Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier are set to meet in a rematch of their 2014 fight that saw McGregor win by way of a first round knockout, with both fighters agreeing in principle to the January 23 date but with contracts still needing to be finalized and signed — which means it is not exactly a 100 percent certainty the fight happens.
If they do get pens to paper, the bout could be for No. 1 contender status in the lightweight division, with the winner in line for a shot at Khabib Nurmagomedov’s belt. However, given that McGregor’s coach John Kavanagh noted he’d like to see them fight at 170 pounds rather than 155 pounds, there are some concerns from Khabib’s camp about such a fight serving as a battle for the top contender at 155 pounds.
Watching @TheNotoriousMMA do MMA rounds lately has been a real joy and education. Fluidity of movement with elite level timing and skill. Dustin has improved so much since first meeting, conor has improved much more imo. To see them hydrated & healthy at 170 will be fascinating
— Coach Kavanagh (@John_Kavanagh) October 16, 2020
Khabib spoke with SportsCentre on TSN on Monday as he gets ready for his title fight with Justin Gaethje this coming Saturday, and reaffirmed that he will consider whomever comes out on top of Poirier’s next bout the top contender, provided they fight at 155 pounds.
Khabib on McGregor vs. Poirier: "You have to fight at 155. If they fight at 170 or 185, this is not a lightweight contender fight. If you want to fight in the lightweight division for the belt, you have to fight at lightweight."
— Aaron Bronsteter (@aaronbronsteter) October 19, 2020
This makes complete and total sense, as if you are wondering who is the best at 155 pounds you should, well, probably fight at 155 pounds and not 170. That said, it wouldn’t be the fight game if there wasn’t some silly controversy and what’s more ridiculous than judging the best fighter at 155 pounds based off how they fare while 15 pounds heavier.
The biggest point of contention is that, if McGregor wants to fight at 170 then he should fight at 170. To say they should see who’s best when fully hydrated is certainly a valid point from Kavanagh, as weight-cutting remains an issue in combat sports, but if it’s a concern that McGregor wouldn’t be at his best at 155 then maybe he shouldn’t be gunning for contendership at that weight.