Dustin Poirier believes his upcoming fight with Conor McGregor could be for the lightweight title.

Poirier meets McGregor in a lightweight rematch that will take place at the UFC 257 headliner on January 23 in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi. When current lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov announced his retirement in October, many expected the Poirier vs. McGregor fight to be for the vacant lightweight title.

However, UFC president Dana White had other ideas as he refused to rule out Nurmagomedov returning to action and has a meeting planned with “The Eagle” next month to discuss his future.

While White is confident in his persuasion skills, Poirier believes it will be redundant effort as Nurmagomedov is a man of his word when it comes to retirement. If that is the case, that could potentially open the door to him and McGregor battling for a belt.

“I feel like Khabib’s a guy of his word,” Poirier told BT Sport (via BJ Penn). “If he says he’s retired, he’s most likely retired. I feel like me and Conor could potentially be for the belt, you know?

“He’s a former champion. I’m a former interim champ looking to get some gold back around my waist. Conor’s a former undisputed world champion in the lightweight division. Both of our last defeats were to the current, retired champion. So I don’t know, but there’s a storyline you can draw with a lot of these fights. But I try not to pay too much attention to it because on January 23 I’m fighting one of the best guys in the world.”

While some observers would point to Charles Oliveira’s recent win over Tony Ferguson and state that the winner of the UFC 257 headliner should face him for a vacant title, not many would complain if Poirier and McGregor did end up battling for the belt themselves.

For now, we’ll just have to see how White’s meeting with Nurmagomedov goes.

Do you think Poirier vs. McGregor should be for the vacant title?