UFC news: Conor McGregor's next opponent could be Justin Gaethje instead of Dustin Poirier

p1emoutdik1foa11es12eu1999u4c9.jpg

Conor McGregor is set to make his comeback to UFC against Dustin Poirier on January 23, but recent reports suggest he may have a change of opponent.

The Irishman has not fought in the Octagon for nearly a year now, announcing his second retirement from fighting in June after successfully defeating Donald 'Cowboy' Cerrone back in January.

But he accepted promoter Dana White’s challenge to return to the sport in October, with Poirier the man chosen to fight against him.

Despite this, ‘The Diamond’ is yet to agree terms with UFC, amid rumours that Poirier himself is the reason for the delay.

Plans are now being made to substitute in another opponent if a contract is not drawn up, according to ESPN.

When asked about whether the fight was finalised last week, White said: “Yeah, the fight’s done. I think (it’s signed), yeah. As far as I know, it’s done.”

However, a post from Poirier’s Instagram page, where he told the UFC to “stop playing games”, suggested that the bout was not yet official.

The two fighters faced off previously in September 2014, with McGregor winning in the first round via TKO and winning Performance of the Night for his efforts.

Poirier has had some notable successes since, including victories over Eddie Alvarez and Justin Gaethje, as well as a Performance of the Night award for his fight against Dan Hooker in June of this year.

Thirty-one-year-old Gaethje – who was recently defeated by Khabib Nurmagomedov in what was the latter’s final fight before retirement – is one of the opponents rumoured to be under consideration to potentially face McGregor in January.

Whoever the Irishman takes on, though, he is clearly well prepared to get back into the Octagon.

Writing on social media, he said: “I am infinite times better again!

“Sometimes we must go to a place in our lives in order for us to get a better place! I am in a tremendous space right now and I am excited for competition.”

News Now - Sport News