Conor McGregor is back under the lights this Sunday as he takes on old rival Dustin Poirier at UFC 257.
McGregor returns to the Octagon for the first time in a year to rematch Poirier, despite announcing his retirement for the third time in 2020.
Poirier earned the nickname ‘The Diamond’ because he is one of the hardest men in the UFC, an opponent who won’t give up and who finishes fights. Even the most hard-nosed Conor McGregor hater will agree that his nickname suits him. ‘The Notorious’ works with his persona, his reputation and is even integrated into his walkout song.
McGregor and Poirier will meet in the main event of UFC 257 on Sunday morning (Thailand time) in Abu Dhabi. The fight, which will occur at lightweight, will be a rematch of a 2014 featherweight fight that McGregor won by first-round knockout. ‘The Notorious’ breezed past Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone last January in just 40 seconds in his comeback bout following his dramatic defeat to Khabib Nurmagomedov in October 2018.
Poirier also lost to Khabib, in 2019, but has claimed a number of fine wins since his defeat to McGregor in their first meeting in 2014 and is a much-improved fighter now.
McGregor and Poirier are set to take to the ring at around 10 AM Thailand time.
McGregor has vowed to put on a show when he finally gets back inside the octagon, tweeting in early January: “I promise a masterpiece,” while adding he will make light work of his lightweight opponent, predicting it will be over in 60 seconds.
And if McGregor puts on a show and is ultimately successful, then a rematch against Khabib Nurmagomedov could be next. “You can say whatever you want, but Conor McGregor vs Khabib is a massive fight,” UFC president Dana White said. “And if Conor wins in spectacular fashion, it would be harder to say he doesn’t deserve the shot.”
Poirier, though, is a different man to the one he faced six years ago. “I don’t know how that plays out now in the fight, but it’s definitely interesting,” White commented. “You can’t look at the first fight and go, ‘Oh, this is exactly the way that’s gonna go again.’ Because it won’t.”
Former two-weight champion McGregor is the highest-paid fighter in UFC history. He banked more than £23million for his first-round knockout win over Donald Cerrone in January. And he’s expected to take home the lion’s share of the purse against Poirier. The purse for the upcoming bout is not yet known but is thought to be around £10m and Mac has vowed to donate a chunk of it to charity.
McGregor v Poirier: Tale of the tape
Conor McGregor – Dustin Poirier
Age: 32 – 31
Nationality: Irish – American
Height: 5ft 9 (175cm) – 5ft 9 (175cm)
Weight: 170lb (77kg) – 155lb (70kg)
Reach: 74 in (188 cm) – 72 in (183 cm)
Record: 22/4 – 26/6
Knockouts/Submissions: 20 – 19
Last fight: Beat Donald Cerrone – Beat Dan Hooker