4. Conor McGregor vs Dustin Poirier 2
How can the biggest star in mixed martial arts be near the bottom of the list? Hear me out.
Dustin Poirier was nowhere on the radar when Conor McGregor had his triumphant return a year ago. Throttling Donald Cerrone, “The Notorious” took the mic and put the MMA world on notice by igniting interest in potential fights with Kamaru Usman, Jorge Masvidal, or Khabib Nurmagomedov. A year later, none of those fights are any closer to materializing than they were that night in January. Does he have an excellent fight all the same? Absolutely. Is it the mega fight we all expected the last time we saw him? Not quite.
There’s plenty on the line for both men. A win for McGregor puts him at the top of the lightweight division to likely face Charles Oliveira or Michael Chandler for the vacant title later in 2021. Poirier will gain the same along with revenge for his previous knockout loss to McGregor six years ago.
A dream scenario for the UFC will see McGregor headline an International Fight Week like no other with fans in attendance for the first time since March 7, 2020. Set in Abu Dhabi, it will be a long way from the usual week of festivities in Las Vegas that we’ve grown accustomed to, but most will tell you that it is only fitting that McGregor will be the one to get fans back in the stands for the UFC.