Most were looking forward to a Manny Pacquiao vs. Conor McGregor fight in 2021 but the chances of that have now gone from high to none. McGregor’s loss to Dustin Poirier at UFC 257 had a big implication in that the Irishman best address his mixed martial arts hangups first before invading the boxing world.
No less than Team Pacquiao president Sean Gibbons said that the demand for a Pacquiao vs. McGregor exhibition fight had plummeted. That said, the best way for “The Notorious” to redeem himself is to re-establish his name in the UFC – meaning he is likely to face Poirier in a rematch. But with several names wanting a crack at Poirier, McGregor may need to go through a series of matches before fully redeeming himself of that second-round KO loss.
"Very unfortunate, it looked like Conor looked past Dustin and got knocked out. Maybe he had the Senator on his mind. I think the demand for the fight is not there presently. Conor has some business to clean up and handle in the UFC. It's a bummer, it could have been fun for as long as it lasted," Gibbons said to The Sun.
5 matchups for Manny Pacquiao in order of appeal: Where does Conor McGregor rank? (via @BoxingJunkie2) https://t.co/dJBKISFjSu — MMA Junkie (@MMAjunkie) January 27, 2021
As most know by now, attention has shifted to Ryan Garcia since that UFC 257 shocker. Before McGregor’s defeat, most felt that “KingRy” may have pushed his luck too far. All that changed drastically, boosted by Garcia’s social media post saying it was a dream come true.
As mentioned in a previous post, the debate now is whether it would be a competitive or exhibition fight. Critics feel it made no sense to hold an exhibition fight since both are still technically active. As of this writing, there is no official word although insiders by this writer reveal that nothing is final and a fight may take place if talks go well.
As for McGregor, he maintains that he did not lose focus against Poirier. He is aware that the dream fight with Pacquiao has taken a hit and all he is concerned about right now is bouncing back and getting back on track.
“I always did want to focus on my MMA career but I’m also open. I’ll just see what happens. I don’t know what will happen. That Manny fight was happening. It was as good as done. I just want to get in and get back into a bounce, especially against that style of fighter, and not take those kicks. Not play with those kicks. It’s just a motherf--ker to take. That’s my mind going," McGregor said.