Conor McGregor returns to the octagon after he announced his retirement in summer 2020. His first opponent is Dustin Poirier, the fighter he won in 2014 by technical knockout. However, a lot of things have changed since that time, and the winner of this clash will be closer to the lightweight title. Login Casino always follows the latest sports news in fighting, explaining what to expect from the upcoming event.
The future fight between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier will be the headline of the UFC 257 event. The revenge fight will be held on the Fight Island in Abu Dhabi, UAE. The event will start on January 24, at 5:00 AM EET, while in the US, it will still be January 23, so don't confuse the right time.
Why is there so much attention around McGregor fights?
The Irish mixed martial artist's return to the octagon is one of the most awaited events in 2021 for the UFC. Even though he was fighting about a year ago, Conor McGregor saved his status as one of the most discussed personalities in the fighting world. Moreover, as MMA is one of the most popular sports all over the world, it allows the "Notorious'' to be listed as one of the best-paid sportsmen right now with incredible wallet size.
There is much evidence to believe that Conor is a golden fish for the UFC. His super fight with Khabib Nurmagomedov is one of the most scalable, profitable, and discussed events in the fighting world until now. Interestingly, the Irish doesn't mind noting his attractiveness and stated at the end of 2020 that his bout with Donal Cerrone had been the most profitable match for the UFC in the previous year.
That is why Dana While, the UFC president, was often talking about McGregor's potential return after the unexpected summer decision to leave the octagon. Not surprisingly, the rumors about the Conor vs. Dustin rematch were massively followed, while the announcement of the fight’s date attracted significant feedback.
The first bout between Poirier vs McGregor
At the time of their first octagon meeting, a bit younger American was more experienced in the UFC. In 2014, Porieir took part in his ninth fight under the most popular MMA championship organization, while Conor came to the most promoted octagon only for the fourth time. Nevertheless, the charismatic Irishman rather quickly found the easy way to get the victory, destroying Dustin with punches in the first round.
Receiving another Performance of the Night award on September 27, 2014, Conor came to his interim UFC Featherweight Championship fight just in one bout. The Irish athlete was quite successful in his next fights, winning belts in both the UFC Featherweight and Lightweight divisions until his loss to Khabib in 2018. Poirier was also focused more on the lightweight division and came to the decisive match against Nurmagomedov, losing to him in 2019.
The second McGregor vs Poirier fight: what to expect?
The sports betting predictions for the second fight between the athletes are strongly in McGregor's favor. The Irishman was persuasive a year ago with destroying Donald Cerrone in just 40 seconds during the UFC 246 fight night. Although Conor didn't have fighting practice since that time, he seems to be in a rather good shape in his 32.
The 32-year-old American fighter had a tough practice in the middle of 2020, overcoming Dan Hooker only by the unanimous decision. However, it can make no difference as all the artists have their own style and every bout should be regarded separately.
Nevertheless, experts admit that Dustin is susceptible to the opponents' fast legs and flashy boxing-like style. Both are the strong sides of Conor McGregor, and he will probably use these elements in the octagon. Even though the "Notorious" isn't also perfect in the grappling-like duels, Poirier seems to be even worse in this kind of fight.
Can Conor McGregor next fight be with Khabib Nurmagomedov if he wins Poirier?
According to Dana White, the year 2021 can be full of surprises and attractive bouts in the UFC. Even though the actively participating Israel Adesanya and Jon Jones seem to be the target for perfect promotion, the world is also expecting another clash.
Thus, the retirement of Khabib Nurmagomedov in autumn 2020 created numerous rumors and unspoken feelings. First of all, the recent 29-0 winning record needs to be rounded. If to be serious, Khabib's status of number one in the current pound-for-pound rankings by UFC is rather doubtful and trash-talking on this subject between Jones and Adesanya already started. Thus, the "Bones" cannot understand how the guy with only four title bouts can be regarded as the GOAT in MMA, while the American has 15 such fights.
Being only 32 years old, Nurmagomedov can easily return to the octagon and prove once more (maybe a few times) why the UFC praised his skills on such a high level. Moreover, in one of the latest interviews, the Russian said he would visit the upcoming top lightweight bouts of the UFC 257: McGregor vs. Poirier and Hooker vs. Chandler. If Khabib sees the promising opponent, he'll be ready to put on his gloves again.
As the following lightweight belt still belongs to the Russian and there is no specific information about who will be battling for the vacated title, there are enough chances for the public to see another notable return to the lightweight fighting division. It's even hard to imagine what will be the attention to the possible next fight between Khabib vs. McGregor if the latter destroys his opponent in the UFC 257 event.