SBG Ireland head coach John Kavanagh thinks the rematch between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier should crown the next UFC lightweight champion.
McGregor (22-4 MMA, 10-2 UFC) faces Poirier (26-6 MMA, 18-5 UFC) on Jan. 23 in the UFC 257 main event on “Fight Island” in Abu Dhabi.
Despite 155-pound champion Khabib Nurmagomedov announcing his retirement in October, the title remains in his possession. While Kavanagh doesn’t necessarily agree with the implications of the McGregor-Poirier matchup, he is treating it like a championship bout.
“I don’t really get why this one isn’t for the title, if I’m being 100 percent honest,” Kavanagh told TheMacLife. “Maybe it’s Dana – this is a little carrot towards Khabib. I don’t know. I know there’s types of games that go on that don’t involve myself, but this, for me, feels like it’s for the belt. 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 where we have in front of us, which makes it interesting.”
UFC president Dana White is scheduled to meet with Nurmagomedov next month in Abu Dhabi, where “The Eagle” will be cornering some teammates sharing the same card as McGregor and Poirier. White is confident that he can talk Nurmagomedov out of retirement, which should provide plenty of clarity for the lightweight division one way or the other.