UFC president Dana White expects Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier to fight for a fourth time once the Irishman’s freak leg injury has healed.
McGregor suffered what was described by White as a break to “the lower tibia in his left shin” during the final seconds of the first round of Saturday night’s eagerly awaited trilogy bout at UFC 264.
The 32-year-old will undergo surgery on Sunday before a lengthy lay-off that could well raise real questions over his long-term future in the sport.
However, McGregor insisted the rivalry was “not over” as he launched into a post-fight tirade against Poirier during a somewhat unusual interview with Joe Rogan as he was having his damaged leg placed in a protective brace, before being stretchered out of the octagon and away to hospital.
Poirier stunned McGregor with a second-round stoppage at UFC 257 in Abu Dhabi back in January, while McGregor stormed to victory in 106 seconds in their first meeting at featherweight back at UFC 178 in September 2014.
While much uncertainty now surrounds McGregor, White believes it is only fair that he gets a fourth fight against Poirier down the line given the freak nature of Saturday’s ending.
Meanwhile, ‘The Diamond’ will next fight for the UFC lightweight title currently held by Brazil’s Charles Oliveira, who defeated Michael Chandler at UFC 262 in May to claim the belt that had been vacant since the retirement of McGregor’s arch-rival Khabib Nurmagomedov in October.
“The fight didn’t get finished. You can’t have a fight finish that way,” White said in his post-fight press conference in Las Vegas on Saturday.
“We’ll see how the whole thing plays out. I mean, who knows how long Conor is out? Poirier will do his thing until Conor is ready.
“It sucks, it’s brutal, it’s not the way you want to see fights end.
“Dustin Poirier will fight for the title and when Conor is healed and ready to go, you do the rematch, I guess.”