Power, speed, hype, excitement and suspense will all be on display when former two-division champion Conor McGregor meets former interim lightweight champion Dustin Poirier in the main event of UFC 257.
Catch the UFC 257 Prelims LIVE tonight at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on TSN1, TSN5 and TSN Direct.
McGregor and Poirier will meet in a highly anticipated rematch of their UFC 178 bout from 2014.
While the two decorated lightweight fighters will headline Saturday’s card in a fight with no gold on the line, many things will be at stake in the main event.
For Poirier, it’s a chance to avenge the loss he took in their first meeting.
The 32-year-old suffered a first-round TKO defeat at the hands of McGregor that night in a meeting of two up-and-coming featherweight fighters.
Following the loss, Poirier would move up to lightweight and make his name as one of the most exciting fighters in the promotion, capturing multiple post-fight performance bonuses.
Looking back on the defeat, the Lafayette, La., native says he’s not carrying any baggage into his rematch against McGregor.
“The past has made me the person I am right now in front of you and I’m at peace with it,” Poirier told TSN.
He would eventually capture the interim lightweight belt, before falling short against undefeated champion Khabib Nurmagomedov in his bid to become the undisputed title holder.
Nurmagomedov has since announced his retirement, but UFC president Dana White says he could be willing to return and defend the belt, if he is impressed by one of the lightweight performances at UFC 257.
McGregor meanwhile, believes he’s the best lightweight in the UFC and plans to show that again in Saturday’s main event bout.
“Dustin doesn’t know what he’s in for, that’s for damn sure,” McGregor told TSN. “Although, I think he does know what he’s in for to be honest, we fought before, but it’s even more ferocious this time.”
The former featherweight and lightweight champion has already predicted that Saturday’s fight will end inside the first minute of the opening round.
That’s the kind of spectacular victory that could lure the champion out of retirement and give McGregor the rematch he’s been chasing since he was submitted by Nurmagomedov at UFC 229.
McGregor has only fought once since failing to recapture the belt in October of 2018, a 40-second TKO victory over Donald Cerrone.
Matt Frevola will headline the prelim portion of the card, but will face a new opponent in Arman Tsarukyan.
Frevola’s original opponent, Ottman Azaitar, was pulled from the fight for violation of the health and safety protocols and, as White would later confirm to BT Sport, cut from the UFC promotion altogether.
Tsarukyan, who missed weight and will forfeit 20 per cent of his fight purse to Frevola, was scheduled to face Nasrat Haqparast, but he was forced off the card due to illness.
The Frevola-Tsarukyan fight was announced following the weigh-ins.
Frevola enters the bout on a two-fight winning streak, but hasn’t competed since October of 2019.
Following his last victory, over Luis Pena, the 30-year-old pulled out of bouts against both Roosevelt Roberts and Frank Camacho.
Tsarukyan also enters the bout on a two-fight winning streak, with victories over Canadian Olivier Aubin-Mercier and, most recently, Davi Ramos last July.
Khalil Rountree Jr., Brad Tavares and Olympic silver medalist Sara McMann will all see action on the UFC 257 Prelims.