‘[The Old] Conor McGregor is Back’, Dana White Says

Conor McGregor
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 10: UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor of Ireland takes the belt of lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez (not pictured) during the UFC 205 press conference inside The Theater at Madison Square Garden on November 10, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Conor McGregor will almost certainly compete at UFC 257 on Jan. 23 on Fight Island – whether it’s against Dustin Poirier or not, according to UFC President Dana White.

White recently told ESPN’s Brett Okamoto that McGregor is back in the mindset that helped him become the UFC featherweight and lightweight champion.

“If something happens to Dustin Poirier, he is the Conor McGregor, right now, that does not give a s— who we put in that fight on that night,” White said. “He’s that guy right now.”


McGregor last competed when he TKO’d Donald Cerrone in January 2020 at UFC 246. More than a year later, he’s slated to have a rematch with Poirier. Since “The Diamond” lost to McGregor via TKO at UFC 178 in September 2014, he has rattled off an impressive streak that saw him capture the UFC lightweight interim belt.

Khabib Nurmagomedov, the promotion’s lightweight champion, has wins over both McGregor and Poirier. However, “The Eagle” retired after his win over Justin Gaethje at UFC 254 in October. It’s unknown whether McGregor and Poirier’s lightweight main event tilt will be for the title.

White said, based on his conversations with McGregor, the “real Conor” is back as opposed to the “other Conor.”

“There isn’t going to be any, ‘Oh, what about this guy or that guy?'” White said. “He’s going to be like, ‘Who’s ready? Who you got? I’m going to the gym. Tell me, who’s showing up on Saturday.’ He’s that guy right now. That Conor McGregor is back.”

Conor McGregor’s Options

Dan Hooker, the UFC’s no. 6-ranked lightweight, is scheduled to introduce former Bellator lightweight champion Michael Chandler to the Octagon in the co-main event of UFC 257. Should Poirier fall out, it’s likely one of them would compete against McGregor.

“If you are a Conor McGregor fan, and you love everything about Conor McGregor fights, don’t miss this one,” White said.

UFC 257 will go down from Fight Island in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

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