It’s McGregor vs Poirier: FIGHT!
Former UFC Featherweight and Lightweight Champion Conor McGregor makes his comeback against American Dustin Poirier at the Flash Forum, Fight Island Abu Dhabi (UAE), this weekend at UFC 257 (Sunday from 4.00 CET January 24th).
The Lightweight bout will be the first major contest in almost a year for McGregor, while Poirier is still riding his success from the summer UFC Fight Night against Dan Hooker, back in June. The showdown is also the second high-profile matchup between both fighters since 2014.
If you don’t know who these challengers are, don’t worry… we’re going to take a look at what all the fuss is about. Join us ring-side for everything you need to know.
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The 32-year-old ‘Notorious’ Conor McGregor, heads back to the Octagon after a short-lived hiatus from the sport. Ultimate Fighting Championship’s President Dana White, confirmed to the Associated Press back in November 2020, that McGregor had signed an agreement with UFC to fight Dustin Poirier in the following January. This news comes only months after the MMA star and boxer had announced his departure from UFC after taking down ‘Cowboy’ Donald Cerrone, in a technical knockout at UFC 246.
The Welterweight matchup finished in the first round, with McGregor delivering the blow that concluded the fight in less than a minute.
Conor McGregor in numbers:
Cut like a Diamond
In the opposite corner for the fight is the former Interim Lightweight Champion Dustin Poirier. The #2 ranked Lightweight MMA star, has been competing professionally since 2009.
The American, nicknamed ‘Diamond’, holds an equally impressive streak of 33 bouts; 26 wins versus 6 losses and 1 no-contest.
Dustin Poirier in numbers:
Poirier burst on to the UFC scene when he stepped in to fight Josh Grispi, at UFC 125 in 2011. Poirier replaced the then UFC Featherweight Champion José Aldo, who was set to make his first title defence.
Poirier beat the then #1 contender for the Lightweight title by U-Dec (Unanimous Decision), in three rounds.
It’s been an exciting thrill ride for the fighter, going to toe to toe with fighters like Eric Koch, Akira Corassani and Bobby Green and winning accolades like the; ‘Interim UFC Lightweight Championship’ (once) ‘Submission of the Night’ (once), ‘Performance of the Night’ (3 times) and the ‘Performance of the Night’ (7 times).
September 2014 changed everything for Poirier and it all started with a look.
Speaking to Zane Simon from the UFC/MMA news portal Bloody Elbow, the fighter described that he mentally prepared for fights with the mindset that he had to win and beat his opponent. He explained McGregor gave him a look that rattled him.
‘“I always saw it as a plus but the Conor [McGregor] fight was the turning point. I remember I was backstage getting ready to walk out and I saw him and he threw this smile and pointed at me. I don’t know why but it really got to me, man. It really messed with my head. I mean I’m about to go out and fight this dude and he’s back there smiling at me? After that fight I knew I had to find a different way to use my emotion.”’, Poirier told Bloody Elbow.
The Diamond latterly decided that he was going to focus on the Lightweight class and prepare to win the belt. He told news portal MMA Fighting, that he found the weight cuts distracting and that he was going to focus on winning the Lightweight class rather than slimming down for Featherweight or bulking up for Welterweight.
The duelling southpaws faced eachother in the octagon at UFC 178, (September 2014) competing in the Featherweight fight. Within the first two minutes of the first round, the Irishman was able to end the fight with a TKO (Technical Knock-Out).
McGregor landed 9 significant strikes on Poirier, 8 to the head and 1 to the body (88% to the head, 11% to the body). This is compared to the 10 significant strikes from Poirier, 3 to the head and 7 to the legs (30% to the head, 70% to the body).
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Will McGregor make it 2-0 or can the Diamond land the hits he needs to get even?
Catch all the action from 4.00 CET 24th January and get yourself over to Mr Green’s Sports pages to check out the ODDS we’ve got ON THE MATCH!