Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Dana White Is On The Hunt For A Backup Fighter For McGregor/Poirier

As the utilization of backup fighters becomes a growing trend in the UFC, there remains an open spot for what could go down as the biggest fight of the year.

At UFC 264, “The Notorious” Conor McGregor and Dustin “The Diamond” Poirier will take part in a trilogy bout to close the show. The last time they fought, UFC President Dana White expressed interest in Justin Gaethje serving as the backup for the UFC 257 main event. Plus, the co-main event boasted two lightweights in Michael Chandler and Dan Hooker, who both theoretically could have been available if needed. This time, White says, there aren’t any takers as of yet.

“I’m actually looking for someone right now to be the backup on that card,” White told Bleacher Report. “Nobody’s jumping out. Nobody’s kicking down my door.”

This is a bit unusual given that stepping in on short notice would serve as an unexpected red panty night for the replacement, not to mentionthe chance of potentially intercepting a world title shot with a victory. However, the following comments from White suggest that the red panties might be more of a sure thing than the title shot.

“I don’t know,” White said of the McGregor/Poirier winner receiving a title shot. “I gotta watch this fight and see how it plays out.”

If White isn’t sure the winner of this fight would receive a title shot, he’d obviously be even less so if a short-notice fighter was inserted into the main event. After all, Dustin Poirier is currently ranked #1, so another victory over McGregor should make him a shoo-in for the prize of a lightweight title shot. Equally, if McGregor were to defeat the #1 contender, he would likely supplant Poirier as the logical next title challenger. 

Still, White isn’t committing to the main event as currently constructed being a title eliminator. If he did, maybe that would be the extra cherry on top of a red panty night and entice all the chaps in the lightweight division to knock on this isolated door of opportunity.

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