Having not fought since January 18 2020, Conor McGregor will return to the octagon to headline UFC 257 on January 23rd. In the lightweight main event on Fight Island in Abu Dhabi, McGregor and Dustin Poirier will do battle for the second time in their UFC careers. In their first meeting at UFC 178 in 2014 the two fought as featherweights and McGregor took less than two minutes to record a TKO victory over.
If McGregor’s return or Poirier’s redemption wasn’t enticing enough, the winner of Saturday’s fight could be moving onto a career defining bout. Following UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov announcing his retirement last November, UFC President Dana White stated that he believes Nurmagomedov will fight one more time.
Just last weekend, White revealed that Nurmagomedov had indeed said he’d be willing to fight again if one of the lightweights at UFC 257 really ‘impresses him’.
What this means is that both McGregor and Poirier will face off on Saturday night, fighting for what is almost certainly a shot to compete for the lightweight title against the man who previously ended both of their title aspirations, Khabib Nurmagomedov.
— UFC (@ufc) January 16, 2021
Poirier vs McGregor Fight Odds
Method Of Victory: Win Outright
Dustin Poirier: +220
Conor McGregor: -290
Poirier vs McGregor – Who will Win?
As it currently stands, McGregor will enter the octagon on Saturday as the -290 favorite to win the match outright.
Dustin Poirier currently sits at No. 7 in UFC Lightweight rankings, fresh off a victory by unanimous decision against Dan Hooker in June of last year. The victory over Hooker was Poirier’s first fight since he was rear-naked choked into submission against Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 242 in September of 2019. Poirier is the +220 underdog to win his second matchup against McGregor this Saturday night.
McGregor easily dispatched a younger Poirier in 2014, however the 2021 version of the American lightweight is more mature, resilient and dangerous.
Having not fought in over a year, the pride of Ireland, Conor McGregor will enter Saturday’s fight as the No. 12 ranked fighter on the UFC Lightweight rankings, with his last competitive fight coming in a welterweight bout against Donald Cerone in January of 2020. McGregor won the fight via technical knockout just 40 seconds into the first round.
As talented a fighter as McGregor is, the Irishman is a master of mind games. His self-belief is second to nobody else in the sports history and if he can counteract lapses of nerves or out-of-control aggression from Poirier, McGregor’s mentality and one shot knockout power will see him dominate his return to the octagon.
— UFC (@ufc) January 18, 2021
Poirier vs McGregor Statistics
Weight: 155 lbs
Record: 26-6-0 (12 KO)
Record: 22-4-0 (19 KO)
Poirier vs McGregor UFC Best Bets
Conor McGregor by KO/TKO (-170)
86% of McGregor’s 22 wins in the octagon have come by knockout/technical knockout in his UFC career. One of which was the Irishman’s TKO victory over Poirier in 2014. Although that was now seven years ago and Poirier has improved a lot since then, the 31-year-old has not reached the level of striking defense needed to survive against McGregor’s one-shot knockout power.
Conor McGregor WIN / Under 2.5 Rounds (-125)
McGregor has always been a largely finish-or-bust fighter, with less than 8% of his career matches going the distance. As well as that, eight of the Irishmen’s last 10 wins have occurred in either the first or second round.
*Odds and spreads correct at time of publication, courtesy of PointsBet.
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Image By: Andrius Petrucenia