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Former UFC featherweight and lightweight champion Conor McGregor is returning to the octagon to face #2 ranked lightweight Dustin Poirier in the main event of UFC 257 on January 23.
McGregor has fought just twice since 2016, losing the lightweight championship to Khabib Nurmagomedov in 2018 and scoring a first round knockout against welterweight Donald Cerrone in January 2020. The UFC star has flirted with retirement but said he was "grateful" for his latest UFC booking.
McGregor defeated Poirier with a first round knockout in their previous meeting at UFC 178 in 2014, when both fighters were in the lighter featherweight division. Poirier has posted an impressive 8-2 record since that bout, including a short reign as UFC's interim lightweight champion.
McGregor vs. Poirier will have lasting implications on UFC's lightweight division — reigning champion Nurmagomedov announced his own retirement after defeating Justin Gaethje at UFC 254, leaving the championship belt open for the taking. Gaethje remains the division's top ranked fighter, but lost a head-to-head match with Poirier in 2018. The winner of UFC 257 could face Gaethje in a title fight for the vacant lightweight championship.
UFC 257 will be held at the UFC Fight Island campus on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Fans will not be allowed to attend due to the coronavirus pandemic, but the venue makes it easier for UFC to host international fighters and safely quarantine staff. A total of three events will be held at UFC Fight Island in January.
Here's the match schedule for UFC 257: Poirier vs. McGregor
Early Prelims — 6:15 p.m. ET, 3:15 p.m. PT on UFC Fight Pass
- Andrew Sanchez versus Makhmud Muradov [Middleweight]
- Nik Lentz versus Movsar Evloev [Catchweight]
- Amir Albazi versus Zhalgas Zhumagulov [Flyweight]
Prelims — 8 p.m. ET, 5 p.m. PT on ESPN+ and ESPN
- Khalil Rountree Jr. versus Marcin Prachnio [Light Heavyweight]
- Julianna Peña vs Sara McMann [Women's Bantamweight]
- Brad Tavares versus Antonio Carlos Junior [Middleweight]
- Arman Tsarukyan versus Nasrat Haqparast [Lightweight]
Main Card — 10 p.m. ET, 7 p.m. PT on ESPN+ for $69.99
- Marina Rodriguez versus Amanda Ribas [Women's Strawweight]
- Matt Frevola versus Ottman Azaitar [Lightweight]
- Jessica Eye versus Joanne Calderwood [Women's Flyweight]
- Dan Hooker versus Michael Chandler [Lightweight]
- Dustin Poirier versus Conor McGregor [Lightweight]
How to watch UFC 257
UFC 257 is separated into three portions: the early prelims, the prelims, and the main card. The early prelims are only available to UFC Fight Pass subscribers, while the prelims will air on ESPN+ and the ESPN cable channel. The main card is an ESPN+ exclusive pay-per-view event.
This means that you have to subscribe to the ESPN+ streaming service before you're able to purchase the main card PPV. An ESPN+ membership costs $5.99 per month or $59.99 per year. The UFC 257 PPV event costs $69.99 for ESPN+ subscribers.
You can access the ESPN+ app on all major mobile and connected TV devices, including Amazon Fire, Apple, Android, Chromecast, PS4, Xbox One, Roku, Samsung Smart TVs, and more.
Ways to save on the UFC 257 pay-per-view price
If you plan on signing up for ESPN+ to watch UFC 257, you can take advantage of a special discounted package.
New subscribers can purchase a year-long ESPN+ membership with access to UFC 257 included for a total of $89.98. That's over 30% off the standard price. Following your first year of service, ESPN+ will then renew for the regular annual price of $59.99.