Last year, Conor McGregor kicked off the UFC’s pay-per-view slate with a stunning performance that left MMA fans eager to see more from the promotion’s biggest superstar. They will get their wish when the former two-division champion returns to the Octagon on Saturday to headline UFC 257 against longtime rival Dustin Poirier. The main UFC 257 fight card featuring Poirier vs. McGregor 2 is set for 10 p.m. ET from Fight Island. The polarizing McGregor returned from a 14-month layoff last January to starch veteran contender Donald Cerrone in just 40 seconds.
The next year, McGregor would become a world champion at 145 pounds, while Poirier began a lightweight journey that culminated in him becoming an interim UFC lightweight champion in 2019.
Conor McGregor required just one minute and 46 seconds to defeat Dustin Poirier when they first did battle back at UFC 178 in 2014.
The Irish fighter has claimed he will beat that time in their rematch, set for Saturday at Fight Island in the main event of UFC 257. But a lot has changed since then.
Which of the two fighters has made the most improvements over the last six-and-a-half years? Can the American create the opening that never came the first time around?
Three of our most fight-mad staff members here at DAZN News have been tasked with not only picking a winner, but attempting to call the finish as well.
McGregor and Poirier are now set to fight a second time when they headline UFC 257 on Jan. 23 at the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi, and the winner likely will challenge for a lightweight title in the near future.
Poirier, meanwhile, has been nothing short of brilliant since the defeat to McGregor six years ago. He’s gone on a 10-2 run with one of those losses coming to Nurmagomedov after claiming the interim lightweight title. He owns wins over Jim Miller, Eddie Alvarez, Anthony Pettis, Justin Gathje and Max Holloway just to name a few.
Despite champion Khabib Nurmagomedov declaring his retirement following a submission win over Gaethje last October, UFC president Dana White has been insistent that he can get “The Eagle” to win once more. Because of that, the 155-pound title will not be on the line this week, making it all the more important for Poirier and McGregor, as well as the co-main event of former Bellator champ Michael Chandler and Dan Hooker as the fighters jockey for position atop the division.