Ahead of their blockbuster UFC 257 headliner this weekend in Abu Dhabi, UAE — one-time featherweight rivals, Dustin ‘The Diamond’ Poirier and ‘The Notorious’ Conor McGregor faced-off at the event’s press conference ahead of a pivotal 155-pound rematch.
Set to re-run their six-year rivalry, Poirier meets with the former two-weight world champion in a bid to avenge his UFC 178 first-round knockout loss. In the time since Poirier has amassed quite the winning run and hitlist at lightweight — claiming an interim title to boot.
For McGregor, the 32-year-old Crumlin native makes his much-anticipated Octagon return for the first time since his UFC 246 in January last, in a welterweight main event against future Hall of Fame inductee, Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone in which he scored a highlight-reel forty-second knockout victory.
Flanked to the press event by promotional head-honcho, Dana White as well the event co-headliners, Dan ‘The Hangman’ Hooker and former three-time Bellator lightweight champion, promotional newcomer, Michael Chandler — the four combatants largely shared pleasantries.
Encouraging both Hooker and Chandler to avoid any possible stalling in the early hours of their co-main event this Sunday, McGregor reminded the two of what could possibly be at stake for the victor. The Straight Blast Gym mainstay along with Poirier, Hooker, and Chandler welcomed the idea of an informal lightweight tournament narrative to this weekend’s event.
Following up a cordial square off of both Hooker and Chandler, Poirier and McGregor took centre stage for their face-off — with a couple of words exchanged between the two in close proximity. With the Dubliner removing his glasses after a handshake, Poirier uttered something to McGregor who responded “you know what it is in there, we both know“, before the two-faced forward for the awaiting photo opportunities.
American Top Team staple, Poirier enters the fray off the back of a UFC Vegas masterclass against the above mentioned, Hooker back in June of last year in a main event Fight of the Year candidate. The victory marked the Lafayette native’s return to winning ways and to action following a submission loss to current champion, Khabib ‘The Eagle’ Nurmagomedov in September 2019, as well as successful hip surgery.
Making his third lightweight appearance under the UFC’s banner, McGregor is sitting at 1-1 at 155-pounds. Cementing his legacy, McGregor stopped then-champion, ‘The Underground King’ Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205 in November of 2016 to become the first in promotional history to lift two championships simultaneously. In October of 2018, McGregor dropped a fourth-round neck crank defeat to the above mentioned, Nurmagomedov in a bad-blooded lightweight title matchup.