Conor McGregor’s head coach John Kavanagh feels his fighter’s rematch with Dustin Poirier next month should be for the UFC lightweight title.
With the UFC’s official website still listing the retired Khabib Nurmagomedov as lightweight champion, there is uncertainty as to what the promotion will do with the 155-pound title. Although some expected the UFC 257 bout between Mcgregor and Poirier to be for the vacant title, that is officially not the case.
Talking to The Mac Life ahead of McGregor’s UFC return, Kavanagh said at the least he expects the winner of McGregor vs. Poirier 2 to get the next title shot.
“I don’t really get why this one isn’t for the title, if I’m being 100 percent honest.” Kavanagh said (Transcription via MMA Fighting). “Maybe it’s Dana, this is a little carrot towards Khabib ‘do you really want this guy [to have it?].’ I don’t know. I know there’s stuff, the games that go on, I don’t involve myself in it.
McGregor (22-4) will return to the octagon at UFC 257 for the first time in over a year. The Irishman last fought at UFC 246 in January following an 18-month layoff, stopping Donald Cerrone in just 40-seconds. Poirier (26-6, 1NC) also fought just once in 2020, winning a decision after a back and forth fight with Dan Hooker.
“This to me feels like it’s for the belt,” Kavanagh continued. “But I guess at the very least the winner of this will be offered a title fight but who would that be against? It’s a bit of a strange scene we have in front of us, which makes it interesting.”
UFC 257 takes place on Jan. 23rd and will be the third event the promotion is holding in a seven-day period on “Fight Island”.