UFC 257: Conor McGregor vs. Dustin Poirier — Start time, press conference, how to watch and full fight card – CNET

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McGregor takes his first UFC fight in over a year on January 23.


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Conor McGregor is back! After fighting only once last year against Donald Cerrone — mainly because of COVID-19 — McGregor is fighting once more at UFC 257, against perennial lightweight contender Dustin Poirier, a man he previously defeated at featherweight all the way back in 2014.

With current UFC lightweight champ Khabib Nurmagomedov all but officially retired, this contest is seen by many as a title eliminator. Most likely the winner will fight for the belt later down the track in 2021, potentially against Charles Oliveira. Depending on how talks between Nurmagomedov and UFC President Dana White go over the next week or so, there’s a chance White lets Poirier and McGregor skip the queue, making this contest for the belt. 

The fight takes place on “Fight Island” in Abu Dhabi.

McGregor defeated Poirier comfortably the last time they fought over six years ago at UFC 178, but Poirier has improved dramatically since then. He defeated Max Holloway for the UFC Interim lightweight championship, and put up a decent showing against Nurmagomedov, the current lightweight king. In case you’d forgotten, the undefeated Nurmagomedov also defeated McGregor in 2018.

Despite Poirier’s improvements, most oddsmakers have McGregor as a clear favourite in this bout. His destruction of Donald Cerrone in 2020, combined with the style match up, has most people seeing this as a favourable fight for McGregor. Poirier is primarily a boxer and McGregor is still the sharpest striker at 155 pounds. 

McGregor also appears to be in phenomenal shape and, by most reports, is as motivated as he’s been since his legendary first run at featherweight. We could be in for something special with this performance.

But outside of the blockbuster main event, UFC 257 runs deep. Michael Chandler is making his UFC debut against fight of the night machine Dan Hooker in a compelling co-main event and the undercard is dotted with names like Joanne Calderwood and Shane Burgos. There’s a lot of great match-ups in there.

Press conference

Conor McGregor is well known for his outlandish performances during UFC press conferences, but we don’t have an official date. Expect an official time  soon. UFC press conferences usually take place in the middle of fight week, so you can expect the UFC to organise some sort of event between the 18th and 21st of January. We’ll update as soon as we hear and embed a link below.

How to watch UFC 257

This year the UFC entered a new partnership with ESPN. That’s great news for the UFC and the expansion of the sport of MMA, but bad news for consumer choice. Especially if you’re one of the UFC fans who want to watch UFC live in the US.

In the US, if you want to know how to watch UFC 257, you’ll only find the fight night on PPV through ESPN Plus. The cost structure is a bit confusing, but here are the options to watch UFC on ESPN, according to ESPN’s site.

  • Existing yearly ESPN Plus subscribers can order the upcoming UFC fight for $65
  • Existing monthly ESPN Plus subscribers will be able to either upgrade to an annual plan and buy UFC PPV for $85 or purchase the ability to watch the UFC event on PPV for $65 by itself.
  • New ESPN Plus subscribers can buy a bundle of one UFC PPV event (streaming in HD) and an ESPN Plus annual recurring subscription for $85. The ESPN Plus annual ESPN subscription will auto-renew after one year, at the price of an ESPN Plus annual subscription at the time of auto-renewal.

You can do all of the above at the link below.

MMA fans in the UK can watch UFC 257 exclusively through BT Sport. There are more options if you live in Australia. You can watch UFC 257 through Main Event on Foxtel. You can also watch on the UFC website or using its app. You can even order using your PlayStation 4 or using the UFC app on your Xbox One.

Start time

The card is not finalised, but based on previous UFC times, this is what we expect…

US

  • The main card starts Jan. 23, 10 p.m. ET (7 p.m. PT).
  • The prelims start Jan. 23, 8 p.m. ET (5 p.m. PT).
  • The early prelims start Jan. 23, 6.30 p.m. ET (3.30 p.m. PT).

UK

  • The main card starts Jan. 24, 3 a.m. GMT.
  • The prelims start Jan. 24, 1 a.m. GMT.
  • The early prelims start Jan 23, 11.30 p.m. GMT.

Australia

  • The main card starts Jan. 24, 2 p.m. AEDT.
  • The prelims start Jan. 24, 12 p.m. AEDT.
  • The early prelims start Jan. 24, 10.30 a.m. AEDT.

Fight Card

This one is far from finalised at this point. We’ll update when more fights are announced.

  • Conor McGregor vs. Dustin Poirier
  • Michael Chandler vs. Dan Hooker
  • Jessica Eye vs. Joanne Calderwood
  • Khalil Rounree Jr vs. Marcin Prachnio
  • Marina Rodriguez vs. Amanda Ribas
  • Brad Tavares vs. Antonio Carlos Junior
  • Matt Frevola vs. Ottman Azaitar
  • Shane Burgos vs. Hakeem Dawodu
  • Andrew Sanchez vs. Andre Muniz

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