Conor McGregor reveals reasons for wanting Dustin Poirier UFC contest before taking on boxing icon Manny Pacquiao
McGregor and Poirier are in talks to meet in the octagon later this year, which would mark a comeback for the Irishman from the short-lived retirement he announced back in June.
But prior to the news that a McGregor-Poirier contest was in the works, 'The Notorious' had already announced that he was stepping between the ropes of the boxing ring to take on eight-weight world champion Pacquiao in a bout in 2021.Also on rt.com 'Big things coming': Manny Pacquiao signs with Conor McGregor management company as showdown between pair edges closer to reality
McGregor, 32, has now revealed that he sees the Poirier fight as complementing his preparations for Pacquiao.
Responding to Poirier's suggestions that his southpaw stance would be ideal for McGregor to test himself before fighting the Filipino icon, the Irishman tweeted: "Correct. Southpaw box style. Continue to sharpen my MMA skills with some tough competition, while leading into my Manny bout preparation.
"It’s not easy going between both sports and then coming back to the one sport again. Just want to keep sharp guys, that’s all. It’s only fair."
Correct. Southpaw box style. Continue to sharpen my MMA skills with some tough competition, while leading into my Manny bout preparation.It’s not easy going between both sports and then coming back to the one sport again.Just want to keep sharp guys, that’s all. It’s only fair. https://t.co/PnjHb4VP9j— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) October 13, 2020
If McGregor, Poirier and the UFC can pull off a deal for a meeting later this year, it would seem to present the best of both worlds for the Dubliner.
Ranked number two in the lightweight fold, Poirier offers the kind of high-level challenge that would keep McGregor in the mix for another crack at the UFC's 155lbs title, should he win.
The pair have fought once before, with McGregor earning a first-round TKO win at UFC 178 in September 2014.Also on rt.com 'The Saudis are loyal to Khabib': Russian UFC star's manager mocks talk of McGregor boxing bout in Middle East
After taking on Poirier, McGregor could divert to boxing to meet the 41-year-old Pacquiao – just as he did to face Floyd Mayweather in their Las Vegas money-spinner in 2017 – and then feasibly return to the UFC later in 2021.
McGregor's last contest came in January when he defeated Donald 'Cowboy' Cerrone just 40 seconds into their welterweight fight at UFC 246.
The former two-weight champion has since accused UFC boss Dana White of stalling on his return to the octagon, sharing private messages between the pair and leading to a bitter public spat.
However, McGregor's return against Poirier could smooth things over again between MMA's biggest power-players.Also on rt.com 'One of the DIRTIEST things you can do': UFC boss Dana White fumes after Conor McGregor leaks message exchanges (VIDEO)