Written by: Justin
Edited by: Lucas
Visual by: Sarah Pr.
On January 24, the sports world closed the books on one of the highest pay-per-view events in MMA history with UFC 257 in Abu Dhabi. The event was headlined by the much-anticipated rematch between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier. To the surprise of many, the underdog Dustin Poirier capped off the eventful night and shocked the world by knocking out Conor McGregor in the second round.
Prior to UFC 257, the two fighters faced off in 2014 during UFC 178. The build up to the first fight included a lot of trash talk between the two, as they were both considered the fast rising stars of the MMA world. However, come fight night, McGregor dominated the matchup, knocking out Poirier in the first round and making history by becoming the first fighter to hold both the UFC Featherweight and Lightweight titles.
After taking a break from MMA and only taking two fights since 2017, McGregor is trying to make his UFC comeback and was pitted against the former interim champion Poirier. This second face-off was highly anticipated and gave Poirier the opportunity to avenge his highest profile loss. However, the rematch didn’t feel like a Conor McGregor fight as it lacked the usual trash talk that he is known for. During the pre-fight interviews and weigh-in, McGregor showed much respect to his fellow competitor which was unlike him. Nonetheless, this fight had a lot at stake for McGregor as beating Poirier would position him as the #1 contender and pave the way for another crack at the title and potentially lure back undefeated champion Khabib Nurmagomedov from retirement.
Going into the fight, Poirier was officially ranked number 2 and McGregor number 4. However, McGregor was still considered the odds-on favorite. So when Poirier was declared the winner by TKO, it put the sports world on notice. Notably, Khabib tweeted “This is what happened, when you change your team, leave the sparring partners who made you a champion and sparring with little kids, far away from reality.”
So what does the future hold for the former champion and face of the UFC Conor McGregor?
Many UFC fans were worried that this may be the last time we see McGregor in the octagon. But when asked if he would continue to fight, he replied saying, “Of course! … You don’t get away with being inactive in this business.”
Given his popularity and his uncanny ability to promote his fights and garner media attention, it’s safe to assume that UFC would want to see their most iconic fighter and one of the highest paid athletes in the world step into the octagon once again.
With 257 being one of the UFC’s highest grossing events, it’s very likely that we will see the final installment of a trilogy- the rubber match between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier.