The worst kept secret in MMA became a reality today after it was confirmed that Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier will face each other again on January 23rd on UFC Fight Island. But will it be repetition for the Irishman or revenge for Poirier?
The fight that will lead the card at UFC 257 comes after months of social media clashes between the two standout personalities.
Former champion McGregor has long had plans to return to £ 155 supremacy, more than two years after being defeated by Khabib Nurmagomedov in a world title bout.
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The Irish superstar apparently sees Poirier as the ideal stepping stone to a world title filmed in a division that remains open amid ongoing speculation about the undefeated Russian’s future.
McGregor initially proposed a “Charity Exhibition Match” with Poirier in December to be held in his hometown of Dublin in December. The proceeds are to be shared between Poirier’s “Good Fight Foundation” and several charities in which the Irishman is involved.
UFC boss Dana White was predictably unhappy with this particular idea and made plans for the two to renew their rivalry in the octagon. And despite some obvious issues with reaching a deal, the fight was “officially” announced through McGregor’s media network The Mac Life.
“Conor McGregor signed his combat agreement for his rematch with Dustin Poirier for January 23,” read the message attached to the post.
“The news finally makes the competition official as all parties have agreed to the terms and the two men will meet for £ 155.”
Speaking to The Mac Life, McGregor said, “I am very grateful to be able to return soon and do what I love again.
“I’m looking forward to the new test that Dustin has been bringing since our first fight, and at the same time showing my incredibly deep weapon cache. Whatever tool is needed at night is pulled out of the travel bag.
“I’m also excited to support Dustin’s charity, The Good Fight Foundation, which will use the donation to build a gym / facility for disadvantaged youth in his hometown as a child. I really love that and I promise to raise the donation Vote a premise in my hometown from my childhood! Both spots with an ode to the upcoming fight. “
The fight will be an easy rematch of her featherweight fight at UFC 178 in September 2014. On that occasion, McGregor made good on his prediction of a pre-bout qualification and won the bout from TKO early in the first frame.
This time both men enter the fight with different dynamics. Both men have since won and lost UFC title bouts, and both were beaten by Khabib, the division’s true standout.
And although Khabib announced his retirement from mixed martial arts after beating Justin Gaethje last month, Khabib is still at the fore in this particular matchup.
Dana White has reiterated that the McGregor-Poirier fight is not for Khabib’s (possibly vacant) world title and that Nurmagomedov may still be tempted to return for one final fight to hit the 30-0 Holy Grail record . a declared goal of Khabib and his late father Abdulmanap.
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Obviously, a win for either man will bring the winner one big step closer to a world title chance, but the effects of losing may be incalculable.
If McGregor raises his hand in Abu Dhabi early next year it will show that his famed violence remains intact despite his recent inactivity, and if Poirier wins it will highlight the improvements he has made in the six years since his first loss to McGregor has achieved.
However, a McGregor loss would be a seismic blow to his future as a championship-level fighter and could suggest that it is Poirier, rather than McGregor, who has raised his game to the level necessary to compete at the very highest level in the sport.
It will be either repetition or revenge when they meet again and it will be fascinating to watch.
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