“Nobody’s kicking down my door.”
Dana White has confirmed that he is on the lookout for a back-up fighter for the UFC 264 main event between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier.
In recent years, the UFC has made a point of arranging back-up fighters to weigh in for the promotion’s bigger bouts to ensure that any last-minute issues would not force the cancellation of the fight.
With McGregor’s trilogy clash with Poirier expected to be one of the most high-profile fights of 2021, White is eager to reduce the risk of missing out on the pay-per-view revenue by bringing another top lightweight to Las Vegas on the off chance that either McGregor or Poirier can’t make it to the Octagon.
Dustin Poirier vs Conor McGregor 3!
— UFC Europe (@UFCEurope) May 23, 2021
Conor McGregor vs Dustin Poirier back-up
The UFC President has admitted that he is finding a potential replacement hard to come by for the July 10 headliner.
“I’m actually looking for someone right now to be the back-up on that card,” White told Bleacher Report.
“Nobody’s jumping out. Nobody’s kicking down my door.”
Many are of the opinion that Justin Gaethje would represent the perfect candidate to make himself available to step in on short notice as he is the only lightweight in the top five who has not fought this year and he doesn’t have a fight booked.
Poirier is full of confidence going into the rubber match with McGregor, having stopped ‘The Notorious’ via TKO in the second round of their rematch in January.
Poirier reportedly turned down the opportunity to fight for the UFC lightweight title in favour of a lucrative trilogy bout against his Irish rival, although it’s widely believed that the winner of the UFC 264 main event will be next in line for a title fight at 155lbs.
After Charles Oliveira won the lightweight title left vacant by the retired Khabib Nurmagomedov with his TKO victory over Michael Chandler earlier this month, White suggested that he won’t rush into making the next title bout.
“I don’t know,” White said on the subject of McGregor vs. Poirier III potentially being a title eliminator.
“I gotta watch this fight and see how it plays out.”