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UFC 257: Poirier vs. McGregor II (1/23/2021) - Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UFC Fight Island - Etihad Arena)


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UFC 257: Poirier vs. McGregor II 
January 23, 2021
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UFC Fight Island - Etihad Arena)

Dustin Poirier (156) vs. Conor McGregor (155) - Poirier, TKO (punches), R2 (2:32)
Dan Hooker (156) vs. Michael Chandler (156) - Chandler, TKO (punches), R1 (2:30)
Jessica Eye (126) vs. Joanne Calderwood (126) - Calderwood, DEC (unanimous)
Andrew Sanchez (186) vs. Makhmud Muradov (186) - Muradov, TKO (strikes), R3 (2:59)
Marina Rodriguez (116) vs. Amanda Ribas (116) - Rodriguez, TKO (strikes), R2 (0:54)

ESPN/ESPN+ Preliminary Card:
Matt Frevola (155.5) vs. Arman Tsarukyan (157)* - Tsarukyan, DEC (unanimous)
Brad Tavares (185.5) vs. Antônio Carlos Júnior (185) - Tavares, DEC (unanimous)   
Julianna Peña (136) vs. Sara McMann (135) - Peña, SUB (rear naked choke), R3 (3:39)
Khalil Rountree (206) vs. Marcin Prachnio (205) - Prachnio, DEC (unanimous)

ESPN+/Fight Pass Preliminary Card:
Movsar Evloev (150) vs. Nik Lentz (150) - Evloev, DEC (split)
Amir Albazi (126) vs. Zhalgas Zhumagulov (126) - Albazi, DEC (unanimous)

*Forfeits 20% of purse for missing weight   

Event Bonuses ($50,000)
Performance of the Night: Marina Rodriguez
Performance of the Night: Makhmud Muradov
Performance of the Night: Michael Chandler
Performance of the Night: Dustin Poirier

Buyrate: 1.6 million 

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Looking forward to the main and co-main events. 

UFC 178, September 2014. Featherweight Fight: Conor McGregor beat Dustin Poirier in round one by TKO.

UFC 257, January 2021. Rematch fought at Lightweight. I fancy Conor by TKO in three.

Co-main event features Michael Chandler's UFC debut joining from Bellator. Let's see how it goes for him with what happened to Ben Askren. Askren only had three UFC fights, each was eventful.

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On 1/20/2021 at 12:26 AM, The Natural said:

UFC 257, January 2021. Rematch fought at Lightweight. I fancy Conor by TKO in three.

 

Honestly, I think Conor wins early by knockout, or Poirier punishes him for 4 rounds before he breaks.  I really don't see any way Conor wins this fight outside of the first two rounds.  I think Poirier's chances in this fight is 100% based on his ability to withstand Conor's punches.  If his chin holds up, he will be able to out work, and more importantly out cardio, McGregor.  

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5 hours ago, supremebve said:

Honestly, I think Conor wins early by knockout, or Poirier punishes him for 4 rounds before he breaks.  I really don't see any way Conor wins this fight outside of the first two rounds.  I think Poirier's chances in this fight is 100% based on his ability to withstand Conor's punches.  If his chin holds up, he will be able to out work, and more importantly out cardio, McGregor.  

Think you pretty much have this one nailed. If Poirier makes it through the first round he torments McGregor for the rest of the fight taking a UD. On the other hand, if McGregor lands some punches in Rd 1, we don't get to see Rd 2.

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The problem I have with the Poirier takes a decision is if Conor is possibly THAT MUCH better on the feet and a more dynamic finisher using that logic, how is Poirier going to win a decision? If Poirier was like a Gaethje or prime Tony Ferguson who can withstand inhumane levels of punishment and some perform BETTER after getting pieced up, I would understand that logic. I think Poirier has shown a serviceable chin over the body of his resume, but also, he got stopped decisively by Michael Johnson only a handful of years ago. If he gets hammered the first two rounds, I don't see it magically turning around for him. There are some guys who can Arturo Gatti blood and guts warrior their way through that. The thing is you get tired from taking a beating. If Conor slows down, I don't see Poirier having enough in his tank or skill wise to take advantage of that. 

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1 hour ago, Elsalvajeloco said:

The problem I have with the Poirier takes a decision is if Conor is possibly THAT MUCH better on the feet and a more dynamic finisher using that logic, how is Poirier going to win a decision? If Poirier was like a Gaethje or prime Tony Ferguson who can withstand inhumane levels of punishment and some perform BETTER after getting pieced up, I would understand that logic. I think Poirier has shown a serviceable chin over the body of his resume, but also, he got stopped decisively by Michael Johnson only a handful of years ago. If he gets hammered the first two rounds, I don't see it magically turning around for him. There are some guys who can Arturo Gatti blood and guts warrior their way through that. The thing is you get tired from taking a beating. If Conor slows down, I don't see Poirier having enough in his tank or skill wise to take advantage of that. 

I don't think Conor is actually a better striker than Poirier, I just think he has much more one punch stopping power than Poirier.  Conor's entire game is about putting his opponent out, he is very good at it.  He only has 2 decisions and they are against two of the hardest chins in the entire sport.  I think Poirier is one of the better strikers in the entire sport, but Conor can obliterate him with one shot.  I think Poirier wins pretty easily if he can get into a rhythm and start pressuring Conor early in the fight.  He needs to dictate the pace and make McGregor defend multiple shots and consistently working the body like he did with Gaethje.  Poirier has fought some really fast paced wars against Gaethje, Holloway, and Dan Hooker, and was fresh as a daisy late in the fight.  Poirier just can't let Conor do his thing where he dances around on the outside and picks the shots he wants to take.  Poirier has the skills, power, and cardio to make McGregor fight his fight.  The question is whether or not he can apply those skills to get the job done.  This is a great fight, because I can see pretty clear paths to victory for both guys, and could see this being a knock down drag out war for a round or a technical masterclass for five rounds.  Both of these guys are legitimately great fighters who can win either way.  I just favor McGregor early and Poirier late.  

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6 minutes ago, supremebve said:

I don't think Conor is actually a better striker than Poirier, I just think he has much more one punch stopping power than Poirier.  Conor's entire game is about putting his opponent out, he is very good at it.  He only has 2 decisions and they are against two of the hardest chins in the entire sport.  I think Poirier is one of the better strikers in the entire sport, but Conor can obliterate him with one shot.  I think Poirier wins pretty easily if he can get into a rhythm and start pressuring Conor early in the fight.  He needs to dictate the pace and make McGregor defend multiple shots and consistently working the body like he did with Gaethje.  Poirier has fought some really fast paced wars against Gaethje, Holloway, and Dan Hooker, and was fresh as a daisy late in the fight.  Poirier just can't let Conor do his thing where he dances around on the outside and picks the shots he wants to take.  Poirier has the skills, power, and cardio to make McGregor fight his fight.  The question is whether or not he can apply those skills to get the job done.  This is a great fight, because I can see pretty clear paths to victory for both guys, and could see this being a knock down drag out war for a round or a technical masterclass for five rounds.  Both of these guys are legitimately great fighters who can win either way.  I just favor McGregor early and Poirier late.  

I there is or at least was a class of guys at the top of the division who thrive in wars. However, if you're a Conor McGregor who knows that's not your type of fight, why choose to fight that way? It goes back to my example of Manny Pacquiao vs. Brandon Rios from years back. Brandon Rios is having these fight of the year contenders in back-to-back years, but those fights were against guys willing to fight him in a phone booth in really close quarters the entire 10 to 12 rounds. Why would Pacquiao fight him in a phone booth when he can be on the outside and land 20-35 punches per round on Rios? And that's what happened because it was stylistically nightmare for Rios. Poirier is much, much closer to McGregor in talent than Rios was to even a slightly faded Manny Pacquiao, but I expect Conor to sit in the pocket and try to pick him apart. He can either make Poirier come to him or back Poirier up. I just don't see any reason Conor would just bite down on the mouthpiece and just trade with Poirier for the hell of it. I think the only path forward for Poirier to win this fight is if Conor has slipped in the year he has had off and just presents countless opportunities (OR one big opportunity) for Poirier to take advantage through lapses in his defense. 

Just looking at the first fight...there are maybe three punches Poirier lands or was close to landing of any consequence. He almost landed a good looking uppercut that could've caught Conor off balance and MAYBE dropped him. However, he missed. He lands a short straight left as the come together that causes a little cut or bruise on the bridge of Conor's nose. He may have grazed him with another punch in that time. Then, Conor just takes over from there and it's over fairly quickly.

My big fear for Poirier looking at the first fight is he tries to throw a lazy low kick and just gets obliterated within seconds. That's what seems to happen to fighters when they try to match strike for strike to appear busy or establish some type of rhythm. When guys try to do that, you cut them off and come with the great eraser. Out of all the things McGregor is very good at, that's probably the best maybe. If he feels he is way better than you, he's not going to carry you.

His struggles have been against longer, rangier fighters he can't get a beat on immediately. He beat up Diaz early in their first fight, but Diaz could take those punches due to being the bigger fighter naturally and at the same time not give McGregor clean space to operate. That itself creates pressure because you're emptying the chamber against someone is walking forward like a zombie not caring about getting hit with successive clean strikes. With Khabib, that punch which dropped Conor, that's something Conor likely didn't see coming because Khabib is very deceptive with his reach as 80 percent of his skillset is his absurd grappling ability. It landed on him like a lightning bolt from the sky. Judging just based on the first Poirier-McGregor fight, Poirier gave Conor all the space in the world. As far as being deceptively long, that's not really Poirier's game unless we're talking about the Holloway fight where he was just much bigger than Max and Max's offense virtually mean nothing. Those punches might as well been nats landing on him. Poirier has to basically figure out how to maneuver around without getting hit. The first punch of consequence Conor landed in their first fight, he went down and didn't get back up. That was like a benign punch high on the top of the head. I have a hard time seeing him survive multiple flush punches on the chin to the point where he's having a competitive back-and-forth fight with McGregor. 

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1 hour ago, supremebve said:

I don't think Conor is actually a better striker than Poirier, I just think he has much more one punch stopping power than Poirier.  Conor's entire game is about putting his opponent out, he is very good at it.  He only has 2 decisions and they are against two of the hardest chins in the entire sport.  I think Poirier is one of the better strikers in the entire sport, but Conor can obliterate him with one shot.  I think Poirier wins pretty easily if he can get into a rhythm and start pressuring Conor early in the fight.  He needs to dictate the pace and make McGregor defend multiple shots and consistently working the body like he did with Gaethje.  Poirier has fought some really fast paced wars against Gaethje, Holloway, and Dan Hooker, and was fresh as a daisy late in the fight.  Poirier just can't let Conor do his thing where he dances around on the outside and picks the shots he wants to take.  Poirier has the skills, power, and cardio to make McGregor fight his fight.  The question is whether or not he can apply those skills to get the job done.  This is a great fight, because I can see pretty clear paths to victory for both guys, and could see this being a knock down drag out war for a round or a technical masterclass for five rounds.  Both of these guys are legitimately great fighters who can win either way.  I just favor McGregor early and Poirier late.  

Max Holloway and Nate Diaz, yes? Two GOAT chins there. McGregor does have one hit power. What he did to Jose Also will always be on highlight reels putting him out in 13 seconds.

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The prop bets are for Conor to win by knockout in rds 1 or 2.  Having said that, if the fight goes past 2 rounds the advantage should go to Dustin.

 

Not sure if we can make a poll here or not but how many think Conor wins by T/KO in rounds 1-2?   

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1 hour ago, paintedbynumbers said:

The prop bets are for Conor to win by knockout in rds 1 or 2.  Having said that, if the fight goes past 2 rounds the advantage should go to Dustin.

 

Not sure if we can make a poll here or not but how many think Conor wins by T/KO in rounds 1-2?   

I originally picked Conor by TKO in round 3 but I think he'll do it sooner, I'll say a round early in two.

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Is anyone willing to use the courage of their convictions to actually pick Poirier? It seems to me folks are kinda hedging their bets.

Also, anyone else curious about how Michael Chandler performs in the UFC? It felt like he was the workhorse for Bellator for several years (along with the Pitbull brothers) and always a guy they could point to when it comes having credible, legit fighters. He's a very exciting fighter, but you have to wonder how much tread is left on those tires after some hard fights. In addition, Dan Hooker is a legit fighter himself and tough as nails. 

I'm also looking forward to Amanda Ribas vs. Marina Rodriguez. Ribas has the potential to be their poster girl star and has tons of charisma. Marina Rodriguez is a real fighter though and has kinda flown under the radar. I expect a super competitive matchup there, and probably the first real test for Ribas since she has been in the UFC. Dern probably should have been the first since on paper, Dern is much better submission grappler than Ribas. However, what proved to be the difference was on paper and in actuality, Ribas was a much, much better striker than Dern.

 

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Just saw a tweet saying that Ribas weighed in at 116 yesterday and now weighs 143.3 according to her father. I think it was more than just the striking disparity that allowed Ribas to steamroll Dern. There was a huge athleticism gap too. She's pretty much the whole package and will give any fighter in that division a very tough time.

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