Former two-weight world champion McGregor is fighting for the first time since January 2020, when he ended a 15-month post-Khabib Nurmagomedov loss absence by destroying veteran Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone inside 40 seconds in a blistering display at UFC 246 in Las Vegas.
‘The Notorious’ - who claimed to have retired for the third time in four years last summer - previously met Poirier at UFC 178 back in September 2014, continuing his ascent to superstardom with another eye-catching stoppage secured in less than two minutes of round one.
Since then, ‘The Diamond’ has become a star in the lightweight division, serving as interim champion before being submitted by Khabib at UFC 242 in September 2019. His most recent bout came in June 2020, when he claimed a unanimous decision win over New Zealand’s Dan Hooker.
Both men will have an eye on putting on a show in Abu Dhabi tonight and coaxing Khabib out of retirement for a second shot at defeating the lightweight king.
UFC 257 TV channel and live stream
TV channel: In the UK, the first UFC pay-per-view event of 2021 is being shown live on BT Sport Box Office at a cost of £19.95.
Live stream: Those that purchase the fight via BT Sport Box Office can then stream the action via the BT Sport website link provided or via the BT Sport Box Office app.
UFC 257 UK start time and venue
With the Covid-19 pandemic still majorly affecting sport across the United States and beyond, UFC 257 is taking place at the brand new Etihad Arena on the UFC’s ‘Fight Island’ - Yas Island in Abu Dhabi.
In the UK, the preliminary action begins on BT Sport at 1am GMT, with the main card expected to commence at 3am.
McGregor vs Poirier - currently ranked fourth and second respectively in the UFC lightweight division - is not expected to start until around 5am on Sunday morning for British fight fans.
UFC 257 card in full
Dustin Poirier vs Conor McGregor (men’s lightweight)
Dan Hooker vs Michael Chandler (men’s lightweight - co-main event)
Jessica Eye vs Joanne Calderwood (women’s flyweight)
Matt Frevola vs Ottman Azaitar (men’s lightweight) - OFF
Marina Rodriguez vs Amanda Ribas (women’s strawweight)
Arman Tsarukyan vs Nasrat Haqparast (men’s lightweight) - OFF
Brad Tavares vs Antonio Carlos Junior (men’s middleweight)
Julianna Pena vs Sara McMann (women’s bantamweight)
Khalil Rountree Jr vs Marcin Prachnio (men’s light heavyweight)
Early preliminary card
Andrew Sanchez vs Makhmud Muradov (men’s middleweight)
Nik Lentz vs Movsar Evloev (men’s catchweight)
Amir Albazi vs Zhalgas Zhumagulov (men’s flyweight)
McGregor vs Poirier weigh in
Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier both made weight ahead of the lightweight bout in Abu Dhabi.
McGregor came in at 155lbs exactly – championship weight – and proclaimed: "You're in for a treat tomorrow, alright? Let's go."
Poirier hit the lightweight limit of 156lbs. He said: "My whole career has aligned me for tomorrow night, and I’m here to be victorious and get my hand raised by any means necessary.
"I'm leaving it all out there. Let’s go."
McGregor vs Poirier prediction
Although it was more than six years ago now, McGregor has a huge psychological advantage over Poirier owing to that previous stoppage in the pair’s first meeting.
‘The Diamond’ is a far better operator now and should pose a much tougher test, but it’s still tough to see McGregor throwing away the potential for a huge second showdown with arch-rival Khabib.
Another stoppage for the brash Dubliner, but this time in a later round.
McGregor vs Poirier bettings odd and tips
McGregor to win: 1/3
Poirier to win: 11/4
Draw or technical draw: 54/1
McGregor to win in the first round: 9/4
Poirier to win by knockout or TKO: 15/2
Odds (subject to change) courtesy of Betfair Exchange. Click here to find out more.
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