CONOR McGREGOR is 'pushing' to return and fight Dustin Poirier on December 12 after Amanda Nunes pulled out of UFC 256.
McGregor has already been offered a January 23 lightweight headliner against Poirier, who has signed his half of the deal.
But according to MMA Fighting, the Irishman is instead 'pushing for the December 12 date'.
It comes after two-weight champion Nunes, 32, withdrew from her main-event next month against Megan Anderson, 30, through injury.
Now it appears that McGregor, 32, wants to capitalise by having his rematch against Poirier, 31, replace it.
The Irishman was desperate to fight three times this year, but was left sidelined amid the coronavirus pandemic.
His last win came in January, knocking out 37-year-old Donald Cerrone in 40 seconds.
And facing Poirier – who he beat at featherweight in 2014 – at the end of the year would go some way to making up for lost time.
But McGregor's plea is likely to be ignored, with the UFC having no plans to have him return on a card which already features a title fight.
Petr Yan, 27, is set to defend his bantamweight belt against Aljamain Sterling, 31.
And the UFC prefer not to have a non-title fight headline over a championship bout.
They also have to award their champions pay-per-view points, which increases their purse depending on the box office success.
McGregor is the only non-champ contracted to PPV points, meaning if he fought on the same card as Yan, they would be shelling out two sets of bonuses.
White revealed the southpaw star is in line to come back on January 23 for UFC 257 on Fight Island.
But the UFC president White stressed there are still several hurdles to overcome before announcing that his biggest star is coming back.
He told ESPN: “Nothing is done yet.
"January 23 on Fight Island if everything goes according to plans. There are a ton of if's right now.
"I have to see where the world is in the next couple of months."
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