustin Poirier is "done", but Khabib Nurmagomedov remains the UFC lightweight champion despite announcing his retirement.

The UFC offered the Poirier fight to McGregor last month, with the former two-weight champion – who had previously said he was retired – accepting the bout on social media.

White was asked on Saturday if that contest had now been signed and said: "The fight's done. As far as I know, it's done."

But both McGregor and Poirier will have to wait for another shot at the lightweight title.

They each lost in championship fights to Khabib, who will continue to hold the belt even after claiming he would not fight again.

Khabib moved to 29-0 by beating Justin Gaethje in October in the first fight since the death of his father, who was also his coach, then seemingly quit the sport.

But White has since suggested the Russian could return and confirmed the company would not be opening up an interim title.

"He didn't say that he'll fight, but he didn't say no," White said. "He's considering the 30-0. His father wanted it.

"He was super emotional [against Gaethje], had the mumps, measles, whatever, a broken toe, trained on a stationary bike for that fight and then came in and fought.

"He's still the champ. There's no vacant title right now or an interim title happening. He's the champ and we'll give him some time to figure out what he wants to do."

White also had news impacted other divisions, with middleweight champ Israel Adesanya to take on light heavyweight king Jan Blachowicz.

Robert Whittaker, who Adesanya knocked out last October, was not interested in a rematch, the UFC president said.

"When the last fight was over, I was thinking I'm going to have to sit down with this kid and convince him why he has to fight Whittaker," White explained.

"Whittaker comes out and says he doesn't want to fight him, craziest s*** I've ever seen. There's no arguing with Israel now.

"I thought Whittaker deserved the shot and Whittaker doesn't want it, so yeah, we'll let him do it [against Blachowicz]."

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    Nurmagomedov called time on his career after defeating Justin Gaethje at UFC 254 in October but is in Abu Dhabi to attend the lightweight fight between McGregor and Dustin Poirier on Saturday.

    Dana White met with the Russian, who he said was looking for "something spectacular" if he was to go back on his decision to hang up his gloves.

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    McGregor, who was submitted by Nurmagomedov at UFC 229 in a fight that was overshadowed by a post-bout melee outside the Octagon, added "we'll get him", before claiming that the lightweight title will soon be up for grabs.

    "I'd make the case if that man [Nurmagomedov] is continuing to dodge this and dodge the commitment of competing again, the title should be stripped and we should be engaging in a title fight," said McGregor.

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    The fight with Poirier will be just McGregor's third at lightweight, having returned from a second retirement at welterweight when he took on Donald Cerrone in January last year.

    The former featherweight and lightweight champion claimed to have retired again, finding it difficult to fulfil his three-fight plan for 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, but he is now anticipating a long run at 155 pounds.

    "I have not had that many fights at 155 in the UFC and I'm eager to put in a stint, to get a run going like I did with the featherweights," said McGregor.

    "I think I went seven or eight fights within a year and a half. That's what I'm looking for here if they can match me up. This is the best I've ever been for sure, and I'm at 155 pounds. But if I go back to 170 you best believe that'll be the best I've ever felt also."

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    "I think it's a myth. Obviously the first [Nate] Diaz fight I went from featherweight and a month or so later I was at welterweight, that's obviously gonna have an impact and then there were other issues," he said.

    "Overall, I think it's a myth. It's a myth that's out there and I hope we can answer it. I will answer it in time at some stage. I keep showing up here, someone's gonna be able to stay in there and fight with me. I hope it's this Saturday night. Do I think so? I do not. I'm in some shape here and I'm coming to put on a masterpiece."

    McGregor added: "I have a million shots. I have so many weapons in my arsenal and they're all fine-tuned at this time. I'm in a phenomenal place and I look forward to going out and showcasing, painting a beautiful picture."

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