UFC president Dana White said Conor McGregor could leave Las Vegas this weekend with a title shot in his back pocket.
Speaking to MMA Junkie/USA Today ahead of UFC 264 in Las Vegas this weekend, White laid out the stakes for the Irishman as the build-up continues for one of the most eagerly anticipated UFC fight of 2021 so far.
“Listen, Conor McGregor is a competitor,” White said.
“All you’ve got to do is look. The guy has a ton of money. He doesn’t need to fight anymore.
“He wants to fight. He’s a fighter to the core. What’s at stake is, yes, he wants to be back on top.
“He goes in there and beats the No. 1 guy in the world, he’s probably going to get the next title shot.
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“The other thing Conor McGregor likes probably more than competition is money. When he fights, he makes a s**tload of money.
“These are all still very important things to him at this point in his life.”
Despite his patchy form, McGregor will be blessed with an array of options after Saturday’s fight, regardless of whether he wins or loses to Poirier. And White said that he won’t turn his attention to what’s next for the Irish superstar until UFC 264 is in the rear-view mirror.
“I don’t think about anything with Conor until after Saturday,” White said.
“Because you never know where this kid’s head is and what he’s thinking.
“He’s a fighter, man. I used to say about him all the time, a lot of people like to criticise and this and that.
“I’ve been in the living room. I’ve been on the phone when we’re standing in front of the kid saying, ‘Your opponent fell out and blah, blah, blah.’
“I know who Conor McGregor is on the fight side. You have a lot of guys who talk a lot of s**t publicly. Most of it’s not true.
“The thing is with Conor McGregor is this guy has always stepped up and been willing to fight anybody, anywhere, any time.
“He’s extremely wealthy. The question is, ‘How much more of this does he want?’ How hungry is he? We’ll find out on Saturday night.
“Win, lose, or draw, we’ll find out probably a couple weeks after that what he wants to do next.”
McGregor takes on Poirier with the pair each holding a win over the other.
McGregor finished Poirier in one round at UFC 178 back in 2014, while Poirier exacted revenge with a second-round TKO in January this year.
Now the pair will face off for a third time with bragging rights, and a possible shot at the UFC lightweight title, on the line.
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