Conor McGregor takes aim at Dustin Poirier rematch, Khabib Nurmagomedov, Nate Diaz and more in Q&A
Conor McGregor had some time on his hands on Sunday, and the former two-division UFC champion decided to answer a number of questions about his future.
The Irish superstar is expected to make his return to action in January for a planned rematch against Dustin Poirier in the UFC 257 main event. McGregor addressed that fight after UFC president Dana White confirmed on Saturday that the rematch was a done deal for early 2021.
Never lacking confidence, McGregor actually hopes to improve upon his previous performance against Poirier after they first met at featherweight in 2014. On that night, McGregor dispatched Poirier less than two minutes into the opening round.
“I will aim to not only improve on the time I beat him in previously, but the shot I slept him with also!” McGregor wrote when addressing the rematch on Twitter. “Poirier is a hell of a fighter, but I’m McGregor.”
Assuming the fight is finalized, McGregor will be competing almost exactly one year after his last appearance, which lasted just 40 seconds when he steamrolled Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone in January.
Despite the dominance of that performance, McGregor expects even more out of himself when he returns.
“I am infinite times better again!” McGregor said about the improvements made since facing Cerrone. “Sometimes we must go to a place in our lives in order for us to get to a better place!
“I am in a tremendous space right now and I am excited for competition.”
One rumor McGregor did manage to put to bed during the Q&A session was the weight class where he plans to compete in the immediate future.
There had been rumors swirling that perhaps McGregor wanted the Poirier rematch at 170 pounds after he fought at that weight for the Cerrone fight as well. It seems for now, McGregor is focused on the lightweight division where he previously reigned as champion.
“I will commit to the 155lb division for 2021 however,” McGregor said when asked about returning to welterweight. “Some great matchups to be had here, as well as unfinished business. I will show the world once again who I am, and what I’m about.
“Trust that! 170 is in my thoughts also however. You know me for doubling up.”
Outside of the Poirier fight, McGregor also addressed some of his greatest rivals including past opponents Khabib Nurmagomedov and Nate Diaz.
Just this past week, Nurmagomedov announced his retirement from the sport, which seemingly put an end to any hopes McGregor might have to earn a rematch. Just days ago, however, UFC president Dana White teased that Nurmagomedov may still return to action with a desire to earn a perfect 30-0 record in his career.
That still doesn’t mean McGregor will actually get the opportunity to face Nurmagomedov again but he is definitely confident what will happen if they meet again.
“A phenomenal grappler fighter,” McGregor said about Nurmagomedov. “The current best in the sport with it. I’ve the answer however and they know it.”
As for Diaz, “The Notorious” had expressed his desires for a trilogy fight ever since their rematch ended in 2016 but to date a third bout has never been scheduled.
It may not be his next fight but McGregor is still confident he’ll cross paths with Diaz again one day before it’s all said and done.
“Excellent fighter!” McGregor said about Diaz. “The trilogy will be of epic proportions when it goes down. Nathan, and his fighting styles, are never far from my thoughts throughout my own practices. When it happens, I’m ready.”
McGregor also complimented Diaz as the toughest fighter he’s ever faced while calling him “the west coast zombie.”
Another potential rematch that McGregor would be willing to run back is an eventual showdown with former featherweight champ Max Holloway. McGregor defeated Holloway by unanimous decision when they first met in 2013.
“For sure I would be interested in running it back with Max,” McGregor wrote.
Finally, McGregor was asked about his opinion on the most underrated fighter in the UFC currently and he turned his attention to a longtime rival who he’s never actually faced during his career.
“Tony Ferguson,” McGregor said in response. “It chops and changes daily however in this hollow forgetful business of recency.”
Ferguson was riding a 12-fight win streak in the lightweight division prior to a loss to Justin Gaethje back in May at UFC 249. Obviously, Ferguson still has McGregor’s attention even if they aren’t scheduled to clash right now.
McGregor is focused on Poirier in January but from the sound of things, he’ll be ready to face Ferguson and the rest of the elite fighters at lightweight as soon as possible.
“Excitement as well as supreme confidence!” McGregor said about facing the best of the best at lightweight. “If they give me the dates I’ll do them all first quarter.”