The cheers have barely stopped reverberating around The O2 since Conor McGregor's first round technical knockout of Brazilian foe Diego Brandao on Saturday night but the Dubliner has already been handed his next assignment by the UFC and it promises to be his sternest challenge yet.
The UFC announced last night that it had reached a verbal agreement for a featherweight bout between McGregor and U.S. opponent Dustin Poirier on the undercard of the Jon Jones vs Alexander Gustafsson Light Heavyweight title rematch at UFC 178 in Las Vegas on September 27th.
'The Diamond', as Poirier is known, is currently ranked #6 in the official UFC rankings and has compiled an 8-2 UFC record since debuting with the promotion in January of 2011 and is generally considered by insiders to be one of the more complete fighters in the division. Poirer hasn't been shy in the media to comment on McGregor's surge in popularity, Tweeting moments after McGregor's win that "UFC 178 sounds good to me."
McGregor's victory over Brandao this past weekend saw him jump up to #10 in the official rankings after impressive showings in his three UFC bouts so far. A win over Poirier would propel McGregor into a title picture already dense with challengers to 145lb kingpin Jose Aldo's throne.
Last weekend's UFC event in Dublin has already become known as one of the most successful shows in foreign soil in the fight league's 20 year history. The event garnered a total of 600,000 viewers in a record tally for broadcaster 3e and was described by UFC president Dana White as the most successful event in UFC Fight Pass (their online PPV model) history.
— UFC United Kingdom (@UFC_UK) July 22, 2014