Dustin Poirier could be returning to MMA action sometime in the late first quarter of 2020, and the former UFC lightweight champion is targeting no less than Conor McGregor for a rematch in his comeback.

“I’ll be training hard in January and I think that late March, early April is realistic,” Poirier said when he was interviewed by MMA Fighting.  “My doctor thinks that’s a realistic return. I’m going to start training hard in January and I’m actually going to be getting in shape all through December."

After his submission loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov in UFC 242 last September, the 30-year-old Poirier has since dyed in the wool with regards to his diet. “The Diamond” is currently recovering from a hip surgery which he underwent immediately after the Khabib fight.

“I’ve actually been eating a plant-based diet to heal up. My body’s feeling great. I’m lighter than I usually am in camp right now. Everything’s going good. I’m staying positive and March or April we’ll be beating somebody up. I just want it to be the right name and I want it to make sense,” the Louisiana-born fighter said.

With the kind of discipline that he exhibits in his recovery and comeback preparation, it goes without saying that the 10-year-pro Dustin Poirier will not settle for less in his next fight; hence, his sights are set to the Irish sensation Conor McGregor, saying that a rematch with him is the most logical choice.

“I think it would make more sense if he’s trying to get back to the top,” Poirier said of McGregor. “I was the former interim world champion. Conor’s the former undisputed world champion. We fought years ago, we both had our separate paths and we’ve both done great things. I think this makes a lot of sense. I’m No. 2, I think he’s No. 3. It makes a lot of sense. I think the fans want to see it as well but time will tell. I definitely want that fight, and it’s something I want to do.”

Conor McGregor defeated Dustin Poirier via first-round KO at UFC 178 in September 2014. But even up to date, the No. 2 ranked lightweight Poirier admits that McGregor’s punches are by far the hardest he has ever received.