Could Conor McGregor be headed back to boxing if successful against Dustin Poirier at UFC 257?
Dana White hopes not.
There’s been ongoing rumors of a potential boxing match with Filipino legend Manny Pacquiao, but White would prefer to see ‘The Notorious’ rematch Khabib Nurmagomedov for the UFC lightweight title rather than spend the remainder of his athletic prime in the boxing ring.
“I would love to see him focus on what he could do in the UFC. Whether it is taking another shot at the title against Khabib or fight for the title against somebody else if Khabib retires and then defend that title,” White told ESPN’s Brett Okamoto ahead of McGregor’s rematch with Poirier at UFC 257.
“A boxing match with any of these guys, that sort of stuff is always going to be there. You are the absolute best in the world right now at MMA.”
“The timing is right now. [You are] not getting any younger. I would love to see him go for it here [in UFC] in the next year.”
McGregor made his professional boxing debut against multiple-division champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. in August 2017 but lost the bout via 10th round TKO. The Irishman has since switched his focus solely to MMA but hasn’t ruled out a return to the boxing ring.
UFC 257: Poirier vs. McGregor II will take place later this month at UFC Fight Island in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. McGregor has previously KO’d Poirier in a featherweight matchup back in 2014 and is predicting another quick finish against ‘The Diamond’ on Jan. 23.
“I like Dustin, I think he’s a good fighter. He’s even a great fighter. But great is still levels below me. I’ll knock Dustin out inside 60 seconds.”