September 2014, UFC 178.
At the time it was the Irish superstar facing UFC veteran and ‘one of the best on earth’. Little did we know the rollercoaster we would ride with Conor McGregor following that win. Equally too, little did we foresee the path Dustin Poirier’s career would take on the road to the UFC lightweight title.
At UFC 178, the hype around Conor McGregor at 145 (featherweight) was so big that he entered the cage as betting favourite over Poirier.
Poirier, as the trailer suggests, never hated someone so much such was the level of trash talk between the two. Fans were treated to one of the trademark ‘Mystic Mac’ fight predictions, and the Dubliner followed through.
Now, six years on, older and wiser and fighting up a weight class, both men are set to go again.
The Road To War
‘The Diamond’ has dropped just two fights in the six years since UFC 178 – Michael Johnson in 2016 and Khabib Nurmagomedov in 2019.
Since the McGregor bout he picked up wins over Joe Duffy, Bobby Green, Jim Miller, Eddie Alvarez, Anthony Pettis, Justin Gaethje and Max Holloway – a serious collection of names. He added Dan Hooked to that list in June this year. 13 fights is a way to stay active.
For his part, McGregor has been in the cage eight times since.
His next step was to put both Dennis Siver and Chad Mendes away in the second round of each fight, the Mendes bout to claim the interim featherweight title in 2015.
From there, it was that knockout of Jose Aldo, a pair of welterweight bouts with Nate Diaz, before claiming the lightweight gold in 2016 with a win over Eddie Alvarez.
2017 was all about Floyd Mayweather before McGregor lost to Khabib Nurmagomedov on his return to the cage. His “fight season” for 2020 kicked off with a win over Donald Cerrone inside 40 seconds of the first round in January this year but it will be a full 12 months since his last foray into the cage by the time UFC 257 rolls around.
Awaiting the winner, a likely title shot against Khabib Nurmagomedov, or at least Justin Gaethje if Nurmagomedov is indeed staying retired.
It all goes down Saturday 23 January on PPV with plenty to build up to over Christmas and to keep the bells jingling, the UFC has just dropped their all-new ‘ready for war’ trailer.
Check it out above.