Conor McGregor, Dustin Poirier Make Weight for UFC 257 'Fight Island' Main Event

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJanuary 22, 2021

Conor McGregor celebrates after defeating Dustin Poirier in their featherweight mixed martial arts bout at UFC 178 on Saturday, Sept. 27, 2014, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
John Locher/Associated Press

Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier made weight Friday ahead of their lightweight clash in the UFC 257 main event Saturday night at Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

ESPN's Brett Okamoto reported McGregor checked in at 155 pounds, while Poirier was a pound heavier.

The lightweight division is a bit up in the air right now after champion Khabib Nurmagomedov announced his retirement following an October victory over Justin Gaethje, which was his first fight since the death of his father and coach, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov.

McGregor has called for his rematch with Poirier to become a championship bout in light of Khabib's decision, but UFC President Dana White said the champ will consider a return based on the results of Saturday's card.

"If these guys can do something special, Khabib will fight them," WhiteΒ said.

Along with McGregor and Poirier, there's a key lightweight fight on the card as Dan Hooker takes on Michael Chandler.

So the division should receive some clarity based on those bouts and Khabib's subsequent decision.

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McGregor scored a first-round knockout of Poirier in their first meeting in September 2014. A lot has changed since that fight, though.

The 32-year-old Irishman's commitment to the UFC has wavered at times, including a short-lived retirement last year, and he's fought just twice since November 2016. His most recent fight was a knockout of Donald Cerrone 40 seconds into their January 2020 meeting.

Meanwhile, Poirier has only lost once over his last eight fights, and that came in a lightweight title bout against Nurmagomedov in September 2019. He's coming off a triumph over Hooker by unanimous decision in June.

"I'm more prepared now on the mental side," Poirier toldΒ Don RiddellΒ of CNN Sport. "Before, when I was younger, I didn't put a whole lot into the mental side of fighting. I listened to critics. I listened to opinions of people. I listened to Conor."

McGregor should still be viewed as the favorite, but the stage is set for an intriguing main event.