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McGregor vs. Poirier: UFC 178 and UFC 257 Revisited

This Saturday, fight fans are gearing up for what could possibly be the most exciting MMA event of the year. At UFC 264, Conor “The Notorious” McGregor and Dustin “The Diamond” Poirier are facing off in their much-hyped trilogy bout in Las Vegas. This is a pay-per-view show, meaning you’ll need to sign up for ESPN+ (and grab the UFC 264 PPV bundle deal and save $40 if you’re a new subscriber), and in the run-up to the fight, now’s the perfect time to revisit the two fighters’ first encounters at UFC 178 and UFC 257. You can check them out below.

UFC 178: Poirier vs. McGregor

Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier first met in the Octagon back in 2014 at UFC 178, but their fight wasn’t the headliner. In fact, it wasn’t even the co-main; it was actually third bout on the main card. In 2014, McGregor and Poirier (then featherweights) were not quite the pay-per-view draws they are today — McGregor, now one of the most recognizable names in the UFC, had only been with the league for about a year and a half at the time. Poirier’s 2011 UFC debut had come a few years earlier.

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Nonetheless, their matchup proved to be one of the most entertaining of the night, even though it was quite short. Within the first minute of the first round, McGregor had managed to put Poirier on defense. He then landed a vicious left hook to the head that sent The Diamond to the mat. Poirier tried and failed to recover as McGregor rained down more blows, forcing the ref to step in and call the fight less than two minutes into the first round. This TKO defeat marked Poirier’s first loss via stoppage due to strikes and earned the Irishman a Performance of the Night bonus.

UFC 257: Poirier vs. McGregor 2

It would be more than six years before these two faced each other again. In January 2021, at UFC 257, the second contest between Poirier and McGregor — now fighting at lightweight — served as the main event. Both fighters were coming off of recent victories. Their rematch was almost a replay of their first meeting, but with the roles reversed: The Diamond quickly put The Notorious on defense with a crippling calf-kick that set the tempo for the rest of the fight, which lasted into the second round.

McGregor briefly rallied in the second round, staggering Poirier with a left hand early, but the Irish fighter was clearly hobbled by the leg-kick he took in the first round and could not gain much forward momentum. Poirier eventually dropped McGregor with a right hook before finishing him on the ground — just as McGregor had done to Poirier in 2014. And, in a mirror image of their first encounter, this defeat marked McGregor’s first knockout loss and earned Poirier the Performance of the Night Award.

With a pair of fights like that between them, it’s not hard to see why both men are hungry to settle things for good and all with a trilogy bout, but thankfully, fans don’t have to wait another six years: It’s happening this Saturday at UFC 264, and you can watch it all live on ESPN+. The main card begins at 10 p.m. ET (7 p.m. PT).

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