Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier are gearing up for their rematch at UFC 257, which is scheduled for Jan. 23 on Fight Island.
The prequel came more than six years ago at UFC 178 on Sept. 27, 2014, and a lot has changed since then: Poirier now has more hair than McGregor, “The Notorious” has introduced Proper No. Twelve Irish Whiskey to the world, while “The Diamond” recently came out with his branded “Poirier’s Lousiana Style Hot Sauce,” and Demetrious Johnson was in the midst of his historic UFC flyweight title run before heading to ONE Championship.
Other than some fun tidbits, a lot has changed in the respective careers of Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier. Both have become UFC champions since 2014 following a pair of two of the greatest runs seen in the sport’s history. Here’s a look at the path each man has taken to the fated rematch.
McGregor turned Poirier aside at UFC 178, TKO’ing him in 1:46. For McGregor, it would take just two more wins until he’d make history. Victories over Dennis Siver and Chad Mendes set up a featherweight title unification bout between the Irish superstar and then-kingpin Jose Aldo. McGregor shocked the world when he knocked Aldo out cold in 13 seconds to become the featherweight champ.
However, McGregor would never defend the featherweight belt. He instead made more history, TKO’ing Eddie Alvarez for the UFC lightweight championship in November 2016. He became the UFC’s first “champ-champ,” paving the way for Daniel Cormier, Amanda Nunes, Henry Cejudo and Georges St-Pierre.
Before his win over Alvarez, McGregor in 2016 fought a couple of instant classics with Stockton’s Nate Diaz. McGregor suffered his first UFC loss at the hands of Diaz when he was submitted in the second round of their welterweight contest. Diaz accepted a rematch with McGregor a few months later. This time, the Irishman settled the score with an airtight majority decision win. The trilogy has yet to be completed.
Following his win over Alvarez, McGregor tested out the world of boxing. There were no tuneup fights as he immediately challenged Floyd Mayweather, who is arguably the greatest boxer of all-time, in August 2017. Mayweather finished McGregor via TKO in Round 10. By this time, McGregor was on the cusp of launching his whiskey and had become a bonafide superstar.
He took a year off from combat sports – nearly two from MMA – before challenging Khabib Nurmagomedov for the Russian’s lightweight belt. McGregor, who vacated both his UFC belts, was submitted in the fourth round by Nurmagomedov, providing a potential cap to their scorching rivalry.
McGregor took another year-plus off from the sport. He did not return until UFC 246 in January 2020, when he TKO’d Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone in 40 seconds. By the time he steps into the Octagon to rematch Poirier, it will have been more than a year. “The Diamond” has kept busier than his Irish counterpart.
So much has changed for Poirier since his defeat to McGregor at UFC 178 – both in and out of the cage. Poirier has rattled off the best winning streak of his career, began raising a daughter and launched his charity, The Good Fight Foundation, which has helped many people throughout the world. The foundation’s next goal is to help The Boys & Girls Clubs of Acadiana, Lousiana, by providing all six locations transportation and tutoring to help bridge the gap in academic success.
In the Octagon, Poirier immediately moved up a weight class to lightweight following the McGregor bout. The move proved beneficial for Poirier, as he has garnered a 10-2 record (1 no contest) at 155 lbs. He also became an interim lightweight champion and has become a star himself.
Poirier quickly won four straight fights against Diego Ferreira, Yancy Medeiros, Joe Duffy and Bobby Green to kick off his lightweight career. He suffered a KO loss to Michael Johnson, but he didn’t let that set him back. In fact, Poirier went on one of the sport’s all-time great win streaks. He secured a division over legend-of-the-sport Jim Miller, finished former champs Anthony Pettis and Eddie Alvarez, and TKO’d former interim champion Justin Gaethje in an instant classic.
Poirier’s long-awaited shot at UFC gold came at UFC 236 against Max Holloway. Poirier previously secured a submission win over Holloway; Holloway was the featherweight champion at the time of his rematch with Poirier. The two had another instant classic with Poirier landing the more damaging shots throughout 25 minutes. With his hand raised and UFC gold around his belt, a showdown with Nurmagomedov was next.
Poirier arguably came the closest to defeating the now-29-0 “Eagle,” nearly sinking in a guillotine choke. Nurmagomedov escaped and secured a rear naked choke of his own against Poirier. Despite the loss, Poirier once again dusted himself off and fought yet another instant classic against Dan Hooker. “The Diamond” got himself back into the win column, coming on strong late and turning Hooker aside via unanimous decision.
Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier: The Rematch
The McGregor vs. Poirier rematch is less than a week away, as the eagerly-anticipated fight is coming on Saturday. With McGregor and Poirier now 32 after they were 26 and 25 respectively in the first meeting, the rematch will carry legacy-defining repercussions.
McGregor enters the bout as a moderate favorite over Poirier.
UFC 257 will air on pay-per-view on ESPN+ from Fight Island in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
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