Eagerly awaited rematch tops the bill at UFC 257
Seven years after their first meeting, old foes McGregor and Poirier are set for a rematch this year at UFC 257. Irish superstar Conor McGregor’s last meeting with “The Diamond” took place in 2014 at featherweight class, whereas their new fight will be a lightweight contest. Poirier has established himself as a dangerous competitor at this weight class recently, delivering some stunning victories against fighters such as Dan Hooker, Max Holloway and Eddie Alvarez.
Although Poirier has emerged the victor in 11 of his last 13 fights, his last fight against “The Notorious” resulted in a humiliating defeat. The fight lasted just one minute and 46 seconds before referee Herb Dean was forced to intervene as McGregor pummeled Poirier with a devastating volley of punches and hammer fists.
After their last meeting it may seem tempting to place a large bet on McGregor to win, but could Poirier surprise us all with a stunning upset by beating Conor McGregor? The bookmakers certainly don’t think so, with odds of -305 for Conor and +240 for Dustin at Unibet Indiana, a legal gambling operator which offers many UFC fighting bets and great promotions for the new players. It’s clear that most people expect this to be an easy win for McGregor, but Dustin has massively improved his style and technique over the past seven years, and could now have the ability to win this fight if he gives it everything he’s got.
A stunning upset?
If Poirier did emerge victorious in this fight, it would certainly be a massive upset. Many people believe that this match up has been scheduled for no reason other than to give the Irishman an easy victory, just as they did last year when Conor fought with Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone. McGregor had suffered a submission defeat by Khabib Nurmagomedov in his previous match, and was still reeling from accusations of criminal behaviour which severely damaged his image. We all know that Conor McGregor is something of a favourite with the higher-ups at the UFC, so it makes sense that they might do their best to hand him an easy victory.
And whilst those people may have been right regarding the fight between McGregor and Cerrone – McGregor defeated his opponent in just 40 seconds – things are very different this time against Poirier. No matter what anyone says, this rematch definitely represents a genuine challenge to Conor, and there’s absolutely no guarantee that this fight will be an easy victory.
In the years since his knockout defeat by McGregor in 2014, Poirier has gather himself together, dusted himself off, and moved up to the lightweight division before delivering a four-win streak against difficult opponents. After a period of difficulty including a KO loss to Michael Johnson and a questionable devision win over Jim Miller, Poirier once again defied his critics by fighting well and adding another four-win streak to his record.
We’ve seen Poirier deliver a submission win against a former lightweight champion, Anthony Pettis, along with a knockout victory over World Series of Fighting lightweight titleholder Justin Gaethje. Dustin followed up these fights with a second knockout against Alvarez in a rematch staged as the result of an unfortunate no contest.
These fights set him up for an interim lightweight championship bout against Max Holloway, where he again emerged as the victor of an exciting fight which was widely praised as a candidate for Fight of the Year. Poirier has proved himself to be one of the best pure boxers in the UFC at this point – a completely different fighter to who he was seven years ago.
A Shared Nightmare?
So will Poiriers improved skills be enough for him to score a win against Conor McGregor? The last time they fought, both of these men were young featherweights whereas today they are both well established lightweights. Some might say these two men are the best lightweights on the planet, but lets not forget that both of them have suffered defeats by Khabib Nurmagomedov in the past couple of years. Khabib has now retired, which could well be a relief for both Poirier and McGregor!
We haven’t seen McGregor fight very often recently, so it’s going to be extremely exciting to see him an action again at UFC 257 – we can’t wait to see what this fight has in store.