UFC want back-up opponent for Conor McGregor should Dustin Poirier pull out

The UFC are struggling to find a back-up opponent for Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier's rematch this summer.

President Dana White is searching for a fighter to weigh in ahead of the July 10 fight night, in case either McGregor or Poirier is forced to pull out.

It is expected that the winner of the trilogy bout will earn a shot at newly-crowned lightweight champion Charles Oliveira and so a cancellation would affect the future of the 155lb division.

“I’m actually looking for someone right now to be the backup on that [UFC 264] card,” White told Bleacher Report. “Nobody’s jumping out. Nobody’s kicking down my door.”

He also poured cold water on the idea that a title fight is guaranteed for the winner, saying "I don't know, I've got to watch this fight and see how it plays out."

McGregor will face Poirier for in front of a capacity crowd at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas in their third bout, which is the same city as their first encounter.

The Irishman won that first meeting, a featherweight bout at UFC 179 in 2014, by first round TKO, before Poirier earned his revenge in January at UFC 257 in his favoured lightweight division.

The two former champions are still chasing gold, with Poirier currently ranked at number 1 and McGregor sitting at number 5 after their last bout.

The pair were bitter rivals before their first fight, but a mutual respect developed over the years between the pair and by the time the rematch rolled around, they were exchanging gifts at the weigh-ins.

And despite footage that emerged immediately after the bout showing the pair hugging and showing love to one another after the January fight, the relationship has since gone sour.

The pair have traded barbs on social media, with Poirier accusing McGregor of going back on his commitment to donate to his 'Good Fight Foundation' charity, which led to a donation to a different charity in Louisiana.

McGregor believes that the location of the bout will be an advantage, having fought their second bout in Abu Dhabi on the UFC's 'Fight Island'.

He told fans on Instagram last month that he would defeat Poirier in the fourth round, saying: "The prediction is in! I’m going to win the trilogy fight via a front kick to the nose. Round number four [and] his nose needs straightening."

But that appeared to change earlier this week when he shared a cryptic photo that possibly indicated he expects a repeat of his early finish of the American from 2014.

He has said that he will leave his family at home for training camp ahead of the fight, including fiancee Dee Devlin and their two-week old son Rian who was born earlier this month.

Source: Read Full Article