Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier are scheduled to face each other in a trilogy bout at UFC 264. The highly-anticipated contest will take place on July 10, 2021.
Considering the magnitude of this fight, the UFC is likely to pick a few backup fighters if either McGregor or Poirier pull out of their clash. While neither of them is known for withdrawing from their scheduled bouts, unforeseen injuries can always spoil the party.
Let's take a look at three backup fighters for the trilogy fight between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier.
#1 Justin Gaethje (Last fought Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 254)
In the UFC lightweight division, Justin Gaethje is ranked second only to Dustin Poirier. The No. 2 lightweight is still one of the hottest names in the 155-pound weight class despite his loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 254.
Gaethje is a fitting contender to serve as a backup fighter for the UFC 264 main event since he shares a storyline with both Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier.
'The Highlight' fought Poirier in a four-round barnburner contest in April 2018. If given a chance, he would be willing to avenge his previous loss to 'The Diamond'.
Gaethje also had a heated exchange with McGregor on Twitter recently. He ridiculed the Irishman's 'McGregor Fast' gloves and questioned its quality. 'The Notorious' responded by saying that he would "smoke" Gaethje and his coach Trevor Wittman at the same time.
#2 Michael Chandler (Last fought Charles Oliveira at UFC 262)
Michael Chandler's quest for the UFC gold ended in a devastating TKO loss to Charles Oliveira at UFC 262. During the post-fight interview, a gracious Chandler vehemently exclaimed:
"I will be back. I promise I'm going to wear that UFC strap within the next 12 months."
Currently ranked No. 4 in the division, Chandler could guarantee himself a rematch against Oliveira with a win in a potential fight against Conor McGregor or Dustin Poirier.
The former Bellator superstar established himself as a legitimate contender in the UFC lightweight division with a stunning win over Dan Hooker. He was also on the cusp of glory at UFC 262, when he secured a knockdown against Oliveira. Unfortunately, he failed to capitalize on it.
#3 Rafael dos Anjos (Last fought Paul Felder at UFC Vegas 14)
Although Rafael dos Anjos does not possess the star power that the aforementioned fighters do, the former lightweight champion is still a formidable presence in the 155-pound division.
He outclassed a tough Paul Felder in his lightweight return at UFC Vegas 14 in November last year. Since then, the 36-year-old has been vying for a fight against the likes of Conor McGregor, Justin Gaethje, and Islam Makhachev.
With Beneil Dariush saying he would like to take some time off from the fight game, Dos Anjos is the only logical third name whom the UFC could pick as a backup fighter for the UFC 264 headliner.