Conor McGregor will try to repeat his electrifying performance from his first fight against Dustin Poirier when the two meet for a rematch in the main event of UFC 257 on Saturday in Abu Dhabi.
McGregor and Poirier will take center stage at the UFC’s Fight Island facility, headlining an 11-fight card that features plenty of interesting talent, but no title bouts.
A Rematch Seven Years in the Making
Poirier and McGregor first fought as featherweights back in 2014. McGregor finished his opponent in under two minutes, scoring a TKO via punches on his way to eventually winning the UFC Featherweight Championship just over a year later.
But Poirier (26-6) has proven himself to be a world-class fighter at lightweight. The 32-year-old has won six of his last seven fights (with one no contest in that period), with the only loss coming to the ferocious Khabib Numagomedov via third-round submission.
|UFC 257 Odds (via PointsBet)|
|Dustin Poirier: +255||Conor McGregor: -325|
|Dan Hooker: -143||Michael Chandler: +110|
|Jessica Eye: +100||Joanne Calderwood: -125|
|Marina Rodriguez: +260||Amanda Ribas: -350|
|Andrew Sanchez: +120||Makhmud Muradov: -150|
Some see this fight as Poirier getting a chance for revenge against McGregor. But a win would also immediately vault him to the top of the division in the absence of Nurmagomedov’s presence, and Poirier says that’s what really matters.
“It’s not about revenge and payback,” Poirier told MMA Junkie. “It’s about prosperity, about putting my family in position to be successful. It’s about raising awareness to [The Good Fight Foundation] and helping bring awareness to people in need. It’s a lot of things. It’s about being the world champion. It’s about getting closer to that title. But it’s not about revenge.”
As Poirier noted, he and McGregor will donate $500,000 to The Good Fight Foundation, a nonprofit which Poirier founded to raise funds for a variety of initiatives.
Oddsmakers Expect Early McGregor Knockout
Even without a title, McGregor (22-4) remains the biggest name in all of MMA. Despite announcing his retirement multiple times, the Irishman has returned to the Octagon without fail, albeit on a lighter schedule. This will be only his second bout since losing to Nurmagomedov at UFC 229 in October 2018. He last fought a year ago, finishing Donald Cerrone in just 40 seconds at UFC 246.
It’s hard to judge McGregor’s commitment towards making another title run. But if he wants to put himself back in the picture, this bout – effectively an eliminator as the lightweight division sorts itself out – is a must win.
“I’m in amazing shape,” McGregor told TSN’s Aaron Bronsteter. “I’ve grown so much in so many areas of fighting. I’m just eager to get to show it. I didn’t get my competition in 2020, which I wanted. I want to put my work to the test and put it out there for the fans to see.”
Bettors have shown confidence that McGregor will repeat his performance from his first fight against Poirier. PointsBet lists McGregor as a -325 favorite over Poirier (+255).
McGregor has shown time and again that he has the knockout power to finish anyone early, and while Poirier has improved in recent years, that remains the most likely scenario for this fight as well. PointsBet sees McGregor as a -179 pick to win by knockout or TKO, and a +150 choice to win in the first round.
The UFC 257 card also features a co-main event in which lightweight Michael Chandler (21-5) will make his UFC debut against No. 6 contender Dan Hooker (20-9). Chandler comes in as a +110 underdog to Hooker (-143).