Conor McGregor doesn't think Dustin Poirier wants to fight him. | Ciarán Maher/Sherdog.com
Conor McGregor was on top of the world after finishing Diego Brandao in the first round of their main event clash at UFC Fight Night Dublin.
At the post-fight press conference he declared his intention to take a run at the featherweight title before the end of 2014, despite UFC President Dana White expressing doubts about it being possible.
Numerous opponents are of interest to McGregor as he looks to climb the ladder, but Dustin Poirier is one who looms large on the radar. “The Diamond” has had plenty to say about McGregor via social media.
Asked if he would like to fight on the UFC 178 card in September, with Poirier as the opponent, McGregor said he would be happy to but expressed doubts about Poirier’s willingness to take the fight.
“That would be perfect for me, because I already know that guy doesn't want to fight me,” he said. “His teammate Cole Miller -- they're from the same camp -- pulled out of the fight [with me]. He was supposed to be here; he was scheduled to compete tonight. He pulled out.”
McGregor believes that Poirier -- as well as fellow top 10 featherweight Nik Lentz -- already had one opportunity to step up and face him. Both Poirier and Lentz train with Miller at the Florida-based American Top Team.
You're trying to tell me Dustin Poirier, top 10 guy, and Nik Lentz, top 10 guy, both of whom had no fights scheduled, didn't know about Cole's injury?” McGregor asked. “He would have known before the UFC would have known. They would have heard about it before the UFC would have heard, and yet nothing [from them about stepping in]. This is a main-event slot [on] one of the fastest-selling [cards in UFC history]. It was a big, big event. And yet not a peep out of either of them.
“I know he doesn't want to fight. He can pretend that he wants to fight, and send out little tweets about this and that,” McGregor continued. “Let's do it. One by one I want to take everyone out. If that's Dustin, no problem.”
McGregor’s outspoken nature and promises to “take everyone out” on the way to his title shot simultaneously please and worry Dana White.
“I’d like him to relax. I like that he is ambitious; he just needs to relax a little bit,” White said. “I love the way he is; I love the things he says. He reminds me of Ronda Rousey. Him and his ‘visions’… Ronda Rousey has a million visions too. She had visions of me and her meeting and me bringing women to the UFC.
“It’s crazy to listen to her talk of the visions she had, and now I listen to him talk and it’s hilarious.”
As for the fight with Diego Brandao, White had nothing but praise for both participants. He also scotched any suggestion that Brandao had been brought in as a sacrificial lamb who would be overwhelmed by the Dublin crowd.
“Conor fought a guy tonight who was in the best shape I have ever seen him in. Mentally he was there,” White said. “His dressing room is right next to mine. I kept popping into his dressing room like, ‘You hear that crowd?’ He was like, ‘I love it; this place is awesome!’ So it’s not like he was sitting there freaked out by the crowd.
“He came here to win and he is a tough guy. When he is mentally and physically there he is a tough guy to beat, and Conor made it look easy.”