In the promotion’s return to its pay-per-view schedule for 2021, UFC 257 is reported to have drawn in 1.6 million pay-per-view purchases to see former interim champion Dustin Poirier rematch former two-weight world champion, Conor McGregor in a pivotal lightweight showdown.
Drawing upwards of a million and a half purchases, the event would fall as the second biggest grossing pay-per-view event in promotional history, sitting above McGregor’s UFC 202 rematch with Nate Diaz in August of 2016, and below the October 2018 grudge matchup between Khabib Nurmagomedov and McGregor, which drew a jaw-dropping 2.4 million pay-per-view buys. All in all, a majorly successful return to flagship events for the UFC.
Seeing his stock rise massively on the night, former interim titleholder, Poirier exacted his revenge over McGregor — putting right a six-year-old wrong and becoming the first to finish the Dubliner with strikes in his professional mixed martial arts career via a second-round combination at the fence.
Employing an inch-perfect gameplan to avenge his 2014 defeat to McGregor, American Top Team staple and Mike Brown product, Poirier mixed in some wrestling early in the opening round, before finding his target time and time again with a barrage of crunching calf kicks, drawing some significant swelling to McGregor’s southpaw lead.
Over the course of the second-round exchanges, Poirier landed the debilitating calf kick again on cue, before circling from the fence via a counter check right hook and spinning McGregor on his heels. Unloading with a lengthy flurry of hooks, a particularly well-placed right hand sat McGregor down at the fence, before Poirier separated him from consciousness with a ground strike.
Despite the defeat to Poirier, McGregor gained upwards of 439,000 followers across his social media platforms, however, the former trumped the latter in that aspect as well — gaining a staggering 520,000 followers from his combined social outlets — according to a report from data analysts, Nielsen Sports.
Poirier, who used his platform during his post-fight interview with UFC commentator, Jon Anik to highlight his and his wife, Jolie’s charity, The Good Fight Foundation are in the process of receiving a half a million-dollar donation from McGregor to the charity, as Poirier hopes to build a gym facility for the less fortunate.
With the victory over McGregor, Lousiana native, Poirier puts himself in prime position to challenge for the UFC lightweight championship in his next Octagon walk, claiming the number-one rank in the official 155-pound pile earlier this week.
UFC president, Dana White initially suggested a possible vacant title pairing of Poirier and UFC 257 co-headliner, ‘Iron’ Michael Chandler, however, the former has distanced himself from the potential clash — claiming Chandler needs to lay out a body of work at lightweight before fast-tracking his way to a title shot.
Poirier, who seemed rather coy in regards to what’s next for him, briefly detailed how a trilogy, rubber-match with McGregor would be something that interested him, as well as a rebooked matchup against Stockton favourite, Diaz — after he was forced from a UFC 230 booking due to a hip injury.