Conor McGregor’s highly anticipated return is set to take place on Saturday evening (Sunday morning local time) when the former two-division champion meets former rival Dustin Poirier at UFC 257 on Fight Island in Abu Dhabi.
Much has changed since McGregor stopped Poirier in the first round over six years ago at UFC 178. McGregor became the biggest star in the UFC while also becoming the first fighter to hold world titles in two divisions simultaneously. Poirier, meanwhile, rebuilt himself with marquee wins over Eddie Alvarez, Max Holloway, Dan Hooker and Justin Gaethje while claiming the interim UFC lightweight title.
Along with their accomplishments, McGregor and Poirier have seen their lives change outside of the Octagon. Both have become fathers and are now fighting for more than themselves.
Unlike when they first met, there was no bad blood; McGregor appears to have put his controversial past behind him and will enter the Octagon as a contender who has apparently found a new reason to fight. Poirier made the mistake of letting McGregor get into his head before their first fight; this time a seasoned and mature fighter will stand through the cage of the sport’s biggest star as he tries to claim his status as the world’s best lightweight
There is a lot at stake in this fight as Khabib Nurmagomedov remains in retirement. The winner will certainly be near the front of the line for a title opportunity while the loser will fall to the back of the field.
The co-main event features another pair of lightweight weights looking to position themselves in the title image. Michael Chandler will make his UFC debut against battle-proven Dan Hooker. Chandler arrives after a stint at Bellator, where he’s widely recognized as one of that organization’s greatest fighters. Can he prove that he also deserves to have his name among the best in the UFC, or will Hooker rise to the challenge?
Sporting News follows live battle updates and highlights from Conor McGregor vs. Dustin Poirier 2. Follow below for full UFC 257 Main Event and Undercard results.
Conor McGregor vs Dustin Poirier live updates, UFC 257 highlights
22:47.: Next TUF 23 winner Andrew Sanchez faces Makhmud Muradov in middleweight action.
Marina Rodriguez stops Amanda Ribas in the second
22:34: After being planted on her back for much of the first round, Marina Rodriguez made sure not to take her place on the canvas in the second frame. With a distinct striking advantage, Rodriguez kept her distance and crushed Ribas with a right hand that sent her to the ground. Rodriguez jumped up and it appeared that referee Herb Dean had stopped the fight. He didn’t and Rodriguez had to take a step back and finish what she started. This is exactly what she did with a brutal right that ended things once and for all.
10:14 p.m.: We’re kicking off the main card with Marina Rodriguez taking on Amanda Ribas in strawweight action. But before we launch into this fight, drones have invaded the arena!
22h00: Tsarukyan was just too much for Frevola as his grappling and wrestling neutralized his opponent from the start. 10 withdrawal attempts turned out to be too heavy as Tsarukyan got the unanimous decision. Tsarukyan is going to be a problem in the division. We’re heading to the main map!
21:41: The final fight on the televised preliminaries is as follows and takes place under curious circumstances. Matt Frevola faces Arman Tsarukyan in a wrestling weight fight. Frevola was initially scheduled to face Ottman Azaitar until Azaitar was removed from the card, and the UFC, for violating COVID-19 security protocols after attempting to sneak a teammate into his hotel room in Abu Dhabi . It was absurd and cost Azaitar his UFC career. Luckily for Frevola, Tsarukyan needed an opponent after Nasrat Haqparast was pulled out due to illness. And here we are.
9:37 p.m .: Brad Tavares got a decision over Antonio Carlos Junior in middleweight action. Tavares’ takedown defense was impressive as he prevented “Shoeface” from bringing the fight to the canvas. He also presented a solid counterattack. This performance is a start for Tavares as he tries to climb the middleweight ranks.
9:01 p.m.: Just when you thought we were headed for another decision, Pena managed to grab McMann on the final lap and squeeze in a rear choke to claim the submission victory. It’s a win Pena needed to end a slippage as she tries to get back into the title race. The best part was that Pena called Amanda Nunes and accused the champion of “dodging” her. Interesting.
8:45 p.m .: Welcome to Sporting News coverage of UFC 257: McGregor vs. Poirier 2. As we continue through the prelims, we’ve had a run of three straight decisions. Sara McMann and Julianna Pena are now standing. Will this fight also be decided by the judges or will Pena or McMann take it out of their hands.
McGregor vs Poirier 2 start time
- First preliminaries: 6:30 p.m. ET
- Preliminaries: 8 p.m. ET
- Main card: 10 p.m. ET
- Direct: ESPN +
The main card for UFC 257 is scheduled to begin at 10 p.m. ET, following the preliminaries (6:30 p.m. ET) and preliminaries (8 p.m. ET).
How to watch McGregor vs Poirier 2 on PPV
- UFC 257 Prelims First TV Channel: ESPN +, UFC FIght Pass
- UFC 257 Preliminary TV Channel: ESPN +, ESPN 2
- Main channel of UFC 257 card: ESPN + (pay-per-view)
UFC 257 prelims and preliminaries are free to watch on ESPN + for those who are already subscribed to the streaming service. The pay-per-view portion (i.e. the primary card) can be purchased for $ 69.99. New subscribers can pay a flat fee of $ 89.99, which includes combat and an annual ESPN + membership.
UFC 257 Fight Card
- Conor McGregor vs. Dustin Poirier; light weights
- Dan Hooker vs. Michael Chandler; light weights
- Jessica Eye vs. Joanne Calderwood; flyweight for women
- Marina Rodriguez beats. Amanda Ribas via TKO 2nd round (: 54)
- Andrew Sanchez vs. Makhmud Muradov; middleweight
- Arman Tsarukyan beats. Matt Frevola via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27 and 30-26)
- Brad Tavares defeats. Antonio Carlos Junior by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27 & 29-28)
- Julianna Pena beats. Sara McMann via 3rd round submission (3:39)
- Marcin Prachnio beats. Khalil Rountree Jr. by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28 & 29-28)
- Movsar Evloev beats. Nik Lentz by split decision (29-28, 29-28 and 28-29)
- Amir Albazi def. Zhalgas Zhumagulov via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28 & 29-28)