Connor McGregor Makes his UFC Return with a Fight Against Dustin Poirier

Connor McGregor’s return to the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) will see him take on a former rival, Dustin Poirier. A lot of people have looked forward to a rematch of UFC 178 in 2014 where both fighters locked horns and UFC is making it possible. McGregor just signed a contract with the UFC to face Poirier at UFC 257 on the 23rd of January, 2021.

The “Notorious” Connor McGregor is the favorite to win with -230, while Dustin Poirier is the underdog and has an odd of +180 to win the matchup.

Their meeting in 2014 ended badly for Dustin as he was knocked out in the first round, seconds shy from the two-minute mark. Things might go differently this time as both fighters have gone on to have successful careers since that last meet. Also, both fighters have moved up to lightweight as opposed to when they first went to head-to-head at welterweight.

McGregor’s Professional MMA Stats

The last time Connor was in the octagon was the 18th of January 2020 and he did not spend much time in it. He was very quick with fan-favorite Donald Cerrone, knocking him out in the first round in less than forty seconds.

In his professional career, he is 22-4. However, he has made the octagon walk eight times since his last meet with Poirier and has only fought in the UFC twice since December of 2016. Of his eight walks, he has lost only twice. One of those losses was at the hand of Nate Diaz at welterweight, while the second was at the hands of the lightweight champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov. Despite these losses, Connor has never been bested in a striking bout at lightweight. When Connor and Poirier met at featherweight, Poirier landed ten significant strikes with 52% accuracy. For Connor, he landed nine and recorded an accuracy level of 31%. If history is anything to go by, Poirier might be the first to beat Connor in a striking bout at lightweight.

All four of Connor’s professional losses came via submission, with the last being at the hands of Khabib in October 2018.

His rise to fame in the UFC came after he claimed the featherweight welt bet in just 13 seconds against the then champion, Jose Aldo.

Dustin Poirier MMA Stats

Dustin is not as popular as McGregor, but he is also a top fighter with a 26-6 professional MMA record. He moved into the 155-pound class after his defeat at the hands of McGregor and has since then been at a 10-2 run. He also lost to Habib via submission, while his second loss at lightweight came at the hands of Michael Johnson, who won by TKO. He is most famous for his striking prowess, which he has shown in several of his fights and his last meeting with Connor.

His latest fight, and victory, was in June 2020, where he topped Dan Hooker via unanimous decision. Under the UFC mantle, he has scored nine knockouts. His most recent was against former 155lb champion Eddie Alvarez. The most noteworthy was against a top lightweight contender, Justin Gaethje.

Betting Analysis

Several factors favor Connor in this matchup, the first being that rematches are won 7 out of 10 times by the winner of the first. Also, Dustin takes a lot of damage in his fights, which might prove detrimental for him as McGregor is seen by many as one of the best strikers in UFC history.

Another advantage for Connor is that he is well-rested. It will be a little over a year since he last fought by the time he steps in the octagon come January 23, 2021, for the main event of UFC 257.

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Ryan
A sports enthusiast, Ryan helps cover sports betting news from around the country, highlighting some of the more interesting events going on in the USA.