UFC chief Dana White has praised Dustin Poirier for choosing a money-spinning trilogy with Conor McGregor over a title shot.
The American KOd the Notorious in January, exacting revenge seven years after McGregor floored him in Las Vegas.
Poirier’s victory earned him a shot at the vacant lightweight title following Khabib Nurmagomedov’s retirement.
But the 32-year-old turned it down leaving Michael Chandler to take on Charles Oliveira for the belt on May 15.
White revealed how he had no blame for Poirier despite him being ranked No1 in the lightweight rankings.
He said: “Dustin wants the rematch [with Conor McGregor].
“That’s smart. That’s what he should do. He should take the rematch, take that fight. It’s a big fight for him.
“Kid’s worked hard his whole life, his whole career to be in a position like this. That’s the fight you take.
“We’ve been in positions like this before with others who have made the mistake of not taking that fight, and [it was the] biggest mistake of their lives.”
The UFC initially wanted to arrange the duo’s third fight in May but were unable to finalise a deal with both fighters.
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According to ESPN’s Ariel Helwani, the third instalment is now being targeted for July.
He tweeted: “There was once a hope McGregor-Poirier 3 fight would get done for May 15 but it’s taken longer than hoped/expected so they moved on from that a while ago, sources say.
“Won’t happen on June 12 (Figueiredo-Moreno on that card), so latest hope is the July 10 card. We’ll see.”