UFC President Dana White revealed Dustin Poirier is his number one choice to face Conor McGregor upon the Irishman’s return to the Octagon.
McGregor, 30, was last seen in the cage being submitted by lightweight champion and rival Khabib Nurmagomedov in the fourth round at UFC 229 on October 6.
No indication has been made as of who McGregor will face when he returns to the UFC, despite the Irishman being linked to a fight with Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone.
UFC chief White, however, told FOX Sports that he would like McGregor to fight Poirier while No.1 ranked lightweight Tony Ferguson fights Nurmagomedov for the title.
White said: “The ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone fight has never ever been discussed. That’s completely not true, I said the fight that makes sense right now is probably Poirier.
“Then Tony gets a shot at the title and the two winners fight each other.”
If McGregor is to face Poirier it will be a rematch of their September 2014 fight — which The Notorious won in just under two minutes at UFC 178.
That win for the Irishman was at 145 lbs, and four years on McGregor has claimed UFC titles at featherweight and lightweight.
For Poirier however, his form has also improved as he has lost just once since that defeat to McGregor four years ago.
Poirier has recorded notable wins against the likes of Anthony Pettis, Justin Gaethje and Eddie Alvarez within the last 13 months which has got him a No 3 ranking in the UFC lightweight division.
The 29-year-old was set to face former McGregor opponent Nate Diaz at UFC 230 last month, but an injury to Poirier forced him out of the fight.
Poirier teased that a fight with McGregor is imminent as he posted a picture of red pants on Twitter.
The lightweight is referencing a line McGregor once told Rafael dos Anjos at a UFC press-conference in 2015.
McGregor said: “I can make you rich. I change your bum life. You fight me, it’s a celebration. When you sign to fight me, it’s a celebration.
“You ring back home, you ring your wife. ‘Baby, we’ve done it. We’re rich, baby. Conor McGregor made us rich. Break out the red panties.’”
McGregor and Nurmagomedov are currently suspended by the Nevada State Athletic Commision for their parts in the post-fight brawl after UFC 229.
A hearing is set for December 10, with White aware the return of his biggest star cannot be finalised until Nurmagomedov and McGregor go before the NSAC.
White said: “I’m not sure exactly on a date when Conor’s going to fight yet. We have to get through this Nevada State Athletic Commission stuff first.
“Who knows what these guys are going to get for suspensions? If it was just a fine, that would be one thing.
“They’re definitely getting suspended. I can’t see a scenario where they don’t get suspended, so I can’t do anything.”
“I’ve got a job to do. I’ve got to make fights, no matter who’s here and who’s not.
“I have to make fights, so I will continue to make fights until we find out what the suspensions are. When the suspensions are laid down, I will continue to make fights until they are back.”