The UFC’s third and final Fight Island card for the month of January, UFC 257, is also its crown jewel. As good as Max Holloway’s performance to kick off the year was, the promotion knows that it’s Conor McGregor who makes the masses tune in like no other. And he’s back to headline a year-opening PPV event for the second straight year, taking on an old foe: Dustin Poirier.
When the pair first met in 2014, both were young upstarts in the UFC’s featherweight division. Much has been made of the growth of Poirier since then, and how green he was at the time. But Porier was in his ninth UFC fight when he first faced McGregor, and had a long stint in the WEC to boot. It was UFC fight number four for the Irish fighter, already a rising star who had entered the UFC as a double-champ in Cage Warriors.
The real question, however, is who has developed more since that first fight at UFC 178. Both men have moved up a weight class. Both have worn gold, McGregor as a double-champ at featherweight and lightweight, Poirier as an interim champ at 155lbs. Both have suffered defeat at the hands of Khabib Nurmagomedov, who may or may not be the promotion’s current lightweight champ.
And with a big performance this Saturday, either Conor McGregor or Dustin Poirier could be looking at another shot at gold.
Tune in Thursday morning, starting at 8AM ET, for the UFC 257 per-fight press conference, with both men in attendance. You can view the live stream above.