Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier both want to fight in 2020 but UFC 'slowing down' agreement by targeting January date

CONOR McGREGOR and Dustin Poirier want to fight each other in 2020 – but the UFC are 'slowing down' an agreement by targeting a January date.

McGregor – who beat Poirier at featherweight in 2014 – initially challenged the American to a charity exhibition in Ireland for December.


But the UFC took notice and instead offered the two a headliner on January 23.

McGregor, 32, accepted but insisted the fight must be squeezed in before the year's out, with Poirier, 31, also keen.

Poirier now claims the UFC are "slowing down" an agreement as they stand firm on wanting the pair to fight early in the new year.

Poirier told THE FIGHT with Teddy Atlas: "I know he wants to get another fight in before 2021. He wants to finish this year off with a fight.

"And I think that's the problem that we're running into getting this thing booked right away.

"As everybody expects, when you've got two guys who say, 'Hey, I want to fight' and you've got the other guy who says I want to do the same, the fans want it, then the promoter puts it on.

"But right now they have a list of events that are already booked with headliners and I think the UFC is angling for this to be a New Year's fight, somewhere in January.

"Conor's wanting to fight this year, as do I, I want to fight in 2020, I want one more fight this year and I think it's those kind of things that are slowing it down from getting this fight done.

"But the negotiations are alive."

HEADLINER PROBLEMS

McGregor wants to take advantage of the two UFC PPV's in November or December, after both headliners suffered setbacks.

UFC 255 on November 21 was due to feature Cody Garbrandt moving down to flyweight to challenge for the title against Deiveson Figueiredo, 32.

But former bantamweight champion Garbrandt, 29, was forced to pull out with Alex Perez, 28, filling in.

Despite the card also featuring Valentina Shevchenko, 32, defending her flyweight crown against Jennifer Maia, 31, the two title fights do not guarantee a box office success.

A month later, on December 12, Gilbert Burns, 34, was in line to fight welterweight champion Kamaru Usman, 33.

But again, Usman has pulled out leaving the PPV without a main event.

KEEPING IN SHAPE

McGregor last fought in January, knocking out 37-year-old Donald Cerrone in 40 seconds.

But his plan for a three-fight 'season' was dashed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The lack of activity led to McGregor announcing his retirement and later spending the summer holidaying in France and Italy, where he continued to train.

He does now appear close to confirming his return with the possibility of securing a second fight this year.


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