“I promise you a masterpiece,” tweeted “The Infamous” Conor McGregor simply three quick weeks earlier than his rematch with Dustin “The Diamond” Poirier at UFC 257, going down Jan. 23.
McGregor isn’t quick on bravado — and he has the abilities to again up each verbal jab. So when he guarantees a masterpiece, followers know to anticipate an action-packed combat with livid fists and heavy palms.
Poirier, for his half, is unintimidated. He tweeted, “Don’t have any worry, underdog is right here!” The chances could also be in opposition to him, however UFC watchers know he’s received the power to go blow for blow with McGregor.
The combat, going down at UFC’s Combat Island on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, could be seen on pay-per-view solely within the U.S. by ESPN+. Each fighters mix expertise, talent and showmanship, which makes this a gotta-be-watching Saturday evening. Protection begins at 6:15 p.m. EST/3:15 p.m. PST with the early prelims on ESPN+. The pay-per-view begins at 10 p.m. EST/7 p.m. PST. Jon Anik, Daniel Cormier and Dan Hardy are cageside commentators; John Gooden, Paul Felder and Hardy are desk analysts; Bruce Buffer is Octagon announcer.
It’s the second time McGregor and Poirier have confronted off — McGregor received the prior match — and this rematch has a lot at stake: The winner of this bout is predicted to get a shot on the light-weight title. The loser? He will get again in line among the many contenders, most likely needing no less than another victory to get one other championship combat.
The UFC 257 card, the third 2021 occasion for the combined martial arts promoter, which kicked off its schedule for the yr with Combat Night time on Jan. 16. It places McGregor again within the Octagon for the primary time since he received a 40-second TKO at UFC 246 final yr.
UFC President Dana White calls McGregor one of many sport’s greatest ever. McGregor boasts 19 knockout wins throughout three completely different weight courses: welterweight, light-weight and featherweight. He was the primary fighter within the sport’s historical past to carry two titles concurrently. McGregor is a fan favourite with a international following and holds the file for many pay-per-view buys ever. Exterior the ring, his fame as a little bit of a dangerous boy has solely enhanced his fame.
In the present day, although, McGregor is champion no extra, and he’s going right down to the 155-pound light-weight division — essentially the most proficient in UFC — to combat his approach again to a belt. Dropping weight is a problem for any fighter. Will he nonetheless be as fearsome on the decrease weight? Primarily based on social media posts popping out of McGregor’s camp, health will not be a concern, however he’ll must show it.
For his half, Poirier is the No. 2 ranked light-weight and former interim champion with a string of victories over lots of UFC’s prime fighters, together with 4 former champions. He’s crushed 5 former or present belt holders in opposition to one loss and one no contest.
Poirier is a Brazilian jiujitsu specialist and can also be a seven-time Combat of the Night time winner. MMA watchers and insiders take into account him top-of-the-line 155-pound fighters on this planet.
ESPN+’s Ariel Helwani, a sport’s insider, spoke with Poirier about his defeat by the hands of McGregor at UFC 178 in 2014. Poirier suffered a first-round TKO that modified his perspective and motivated him to his later success. “That was the beginning of it,” Poirier advised Helwani, “and it’s been a lengthy course of. It’s been a lengthy evolution of not caring a lot in regards to the noise and stuff that doesn’t matter.”
Poirier tuned out all distractions to win 10 extra fights, stacking up a profession 26-6 file over the previous 11 years. Nineteen of his 26 wins had been received by knockout or submission.
Since their final tussle, McGregor has received six fights in opposition to two losses in UFC. He’s additionally made high-profile forays into boxing; retired and unretired; and labored as an promoting pitchman.
UFC 257 is offered by way of pay-per-view to present ESPN+ subscribers solely. ESPN+ gives hundreds of dwell sporting occasions, the entire “30 for 30” library, and originals from the highest names in sports activities.
UFC has exploded in recognition, and for these unfamiliar with the game, ESPN+ is a nice option to catch up. The app gives unique Combat Nights, plus archives of the UFC’s best fights, and authentic exhibits together with “Dana White’s Contender Collection,” “Element from the Thoughts of Daniel Cormier,” “UFC Destined,” and the UFC-focused studio present “Ariel & the Unhealthy Man,” with Helwani.
There are two methods to get ESPN+: signing up for a standalone subscription (for a month-to-month $5.99 price or an annual cost of $59.99, virtually a 20% financial savings) or as a part of a bundle with Disney+ and Hulu for $12.99 per 30 days. Or, for $89.98, followers can get an annual subscription to ESPN+ with PPV occasions, together with the UFC 257 card. Current ESPN+ subscribers can get the UFC 257 stream for $69.99.
UFC 257’s Foremost Card matchup guarantees to be a particularly aggressive combat with a lot of motion. The stakes are excessive for each fighters and Poirier has a probability to avenge his loss to McGregor. Be sure to get all the within info by signing up for ESPN+ and buying UFC 257 earlier than the Jan. 23 bout.