Man of the moment Conor McGregor is set to go right back into training camp after his victory this past weekend in his native Ireland, with Dustin Poirier announced as his next opponent at the UFC 178 event on September 27th in Las Vegas.
McGregor went some way to earning the hype surrounding him on Saturday when he took out former TUF winner Diego Brandao inside of a round by TKO. That was his third victory in a row inside the Octagon and has helped him break into the featherweight top 10 in the updated official rankings this week.
There’s no question that Poirier, currently ranked No.6 is his toughest test to date though. Currently three fights unbeaten himself, including a like-for-like first round TKO win over Brandao, Poirier is a well-rounded fighter with far more Octagon experience than McGregor, weilding an impressive 8-2 record overall in the UFC.
There’s no love lost between these two, so a trash-talking campaign between them seems almost inevitable in the build-up to the event.
Indeed, even following his win at the weekend McGregor was casting aspersions about Poirier, essentially claiming that ‘Diamond’ was running scared from him and had ducked the chance to fight him at the event when his team-mate Cole Miller pulled out injured.
Poirier understandably took exception to that and it was he who first suggested on Twitter that the two settle their differences at UFC 178, before hammering the point home during an interview on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour show.
“For me as a fighter, I want to whip McGregor’s ass for talking so much. I don’t like that,” Poirier told Ariel Helwani. “I work hard and I take this very seriously. This is my life and it would be a pleasure for me to beat a guy who believes in himself like that.
“Besides my wrestling and jiu-jitsu being better, I believe my boxing and kickboxing are better than his. He just talks a lot and gets a lot of publicity. And good for him, but I would love to whip him. Like I said, this is my life and any challenges like this excite me.”
On paper it seems like a great fight and it adds extra spice to what’s already shaping up to be a strong fight card for UFC 178.
The event will be headlined by potentially the biggest fight of the year as Jon Jones defends his 205lb title against Alexander Gustafsson for a second time, while Dominick Cruz makes his long awaited return against Tatsayu Mizugaki and Tim Kennedy fights Yoel Romero on the pay-per-view main card.