UPDATE Nov. 10, 11:24a: ESPN has verified that Poirier has signed his fight agreement. Dana White followed up with clarification that it is actually McGregor that has not signed as of now.
“It’s not true that the fight is booked. Dustin is signed, but Conor hasn’t received or signed his bout agreement,” he said. “We sent the bout agreement to Conor today, but nothing is done yet. Jan. 23 on Fight Island if everything goes according to plans. There are a ton of if’s right now. I have to see where the world is in the next couple of months.”– Dana White
UFC 257: McGregor vs. Poirier is already off to a bad start. According to ESPN MMA, Dustin Poirier is still yet to come to terms with the UFC on pay amount. The former interim champ has been very vocal that he is happy to fight McGregor, but he will need to be compensated appropriately. Poirier cites his long running career and damage he’s accrued , as well as future damage as justification for higher payouts. If the UFC and Poirier are unable to work through the pay dispute, it’s likely that McGregor will receive a new opponent for January. The top choice for that replacement is the last man to suffer defeat to the champion, Justin Gaethje.
A bout between Gaethje and McGregor may prove to be the bigger sell for the promotion, as Gaethje’s popularity has grown substantially in 2020. Also, the match-up is likely to be a grudge match, as Gaethje has publicly insulted McGregor as a “Sh*t human, father and husband.” The former lightweight champ may want to refuse Gaethje as an opponent, simply for the fact to not hand over a large payday to Justin. On the other hand, McGregor may relish the chance to land his patented left on Gaethje, who he feels has the perfect match-up stylistically for him.
As Amanda Nunes withdraws from UFC 256 and Poirier not accepting the UFC’s contract offer, the promotion is now missing headlines for two of the three upcoming pay-per-views. In the wings to save the day is the newly announced super-fight between Israel Adesanya and Jan Blachowicz. UFC 256 on Dec. 12 may be too early, but if McGregor is unable to find a new dance partner in time, expect the UFC to start off 2021 with a champion vs. champion fight at UFC 257.