Dubai: He quit the sport in a hurry and now he wants to return, you guessed it, as quick as he can.
Such are the whims of top-flight sportsmen and Irishman Conor McGregor is no different.
The former UFC featherweight and lightweight champion shocked the world for the third time In June this year when he announced that he was turning his back on MMA and the UFC because it did not ‘excite’ him anymore.
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This just a few months after he beat American fan favourite Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone in just 40 seconds at UFC 246.
But ‘The Notorious’ has had a big change of heart, perhaps realising that his fan base is getting bored with his talk of hanging up his gloves only to return again when the money’s good.
McGregor is reportedly worth over $100 million but that has not stopped him from eyeing lucrative fights with a mega fight against Dustin Poirier just a pen-and-paper moment away from being finalised.
And guess what! The fight is likely to be the headline act as the UFC makes its third return to Fight Island in Abu Dhabi on January 23.
The two men have previously fought before at UFC 178 in 2014 where McGregor won in just two rounds abut the scenarios at the time were a lot different than they are today. McGregor was climbing towards his prime while Poirier was still finding his feet in the UFC.
Fast forward six years and Poirier is a massively improved fighter and worthy of being a title contender and a much more dangerous opponent for McGregor than the one who stood in front of him in the Octagon on that occasion.
Confirming that the fight between McGregor and Poirier was all but finalised when UFC boss Dana White said: “January 23 on Fight Island, if everything goes according to plans. There are a ton of ifs right now. I have to see where the world is at in the next couple of months.”
It is understood that Poirier has signed the deal for the bout while McGregor, who wants to return before the year is over and in December, is yet to sign it.
A win against Poirier would put McGregor in pole position to fight for the title once again with a return match against retired champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, the one that he really wants.
Not just because of its implications, but also because of the killer purse that it would generate and net him more millions.