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Dustin Poirier targeting March/April 2020 return, says Conor McGregor rematch makes sense

“I think the fans want to see it as well but time will tell. I definitely want that fight, and it’s something I want to do.”

UFC 178 Ultimate Media Day Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

It was straight to the surgery room for Dustin Poirier following his submission loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 242, as ‘The Diamond’ took some much needed time off to repair a hip injury that has been bothering him for almost eight years.

With the surgery complete, the former interim UFC lightweight champion is recovering on a plant-based, vegan diet and expects to return to the Octagon sometime in March/April of next year.

“I’ll be training hard in January and I think that late March, early April is realistic,” Poirier told MMA Fighting in a recent interview. “My doctor thinks that’s a realistic return. I’m going to start training hard in January and I’m actually going to be getting in shape all through December.

“I’ve actually been eating a plant-based diet to heal up. My body’s feeling great. I’m lighter than I usually am in camp right now. Everything’s going good. I’m staying positive and March or April we’ll be beating somebody up. I just want it to be the right name and I want it to make sense.”

Asked who he’d like to face upon return, Poirier said a rematch with former UFC featherweight and lightweight champ Conor McGregor makes the most sense. McGregor KO’d Poirier in a featherweight contest back in 2014, and both men have improved leaps and bounds since then, although some fans believe ‘The Notorious’ is on the decline.

“I think it would make more sense if he’s trying to get back to the top,” Poirier said when asked about a possible rematch with McGregor. “I was the former interim world champion. Conor’s the former undisputed world champion. We fought years ago, we both had our separate paths and we’ve both done great things. I think this makes a lot of sense. I’m No. 2, I think he’s No. 3. It makes a lot of sense.

“I think the fans want to see it as well but time will tell. I definitely want that fight, and it’s something I want to do.”

McGregor hasn’t fought since his submission loss to reigning lightweight champ Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229, and the Irishman is expected to return to the Octagon next year against Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone — although Poirier believes his proposed matchup is the better option for McGregor and the UFC.

“I respect “Cowboy” and everything he’s done but I do think he’s on the back end of his career,” Poirier said. “It’s “Cowboy,” he can show up and submit or knock out Conor as well. I’m not counting the guy completely out but I do think that is a more favorable fight for him on his return.

“Fight a guy who’s been KO’d or TKO’d twice in his past two fights. I’m not a matchmaker. I think me and [Conor] makes more sense.”

Expect the UFC to officially announce Conor McGregor’s next fight in the coming weeks.

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