Conor McGregor is officially returning to the Octagon…sort of. The biggest name in UFC, who surprisingly retired from competition earlier this year, announced on Twitter Wednesday that he has agreed to take on Dustin Poirier in a sparring match for charity this coming December.
The two fighters will compete in an exhibition competition in Dublin, Ireland, in December 12:
McGregor and Poirier previously squared off at UFC 178 back in September of 2014. McGregor had no issues back then, easily defeating Poirier with a first-round knockout that earned him Performance of the Night honors.
Earlier on Wednesday, UFC president Dana White revealed that he had offered both fighters the chance at a rematch. The news came after McGregor and Poirier went back-and-forth via social media earlier this week.
In an interview with Barstool, White said,
“[Conor] called out Poirier for a fight in Dublin for charity. So we offered them both a fight. We offered Dustin and Conor a fight, so we’re waiting to hear back from both of them.”
McGregor and Poirier verbally agreed to a charity fight in Dublin via Twitter on Monday. Shortly after White’s comments went public, Poirier wrote on Instagram, “I accept.” Poirier didn’t give any additional context, but it has become clear that the fight is on.
McGregor hasn’t fought since January when he easily beat Donald Cerrone via first-round TKO at UFC 246. It was McGregor’s first appearance in a competition since October of 2018, when he was beaten by lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Poirier had been slated to take on Tony Ferguson at UFC 254 in the co-main event next month, but the bout was called off due to a contractual snag. The fight was never finalized. Poirier’s last outing came in June, when he beat Dan Hooker by unanimous decision.
Poirier’s most recent outing before defeating Hooker was a defeat via third-round submission to Khabib at UFC 242 in September of last year.
White offered to add $500,000 to the proceeds for the fight. Poirier founded The Good Fight Foundation, which will be one of the beneficiaries of the bout.
Despite McGregor’s retirement earlier this year, he has been rumored to be involved in a number of potential fights in recent months. McGregor had teased a potential fight against Manny Pacquiao, but the fight seems unlikely to actually take place.
McGregor has also been linked to a fight with Diego Sanchez, a fight many believe would be a mismatch in McGregor’s favor. McGregor was reportedly texting White back in February regarding the possibility, but no formal plans have come to fruition ever since.
Sanchez, 38, has not been in good form of late, and most believe he has reached the end of his career. Dan Hardy was among those that scoffed at the notion that the fight could happen, noting that McGregor really doesn’t stand to gain anything from it.
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