UFC 264: Dana White searching for Conor McGregor or Dustin Poirier back-up options

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UFC chief Dana White is on the look out for a back-up fighter ahead of Dustin Poirier vs Conor McGregor 3.

In the scenario that either one of them backs out of the high-profile fight, he wants to ensure that he is not found wanting at the last moment.

Speaking to Bleacher Report, he said: "I'm actually looking for someone right now to be the backup on that card.

"Nobody's jumping out. Nobody's kicking down my door."

That’s interesting, isn’t it? Why would they back out in the first place? It’s a fight that the two have been preparing for for a very long time, and backing out now would only be detrimental to their own interests more than the UFC’s.

There’s another way of looking at it. Is there anything White’s hiding? Is there something brewing behind closed doors?

It’s understandable that he wants to be on the safe side for what would be the first full-capacity event in Las Vegas since the start of the pandemic, however, with so much at stake and finances no exception to that, why would you ponder a back-up in the first place?

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There isn’t an answer at the moment, but let us just hope that there’s nothing to worry about, for the way McGregor and Poirier have been preparing is exhilarating, to say the least.

While Poirier remains a firm favourite, McGregor’s long-time training partner Artem Lobov has a different view.

Speaking on the Barekunckle Uncensored podcast, he said: “Conor is a very, very smart fighter.

"I just feel the last fight he maybe took it a little bit lightly and thought, ‘I’ll just show up and do what I do and destroy him.

"Not only that, he was already mentally and physically getting ready for a boxing fight so he wasn’t thinking leg kicks - no MMA.

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"He just thought it was going to be the same way as the first fight."

Lobov even went one further with his prediction, stating that The Notorious will have the deal sealed in the first round.

"We have to give credit to Dustin. He’s done his homework. He’s improved a lot since the first fight and he did a good job," he said.

"But I think now when Conor is switched on, he knows what’s up. His full focus is on this fight.

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"He’s studied him, he looked at what the issues were in the second fight and honestly when Conor shows up like that, there’s no stopping him.

"So I see him stopping Dustin early, first, maybe second round. I want to say first. My prediction is first round but it could go into the second."

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