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Three ways Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier could tempt Khabib Nurmagomedov to return

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Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier had to be thrilled last weekend when Dana White shared Khabib Nurmagomedov's interest in returning to the Octagon. After all, Nurmagomedov made McGregor and Poirier submit in October 2018 and September 2019, respectively, and the UFC 257 headliners would like nothing more than getting another crack at the reigning lightweight champion. That being said, here are three scenarios that could have McGregor or Poirier inspiring "The Eagle" to take flight and return for his 30th pro MMA fight.

1. McGregor looks absolutely amazing

McGregor has already vowed to knock Poirier out inside 60 seconds in the main event of UFC 257 at the Etihad Arena on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi on Saturday night. Doing so would not only best McGregor's disposing of Poirier in 2014 — which took one minute and 41 seconds. It may very well be the fireworks needed to successfully lure Khabib back into the Octagon with him. Remember, White did specify that Nurmagomedov said that he needs to see something "spectacular" to come back and fight.

Well, McGregor eviscerating Poirier in less than 60 seconds would check off that requirement and generate instant groundswell for Khabib-McGregor 2. Even if "Mystic Mac" doesn't make good on his prediction, any explosive finish of Poirier could go long ways to enticing Khabib to give his nemesis the rematch.

2. Poirier stuns McGregor and calls Khabib out

Yes, "Notorious" is the favorite entering Saturday night's tilt against Poirier and the thought of Khabib-McGregor 2 may have fight fans pulling for the MMA superstar that much further. However, Poirier can change all that if he stuns McGregor with a shocking upset — especially if it comes via stoppage. If he does that and calls Khabib out then perhaps the Dagestani star would be inclined to give Poirier what he asks for — a rematch and another shot at the lightweight crown.

It's certainly a possibility. Poirier looked razor sharp in his unanimous decision over Dan Hooker in June 2020. Prior to his loss against Nurmagomedov in September 2019, Poirier also produced stellar victories over the likes of Max Holloway, Eddie Alvarez, Justin Gaethje and Anthony Pettis. Exacting revenge against McGregor and calling out Khabib could be just what's needed for the undefeated champ to react.

3. McGregor wins and reactivates bad blood with Khabib

McGregor has already stated that he thinks Khabib is afraid to fight him. If McGregor defeats Poirier — whether impressively or not — and continues getting ultra personal with his comments toward Khabib afterwards, it could present the spark the lightweight champ needs to detonate and reprise their rivalry.

We're well aware that McGregor truly owns the gift of gab. His mouthpiece is as sharp as his fight game. Triggering Khabib with just the right words following a big win could lay the instant groundwork for White to put together what could very well be the biggest UFC pay-per-view of all time. Leave it to McGregor to find the elocution to strike a nerve with his heated rival.

 

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