UFC two-division champion Conor McGregor will be back in the octagon on Saturday night when he faces Dustin Poirier in a rematch, as the pay-per-view main event at UFC 257 on Fight Island.
Should McGregor win, he wants to finalize a deal to have a boxing match with eight division world champion Manny Pacquiao.
The MMA superstar appears confident the contest will take place at some point this year.
“It’s almost a certainty,” McGregor said of a fight against Pacquiao in an exclusive interview with Sportsnet’s Arash Madani. “I’m hearing there’s a contract and all coming… it’s that close. We haven’t (spoken) but it should happen in 2021.”
McGregor made his boxing debut back in August of 2017, when he took on Floyd Mayweather, who was coming off a two-year retirement, at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
McGregor started well, but Mayweather slowly broke him down and stopped him in the tenth round. The contest took place at the junior middleweight limit of 154-pounds. Mayweather retired in the aftermath with a perfect record of 50-0.
Their pay-per-view event was a massive financial success – with the contest generating over 4 million pay-per-view purchases.
McGregor has not been successful in attempting to entice Mayweather to face him in a rematch.
Last year, he began to call for a fight with Pacquiao.
The contest became more of a reality when Pacquiao signed on with the same management company that works with McGregor.
Pacquiao, 42-years-old, has been out of the ring since July of 2019, when he turned back the block to win a twelve round split decision over Keith Thurman to capture the WBA welterweight title.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, combined with the inability to fight before a live crowd, Pacquiao was unable to return to the ring in 2020.