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Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier to kick off 2021 PPV slate at UFC 257

Photo: UFC

On Jan. 23, UFC fan favorites Conor “The Notorious” McGregor and Dustin “The Diamond” Poirier will face off in a highly-anticipated rematch to open the 2021 Pay-Per-View schedule.

UFC 257’s origins are unique as the pair of Lightweights decided on this bout in a very different way. Months ago, the first talks of a McGregor-Poirier rematch had nothing to do with the UFC at all; McGregor originally pitched a charity sparring match to benefit Poirier’s The Good Fight Foundation.

However, those talks did not last long before the UFC swooped in and made plans for the two to fight in the Octagon.

McGregor is a former double champion in the UFC and is currently the No. 4 contender in the Lightweight division. Poirier is a former Lightweight interim champion and the No. 2 contender at 155 lbs.

The pair’s first matchup came all the way back in 2014 when the pair duked it out in the Featherweight division at UFC 178. McGregor had already started to gain some notoriety, but the titles and superstardom didn’t come until later.

This is why Saturday’s bout is so different from the first. Over the past six years, each fighter has had highs and lows both in the Octagon and personal life. So much has changed from their first fight that their shared past can’t act as basis for any future predictions.

The Notorious starched the Diamond the first time around and tallied a knockout in the first round. Since then, both fighters have been dominant in their own rights. McGregor became the first ever champion of two weight classes consecutively and Poirier worked his way up to interim champ. In that time, both were also handed a defeat by UFC Lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov.

One thing to look for in 257’s main event is McGregor coming out fast and looking for a huge shot like he did last year against Donald Cerrone. From Poirier, we can expect him countering missed shots with his own, and a lot of ground game from both in general.

Poirier is known for his ability to grab submissions, especially the guillotine, when in takedown defense. However, it is unclear if we can see this side of him because of McGregor’s uncanny ability to create distance and deliver shots with precision.

Both of these fighters are regarded as some of the best in the world and always carry a lot of weight in their social impacts. Whenever one of these two legends enter the Octagon, people pay attention, and we will be too.

Catch UFC 257 on ESPN+ Pay=Per-View on Jan. 23 at 9:00 p.m. CST.

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