Conor McGregor to rematch Dustin Poirier at UFC 257 on January 23

Conor McGregor’s return to the Octagon has finally been booked. The UFC’s first simultaneous world champion will make his long-awaited return to the cage on January 23.

Welcoming the Irishman back to the cage will be former interim lightweight champion Dustin Poirier, whom he’ll meet in the main event of UFC 257.

UFC president Dana White announced the fight was in the works in late September, telling Barstool Sports: “(Conor) called out Poirier for a fight with (him) in Dublin for charity.

“So we offered them both a fight. We offered Dustin and Conor a fight, so we’re waiting to hear back from both of them.”

And after weeks of back-and-forth between Poirier and the UFC brass – who were seemingly reluctant to meet the Louisana native’s demands –  the eagerly-anticipated contest has been finalised. MMA Fighting’s Damon Martin was first to report the news of McGregor vs Poirier II being a done deal.

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Conor McGregor will rematch Dustin Poirier at UFC 257 on January 23

McGregor’s clash with Poirier will be a rematch of their UFC 178 showdown, which took place in Las Vegas six years ago.

That night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena proved to be a short one for ‘The Notorious’, who solidified his position as a featherweight contender by TKO’ing Poirier less than two minutes into the first round.

Plenty of MMA fans have been clambering for a rematch between the pair following Poirier’s run to the interim 155lb title at UFC 236 and a unification fight with undisputed champion Khabib Nurmagomedov.

Poirier revealed his desire to avenge his loss to McGregor a few days removed from his UFC 242 defeat to Nurmagomedov, a call out which garnered a fierce response from ‘Mystic Mac’.

“I fed you to the canvas in 90 seconds bro,” McGregor tweeted. “You should have spoke [sic] my name with a bit more respect in that build up.

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“‘McGregor’s not next’ Motherf***er, it’s McGregor always! McGregor is the goal! Always! Say that now and I’ll think about it.”

McGregor vs Poirier II will be be the former’s first outing since his UFC 246 demotion of Donald Cerrone in January.

Fan favourite Poirier, meanwhile, hasn’t competed since his gruelling unanimous decision victory over New Zealand’s Dan Hooker in June.

McGregor had hoped to fight two more times this year but saw his plans scuppered by the coronavirus outbreak. Less than amicable talks with the UFC brass also delayed the Dubliner’s return to action.

“I was pushing hard for the season,” he said. “Multiple opponents, multiple dates were offered throughout. All to take place back-to-back.

“Then when COVID hit and the talk was that I would have to wait for crowds again. I walked away from the situation. I was waiting long enough at that stage.”

The booking of McGregor vs Poirier II seems to have brought about the end of the pride of Dublin’s feud with White.

McGregor took umbrage to White’s recent claim he turned down a potential short-notice fight at UFC 249.

Incensed by White’s assertion, as well as being sat on the sidelines, McGregor shared private messages between himself and the UFC chief late last month.

White was furious with McGregor’s actions, branding them “one of the dirtiest things you can do.”

McGregor responded in blistering fashion, accusing White of breaking code by claiming he turned down a fight.

But judging from the booking of McGregor’s comeback fight, which will no doubt garner over one million pay-per-view buys, all seems to be well between the pair.

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