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Forget Poirier vs. McGregor 4: Oliveira vs. Poirier is More Exciting

UFC President Dana White places the interim lightweight championship belt on Dustin Poirier in April 2019. Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

UFC 264: Poirier vs. McGregor 3 might have been the most highly anticipated MMA event of 2021, but it also turned out to be one of the most disappointing after Conor McGregor suffered a nasty leg break in the final minute of the first round. And while fans are eagerly anticipating Poirier vs. McGregor 4, we’re far more excited about Oliviera vs. Poirier this Saturday. Read on to see what has us so interested in this fight and how you can watch UFC 269 online with ESPN+.

It’s easy to see why MMA fans were excited to see Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier duke it out in the Octagon, but for their most recent matchup, the only things on the line were their reputations and the fight purse. At UFC 269, however, it’s all about the gold: For newly crowned UFC Lightweight Champion Charles Oliveira (31-8), it will be his first title defense and a chance to prove that he’s got what it takes for a proper title reign. For former interim champ Dustin Poirier (28-6) — now the No. 1-ranked fighter on the UFC lightweight roster — it’s his coveted shot at the belt for which many feel he’s been long overdue.

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What’s also noteworthy about UFC 269 is that these lightweight icons have never stepped into the Octagon to face each other before. The lightweight class is perhaps the most crowded and top-heavy of all of the divisions in the UFC, so it’s not a surprise that the two have never fought given how much talent is on the roster — even with former undefeated champ Khabib Nurmagomedov now out of the picture following his retirement. In fact, Khabib himself has been the only one to issue Poirier a defeat since 2016. Oliveira has been on a tear since 2018, having racked up nine consecutive wins, the most recent being his lightweight championship victory over Michael Chandler at UFC 262 in May.

The simple fact is that Conor McGregor’s MMA star seems to be fading (his other business ventures outside of the Octagon notwithstanding), but as of now, Dustin Poirier and Charles Oliveira are the two best lightweight fighters in the world and both are at the absolute peak of their game. Make no mistake, we’ll definitely be tuning into Poirier vs. McGregor 4 when the time comes — but for now, we’re way more hyped about Oliviera vs. Poirier. It’s happening this Saturday, December 11, in Las Vegas, with the main card bouts starting at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT. You can tune in and watch the UFC 269 livestream online after you sign up for ESPN+, and if you’re a new subscriber, you can even score a nice $50 discount on the UFC 269 PPV.

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