Conor McGregor is back in action on January 23 and that’s always big money for UFC.
The Irishman will take on Dustin Poirier at UFC 257 for the second time in his career and its his first outing since the 40-second blitz of Donald Cerrone 12 months ago.
The 32-year-old was desperate to have an action-packed 2020, but the coronavirus pandemic put paid to those ambitions and when he couldn’t get what he wanted – which was a fight with Justin Gaethje to face Khabib – he retired.
But now McGregor is back and he’s promising to put on a show in his comeback fight.
“I promise a masterpiece,” he tweeted. The Notorious has been training solidly for most of the past year and looks in peak physical condition for his return to the octagon.
It’s been suggested that McGregor may make a return to boxing in 2021 and take on Manny Pacquiao nearly three years after his sole effort in the sport against all-time great, Floyd Mayweather.
However, with Khabib now retired, it seems as though McGregor is laser-focused on regaining his gold and picking up the lightweight title.
In order to get a shot, he’s got to defeat Poirier. Khabib is yet to be stripped of the title and will meet with UFC president Dana White during Fight Island in Abu Dhabi to discuss his future, so it’s possible we get McGregor/Khabib II by all accounts.
The UFC would love to put on a rematch of their highest-ever bought event, but if Khabib doesn’t come back into the fold, it would seem like Gaethje is next or maybe Dan Hooker – if he beats Michael Chandler at UFC 257 – could be the final hurdle back to the title for McGregor.
Poirier is a wildly improved fighter from his first meeting with McGregor in 2014. He came incredibly close to tapping out Khabib for the title in 2019 and has beaten names like Gaethje, Eddie Alvarez, Hooker, Max Holloway and Anthony Pettis in the time since.
It won’t be an easy night’s work for McGregor, but it’s sure to be explosive.