This weekend’s UFC 257 matchup will not only see the return of Conor McGregor as he stands off against rival lightweight Dustin Poirier, but will also mark the first time since March 2020 that fans will be in attendance. The limited number of supporters will be allowed into the new Etihad Arena for a historic showdown, and we’re showing you everything you need to know about the UFC 257 event that’s going down on Saturday.
UFC 257 – where and when?
Etihad Arena will host UFC 257 this Saturday, January 23.
Tune in from 6pm ET / 3pm PT for early prelims with prelims following at between 8pm and 10pm. You can catch the main card from 10pm ET / 7pm PT.
ESPN+ is your place to watch in the US and we have further details below.
It’s time for the former UFC Featherweight and Lightweight champion to face the former interim champion once again. Poirier and McGregor previously stepped into the octagon together back in UFC 178, an explosive 2014 matchup that saw McGregor walking away with a TKO in under two minutes.
Of course, since then Poirier has taken victories from the likes of Justin Gaethje, Anthony Pettis, Eddie Alvaris and Max Holloway to name a few. ‘The Diamond’ has spent the last six years working his way up the UFC ladder, switching from Featherweight to Lightweight and picking up some impressive winning streaks while doing so.
Both competitors suffered their most recent losses at the hands of Khabib Nurmagomedov. While the current champion has technically retired, the title still belongs to him, and with the results of this showdown sending the victor into the ring for a Lightweight Championship, we might be seeing more of him yet.
The reigning champ isn’t the only one teetering on the edge of retirement. McGregor himself has only fought twice in the UFC since 2016, and with Poirier sitting on 26 wins to McGregor’s 22, we might not see such a quick victory this time around.
Today the pair are far more amicable than they were during that vicious 2014 bout, with McGregor even pledging a donation to Poirier’s Good Fight Foundation. However, ‘The Notorious’ is here to reclaim his title and as the #2 ranked contender, Poirier certainly isn’t going to hand the opportunity over to him.
You’ll find out everything you need to know about UFC 257 right here, but we’re also showing you how to watch the full main card event over on our UFC 257 live stream guide.
Who are Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier?
With a long list of accolades under his heavy belt, Conor McGregor is MMA’s biggest star. The first fighter to hold two titles simultaneously, the former UFC Lightweight and Featherweight champ is the biggest PPV draw in franchise history and the first to hold KO finishes in Featherweight, Lightweight and Welterweight classes.
While his career began in 2008, and took to the UFC in 2013, the Irish fighter has fought in some of MMA’s biggest fights and is one of the formidable opponents on the roster. Nevertheless, having been out of the game for a little while there might be more fight left in his opponent this weekend.
Dustin Poirier aka ‘The Diamond’ is the former interim Lightweight champion and currently second in line to the title. The Louisiana-born fighter has the win over four former UFC champions, with an impressive 16 / 26 wins by knockout or submission. Poirier is certainly a force to be reckoned with, though whether his speed or raw power will match McGregor’s famed hard and fast approach will remain to be seen.
Who is the favorite to win at UFC 257?
While the last bout between these two fighters resulted in a speedy TKO, it’s unlikely McGregor will dominate quite so easily this time around. Poirier has certainly been preparing for this fight, and now sits higher than his opponent in the UFC pound-for-pound rankings.
With all of that said, though, McGregor is still currently favorite to win, and favorite to win by KO. It might not be as sudden as it was back in the day, but with 19 solid KO victories under his belt, McGregor’s reputation for an explosive first few minutes is likely to prove as effective as before.
Is Conor McGregor retiring?
There has been much back and forth over McGregor’s retirement over the last three years. He’s had his championship titles rescinded due to inactivity multiple times, and has been showing up to the octagon less and less. After suffering a boxing loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr in 2017, and handing over his Lightweight title to Khabib in 2018, McGregor was motioning towards retirement two years ago.
He was always adamant, however, that he would return to challenge Nurmagomedov to the Lightweight title, and with a 2020 Welterweight win against Donald Cerrone under his belt, it looks like he’s well on his way.
What are the other highlights from UFC 252?
There’s plenty more going on this Saturday though, with the main card also playing host to the first match between Dan Hooker and Michael Chandler. Hooker holds an impressive 7-2 record heading into Saturday’s bout, but the fledgling Chandler is hungry to establish himself in the UFC so there’s plenty to look forward to ahead of the main clash.
Jessica Eye and Joanne Calderwood are also fighting to return to top contention in their class. Both fighters have lost out on chances to up their ranking over the last few years, and the ladder back to the top starts here.
How to watch UFC 257 online in the US exclusively on ESPN
If you’re looking live stream UFC 257, you’ll want to head over to ESPN+. ESPN has exclusive streaming rights to the pay per view fights, so you’ll need to grab yourself a subscription to watch this and all other UFC events.
If you’re not already subscribed to ESPN+, you’re better off picking up a UFC Bundle for $89.98. You’ll get access to UFC 257 as well as a year’s subscription to the service itself (worth $60).
Folk already with access to ESPN+ have to pay $69.99. This option grants you access to the main card events as well as all the preliminary bouts leading up to it on Saturday, January 23 at 10pm ET / 7pm PT.View Deal
What does a UFC fan receive with their ESPN+ subscription?
If you’re interested in picking up a full ESPN+ subscription, you’ll be happy to know that the service also offers exclusive content like live UFC Fight Nights. Plus you’ll be able to catch originals including Dana White’s Contender Series, UFC Destined, and Ariel & The Bad Guy. A membership grants you access to all this as well as on demand replays and highlights, with the added perk of fewer ads as well.
How do non-US residents watch UFC 257
With Conor McGregor at the very top of the card, it’s no big surprise that this event is being shown on PPV television pretty much everywhere else around the world – we have a dedicated guide on how to live stream McGregor vs Poirier that you can read if you’re looking to watch somewhere other than the States.
In short, BT Box Office has it in the UK, with the likes of Foxtel Main Event and Kayo PPV enjoying the rights Down Under. And sports streaming service DAZN has the rights to show the event in Germany, Italy, Spain.
The UFC 257 card in full:
Dustin Poirier vs Conor McGregor; Lightweight
Dan Hooker vs Michael Chandler; Lightweight
Jessica Eye vs Joanne Calderwood; Women’s Flyweight
Matt Frevola vs Ottman Azaitar; Lightweight
Marina Rodriguez vs Amanda Ribas; Light heavyweight
Arman Tsarukyan vs Nasrat Haqparast; Lightweight
Brad Tavares vs Antonio Carlos Junior; Middleweight
Julianna Peña vs Sara McMann; Women’s Bantamweight
Khalil Rountree Jr. vs Marcin Prachnio; Light Heavyweight
Andrew Sanchez vs Makhmud Muradov; Middleweight
Nik Lentz vs Movsar Evloev; Catchweight
Amir Albazi vs Zhalgas Zhumagulov; Flyweight