Rugby fanatic - but so much more
Rugby fanatic - but so much more
Conor McGregor is set to return to UFC action on January 24 when he steps back into the Octagon in Dubai to take on Duston Poirier for the second time in his career. The pair last faced each other at UFC 178 in September 2014.
Now the two fighters will tangle again at UFC 257, with Poirier seeking revenge for the technical knock-out that McGregor delivered just over six years ago. That victory was built on a devastating first-round left hook from the Irishman that he followed up with some damaging blows.
That was only McGregor’s fourth fight in UFC, as he looked to establish himself as a featherweight. Less than 12 months after that victory over Poirier, McGregor claimed the interim featherweight title by beating Chad Mendes.
The battle with Poirier will give the Irishman a chance to go on to claim a title in the lightweight division. Khabib Nurmagomedov is still officially recognised as the UFC lightweight champion, but he retired in October after beating Justin Gaethje at UFC 254.
If McGregor can produce a dominant performance against Poirier then he will move to the front of the queue to fight for the lightweight belt, should UFC opt to remove it from Nurmagomedov. There has been speculation, however, that McGregor will be fighting boxing legend Manny Pacquiao after the Poirier fight, whatever the outcome.
It is not certain that Nurmagomedov will retire either, with the Russian fighter set to meet UFC president Dana White soon to discuss a possible return to action. If White does persuade him to return then a fight with Georges St Pierre might be on the cards.
McGregor has not been shy about predicting what will happen when he faces Poirier. The Irishman has successfully predicted the outcome of many of his fights in the past, and he has stated that he will knock out Poirier inside 60 seconds. In his last outing, against Donald Cerrone just over a year ago, McGregor needed just 40 seconds to win.
“I love Dustin, he’s a good fighter. [Maybe] he’s even a great fighter, but great is still levels below me. I will knock Dustin out inside 60 seconds,” he said on a UFC promotional video.
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) January 9, 2021
McGregor should be wary of Poirier, though, even though the Irish fighter looks to be in the best physical shape of his career. The American has won 10 of 12 fights since the two fighters last met, with six of those victories coming via stoppage. One of his defeats was at the hands of Nurmagomedov, who is currently unbeaten.
There are some interesting odds on offer for UFC 257 from Unibet. They have made McGregor the clear favourite for the fight, with a price of 7/20 on the Irishman winning. Poirier, in contrast, is priced at 9/4. If you think that McGregor will win by KO, TKO or disqualification then you can find a price of 11/20. The odds are 13/2 for McGregor winning by decision, and 20/1 for a McGregor win by submission.
Those odds from Unibet are a clear indication of which fighter the bookies favour, but if you think that Poirier has the skills to beat the Irishman then you might fancy a price of 6/1 on him winning by KO, TKO or disqualification. He is also at 6/1 to win by decision. Betway are also offering odds of 11/4 on the fight going the distance and 1/4 on it not going the distance