White refuses to book McGregor-Poirier earlier than January
Jeff Bottari / UFC / Getty

If Conor McGregor versus Dustin Poirier is going to happen, it won't be in 2020 as the Irishman wants.

UFC president Dana White isn't willing to budge on the targeted date of Jan. 23, 2021, he told ESPN's Brett Okamoto on Wednesday.

"We offered (McGregor) a fight, we got him his own date," White said. "We didn't have a date this year. We have everything laid out for this year, with world champions fighting for titles. He wants to fight Dustin Poirier apparently, so we went to (broadcast partner) ESPN and got him his own date. He's been offered Dustin Poirier on Jan. 23.

"It's a yes or no answer."

In late September, the promotion formally offered a fight to McGregor and Poirier for the Jan. 23 pay-per-view card.

McGregor said last week he had accepted the offer under the condition the bout takes place in 2020 - either at UFC 255 on Nov. 21 or UFC 256 on Dec. 12. Poirier was interested in the fight and willing to schedule it for either date.

However, multiple title fights are already set for both events. White said it's not possible for the company to move around some of those bouts to accommodate McGregor's timeline.

"That's not how it works," White said. "We laid out this year. He was retired. Would anybody disagree he was retired?

"Through this crazy pandemic year we're going through, we faced a lot of challenges. There were a lot of things done to make this thing work. We made it happen. We have our schedule laid out. Fighters have committed to it. Fighters have started training for these fights. Conor came back and wants to fight Dustin, so we went out and got him his own date. It's Jan. 23."

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White refuses to book McGregor-Poirier earlier than January
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