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UFC 257

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UFC 257: Poirier vs. McGregor 2
UFC 257 poster.jpeg
The poster for UFC 257: Poirier vs. McGregor 2.
Information
PromotionUltimate Fighting Championship
DateJanuary 24, 2021 (2021-01-24)
VenueEtihad Arena
CityAbu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Event chronology
UFC on ESPN: Chiesa vs. Magny UFC 257: Poirier vs. McGregor 2 UFC Fight Night: Overeem vs. Volkov

UFC 257: Poirier vs. McGregor 2 is an upcoming mixed martial arts event produced by the Ultimate Fighting Championship that will take place on January 24, 2021 at the Etihad Arena on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.[1][2]

Background

Starting with UFC on ABC: Holloway vs. Kattar, a limited number of fans were allowed inside the newly built Etihad Arena, marking the first time since UFC 248 on March 7, 2020 that non-essential event personnel were in attendance.[3] The venue has maximum capacity of over 18,000, but the UFC is expecting to have closer to 2,000 fans for each of the Fight Island's events during the week.[4]

For the event to be broadcast live during Prime time hours on the east coast of North America, the main card is scheduled to begin at 7:00 am (January 24) local time in Abu Dhabi, with a full preliminary card beginning at approximately 4:00 am Gulf Standard Time.[5]

A lightweight rematch between former UFC Featherweight and Lightweight Champion Conor McGregor and former interim champion Dustin Poirier is set to headline this event.[6][7] They met previously in a featherweight bout at UFC 178 in September 27, 2014, where McGregor won by first round TKO.[8]

After defending his lightweight title at UFC 254 in October, Khabib Nurmagomedov immediately announced his retirement, citing his father's death from complications related to COVID-19 in last July as the main reason behind it.[9] Despite his announcement, the title was never officially vacated as UFC President Dana White said several times that he believed Nurmagomedov would still fight again.[10][11][12] A meeting between both of them to discuss the champion's future was then expected to happen this week during the organization's stint at Fight Island, eventually taking place on January 15.[13][14] The following day, White made an appearance live on ABC during the main card of UFC on ABC: Holloway vs. Kattar and revealed the outcome of the meeting: the Russian left the door open to a potential return, depending on how the main and co-main event fighters perform at this event, while also praising Charles Oliveira's performance at UFC 256.[15][16] Despite White's announcement, Nurmagomedov indicated in another interview that "fighting again is not in my plans".[17]

A bantamweight bout between promotional newcomers Umar Nurmagomedov and Sergey Morozov was initially scheduled to take place at UFC 254, but Nurmagomedov pulled out due to an illness.[18] The pairing was then rescheduled for this event.[19] Finally, the bout was set to take place 3 days prior at UFC on ESPN: Chiesa vs. Magny.[20]

A flyweight bout between Amir Albazi and Zhalgas Zhumagulov was expected to take place at UFC on ESPN: Smith vs. Clark, but Zhumagulov pulled out due to visa issues and the bout was rescheduled for this event.[21][22]

Former Invicta FC Atomweight Champion Michelle Waterson was expected to face Amanda Ribas in a women's strawweight bout at this event.[23] However, Waterson pulled out of the bout in early December due to undisclosed reasons.[24] She was replaced by Marina Rodriguez.[25]

Tagir Ulanbekov was briefly scheduled to face returning veteran Matheus Nicolau in a flyweight bout.[26] However, Ulanbekov withdrew in late December due to undisclosed reasons.[27] The pairing was eventually rescheduled for UFC Fight Night 187 on March 13.[28]

A middleweight bout between The Ultimate Fighter: Team Joanna vs. Team Cláudia light heavyweight winner Andrew Sanchez and André Muniz was expected to take place at this event.[29] In late December, Muniz withdrew due to an injury and was replaced by Makhmud Muradov.[30]

A women's bantamweight bout between The Ultimate Fighter: Team Rousey vs. Team Tate bantamweight winner Julianna Peña and former UFC Women's Bantamweight Championship challenger Sara McMann (also 2004 Olympic silver medalist in wrestling) was originally scheduled to take place a week earlier at UFC on ABC: Holloway vs. Kattar, but it was eventually pushed back to this event.[31][32]

A featherweight bout between Shane Burgos and Hakeem Dawodu was scheduled for the event.[33] However on January 9, Dawodu was forced to withdraw from the bout citing a shoulder injury.[34] The UFC confirmed three days later that Burgos was also injured and the bout was canceled.[35]

On the day of the weigh-ins, a couple of lightweight bouts suffered major changes due to several issues: Ottman Azaitar and Matt Frevola were scheduled to meet in the preliminary portion of the event.[36] However, it was announced that Azaitar was pulled from the bout after it was determined that he had violated COVID-19 health and safety protocols, as he attempted to help others enter the UFC's designated safety zone.[37] The other bout that suffered alterations featured Nasrat Haqparast and Arman Tsarukyan.[38] Haqparast withdrew from the bout due to an undisclosed illness and Tsarukyan weighed in at 157 pounds, one pound over the lightweight non-title fight limit.[39][40] As a result, the promotion arranged a catchweight bout between Frevola and Tsarukyan to keep both athletes on the card.[41][42] Subsequently, Tsarukyan will forfeit 20% of his purse to Frevola as a result of missing weight.[43]

Fight card

Main card
Weight class Method Round Time Notes
Lightweight Dustin Poirier vs. Conor McGregor
Lightweight Dan Hooker vs. Michael Chandler
Women's Flyweight Jessica Eye vs. Joanne Calderwood
Middleweight Andrew Sanchez vs. Makhmud Muradov
Women's Strawweight Marina Rodriguez vs. Amanda Ribas
Preliminary card (ESPN / ESPN+)
Catchweight (157 lb) Matt Frevola vs. Arman Tsarukyan
Middleweight Brad Tavares vs. Antônio Carlos Júnior
Women's Bantamweight Julianna Peña vs. Sara McMann
Light Heavyweight Khalil Rountree Jr. vs. Marcin Prachnio
Early preliminary card (ESPN+ / UFC Fight Pass)
Catchweight (150 lb) Movsar Evloev vs. Nik Lentz
Flyweight Amir Albazi vs. Zhalgas Zhumagulov

[44]

See also

References

  1. ^ Staff (2020-11-23). "Dustin Poirier vs Conor McGregor to headline UFC 257". ufc.com. Retrieved 2020-11-23.
  2. ^ Alexander K. Lee (2020-12-22). "Dana White announces UFC 257, first three events of 2021 to take place on Fight Island". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2020-12-22.
  3. ^ Staff (2021-01-07). "Fans are back: UFC will have 'limited' attendance at three-card 'Fight Island' stint at Etihad Arena". mmajunkie.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2021-01-07.
  4. ^ Newswire (2021-01-10). "Etihad Arena lists official COVID-19 safety measures for fans at January UFC Fight Island shows". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2021-01-11.
  5. ^ Mike Bohn (2021-01-13). "'Fight Island' commentary teams, broadcast plans set for three events ending with UFC 257". mmajunkie.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2021-01-13.
  6. ^ Damon Martin (2020-11-10). "Conor McGregor vs. Dustin Poirier 2 in works for UFC 257". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2020-11-11.
  7. ^ Danny Segura and Mike Bohn (2020-11-19). "Conor McGregor vs. Dustin Poirier 2 booked for UFC 257". mmajunkie.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2020-11-19.
  8. ^ Steven Marrocco (2014-09-27). "UFC 178 results, photos: Conor McGregor stops Dustin Poirier in first round". mmajunkie.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2020-11-11.
  9. ^ Dave Doyle (2020-10-24). "Khabib Nurmagomedov dominates Justin Gaethje, retires after UFC 254 submission win". mmajunkie.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2021-01-16.
  10. ^ Simon Samano (2020-10-29). "Dana White has 'a feeling' Khabib Nurmagomedov won't stay retired after talking to him". mmajunkie.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2021-01-16.
  11. ^ Simon Head and Ken Hathaway (2020-11-01). "Dana White leaves door open for Khabib Nurmagomedov to return: 'He's still the champ'". mmajunkie.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2021-01-16.
  12. ^ Farah Hannoun and John Morgan (2020-11-18). "Dana White insists Conor McGregor vs. Dustin Poirier won't be for title: 'Khabib's going to fight'". mmajunkie.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2021-01-16.
  13. ^ Nolan King and John Morgan (2021-01-13). "Dana White anticipates Khabib Nurmagomedov meeting will be five minutes: 'It's yes or no'". mmajunkie.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2021-01-16.
  14. ^ Nolan King (2021-01-15). "Video: Dana White and Khabib Nurmagomedov finally meet face to face in Abu Dhabi". mmajunkie.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2021-01-16.
  15. ^ Simon Head, The Blue Corner (2021-01-16). "What's happening with Khabib Nurmagomedov? Dana White will reveal all at UFC on ABC 1". mmajunkie.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2021-01-16.
  16. ^ Alexander K. Lee (2021-01-16). "Dana White announces that Khabib Nurmagomedov could return if UFC 257 lightweights, Charles Oliveira 'can do something special'". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2021-01-16.
  17. ^ Newswire (2021-01-20). "Khabib Nurmagomedov: Fighting not in my plans, don't 'push me to do things that will disappoint my mother'". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2021-01-20.
  18. ^ Simon Head (2020-10-18). "Umar Nurmagomedov hospitalized in Dubai, ruled out of octagon debut at UFC 254". mmajunkie.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2020-11-24.
  19. ^ Staff (2020-11-24). "Umar Nurmagomedov vs. Sergey Morozov added to UFC 257 on January 23". mmadna.nl. Retrieved 2020-11-24. (in Dutch)
  20. ^ Farah Hannoun (2021-01-12). "Umar Nurmagomedov vs. Sergey Morozov moved to UFC on ESPN 20 on Jan. 20". mmajunkie.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2021-01-12.
  21. ^ Staff (2020-11-24). "Amir Albazi vs. Zhalgas Zhumagulov pulled from UFC on ESPN 18 lineup". mmajunkie.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2020-11-24.
  22. ^ Steve Duncan (2020-11-25). "Amir Albazi vs. Zhalgas Zhumagulov rescheduled for UFC 257". mma.uno. Retrieved 2020-11-25. (in Spanish)
  23. ^ Brett Okamoto (2020-11-02). "Michelle Waterson, Amanda Ribas closing in on deal to fight at UFC 257, sources say". espn.com. Retrieved 2020-12-08.
  24. ^ Damon Martin and Guilherme Cruz (2020-12-08). "Michelle Waterson out of upcoming fight against Amanda Ribas at UFC 257". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2020-12-08.
  25. ^ Diego Ribas (2020-12-08). "UFC books fight between Amanda Ribas and Marina Rodriguez for January". agfight.com. Retrieved 2020-12-09. (in Portuguese)
  26. ^ Farah Hannoun (2020-12-18). "Matheus Nicolau returns vs. Tagir Ulanbekov at UFC 257 on Jan. 23". mmajunkie.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2020-12-21.
  27. ^ Guilherme Cruz (2020-12-19). "Matheus Nicolau re-signs with UFC, needs new opponent for UFC 257 after Tagir Ulanbekov withdraws". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2020-12-21.
  28. ^ Raphael Marinho (2021-01-12). "Ultimate sends Matheus Nicolau vs. Tagir Ulanbekov to March 13". globoesporte.globo.com. Retrieved 2021-01-13. (in Portuguese)
  29. ^ Guilherme Cruz and Damon Martin (2020-11-19). "Andre Muniz set to face TUF 23 winner Andrew Sanchez at UFC 257". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2020-12-24.
  30. ^ Richard Wagner (2020-12-24). "Fight in the same event as McGregor! Who will the Czech/Uzbek oppose?". sport.tn.nova.cz. Retrieved 2020-12-24. (in Czech)
  31. ^ Farah Hannoun (2020-11-19). "Sara McMann vs. Julianna Pena added to UFC Fight Night on Jan. 16". mmajunkie.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2020-12-26.
  32. ^ Nolan King and Mike Bohn (2020-12-26). "UFC 257 gets Julianna Pena vs. Sara McMann after fight pushed back one week". mmajunkie.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2020-12-26.
  33. ^ Tristen Critchfield (2020-11-24). "Shane Burgos vs. Hakeem Dawodu booked for UFC 257". sherdog.com. Retrieved 2021-01-10.
  34. ^ Simon Head and Farah Hannoun (2021-01-09). "Injury forces Hakeem Dawodu out of UFC 257 clash with Shane Burgos". mmajunkie.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2021-01-10.
  35. ^ Staff (2021-01-12). "Updates to UFC Fight Island events". ufc.com. Retrieved 2021-01-12.
  36. ^ Farah Hannoun and John Morgan (2020-11-19). "Ottman Azaitar vs. Matt Frevola joins UFC 257 lineup". mmajunkie.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2021-01-22.
  37. ^ Alexander K. Lee (2021-01-22). "Ottman Azaitar cut from UFC after violating COVID-19 safety protocol". mmafighting.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2021-01-22.
  38. ^ Farah Hannoun (2020-11-19). "Nasrat Haqparast vs. Arman Tsarukyan added to UFC 257". mmajunkie.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2021-01-22.
  39. ^ Jay Anderson (2021-01-22). "Nasrat Haqparast out of UFC 257 fight with Arman Tsarukyan, who missed weight". cagesidepress.com. Retrieved 2021-01-22.
  40. ^ Alexander K. Lee (2021-01-22). "UFC 257 weigh-in results: Conor McGregor, Dustin Poirier make weight for rematch, two other fights canceled". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2021-01-22.
  41. ^ Staff (2021-01-22). "UFC 257 weigh-in results: Lineup altered after multiple issues with lightweights". mmajunkie.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2021-01-22.
  42. ^ Alexander K. Lee (2021-01-22). "Arman Tsarukyan vs. Matt Frevola arranged for UFC 257 following loss of scheduled opponents". mmafighting.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2021-01-22.
  43. ^ Daniel Cunningham (2021-01-22). "Matt Frevola will now meet Arman Tsarukyan at UFC 257". empiresportsmedia.com. Retrieved 2021-01-22.
  44. ^ "UFC 257: Poirier vs. McGregor 2". Ultimate Fighting Championship. Retrieved 2020-12-02.