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Not so fast: Dana White denies reports that Conor McGregor vs. Dustin Poirier is official

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The UFC president still expects the bout to take place on ‘Fight Island’ at UFC 257 early next year, but tells ESPN “there are a ton of ifs.”

Even by ESPN’s report, it still sounds like the major hurdles to getting Conor McGregor vs. Dustin Poirier 2 finalized for UFC 257 have been crossed. But, as the UFC president made clear to the outlet, that doesn’t necessarily mean that all the “i”s have been dotted.

White told the promotion’s media partner that Dustin Poirier has signed his bout agreement to face McGregor, but the UFC is yet to receive paperwork back from the Irish superstar, finalizing his end of the deal. That’s not expected to be a major impediment going forward, however, as the SBG fighter has reportedly previously given the UFC a verbal agreement to the bout.

“Jan. 23 on Fight Island, if everything goes according to plans,” White said in a statement to ESPN, when asked about their plans for the PPV card. “There are a ton of if’s right now. I have to see where the world is at in the next couple of months.”

The UFC has already made two trips to ‘Fight Island’ this year, hosting a total of 9 events, including two PPVs at the Flash Forum in Abu Dhabi. Their most recent trip saw Kamaru Usman defend his welterweight title against Jorge Masvidal at UFC 251 and wound down with a middleweight top contender’s bout between Robert Whittaker and Darren Till.

With the UFC taking several weeks off in December and January, it seems likely that the current set of 4 scheduled 2021 fight cards would all be planned for a 3rd run of Abu Dhabi events, assuming things go to plan. Stay tuned to Bloody Elbow for more news and notes on the UFC’s upcoming schedule.