UFC 257, the primary pay-per-view of 2021, is within the books with Dustin Poirier scoring a sensational second-round knockout win over Conor McGregor.
In a rematch of their first bout in 2014, Poirier withstood McGregor’s early assaults earlier than chopping away on the Irishman’s lead proper leg and knocking him out halfway via the second spherical.
Within the co-main occasion, Michael Chandler made a memorable UFC debut by knocking out New Zealand’s Dan Hooker within the first spherical after which calling out McGregor, Poirier and Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Learn on under for all of the postfight evaluation and breakdowns from a superb day of fights.
Dustin Poirier is an actual one
By his personal admission, the Dustin Poirier who misplaced to Conor McGregor in 2014 was an indignant and simply insecure man. He was overhyped and intimidated when he fell to a shocking first-round knockout to a McGregor on the rise.
Not so this time round.
Poirier has gone up a weight class, gained some, misplaced just a few and fought for a world title (and an interim one). Exterior the Octagon, he matured, had a daughter and dived headfirst into his charity work.
The 2021 model of Poirier is extra centered, calmer and extra at peace with himself.
“I am comfortable. I am comfortable within the place I’m and with who I see within the mirror,” he stated after the most important win of his profession.
In wins over Jim Miller, Anthony Pettis, Justin Gaethje, Eddie Alvarez, Max Holloway and Hooker, Poirier has respectable claims to being essentially the most entertaining fighter on the UFC roster.
And though he is had loads of headline spots and title fights on massive playing cards, he by no means actually received the broader fame his resume and charity work deserve.
That can change now.
With the eyes of the world watching, Poirier simply handed McGregor one in all his most resounding defeats, and was all class in his postfight interview.
Onward and upward for Dustin Poirier, an actual one in each sense.
McGregor finished in by inactivity
McGregor admitted instantly after the loss that his very long time out of the cage was telling.
He returned in opposition to Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone final yr, however the combat did not final a minute. His final actual Octagon outing was his 2018 light-weight title combat in opposition to Khabib.
The rust is actual, and it confirmed.
McGregor landed effectively however wasn’t fairly within the zone as Poirier countered effectively and landed loads of leg kicks.
What’s subsequent for Poirier and McGregor?
If Khabib actually has retired, the UFC 257 important occasion ought to have been for the light-weight title.
It wasn’t, however Poirier must be combating for the belt later this yr. Towards who? Charles Oliveira possibly, or Khabib if he determined to maintain combating. Possibly Chandler earned a shot on the title already.
As for McGregor . . .
A 3rd Nate Diaz bout seems to be fairly good. I would additionally watch him combat Poirier a 3rd time, too.
Introducing Michael Chandler
Chandler simply placed on some of the spectacular UFC debuts in latest reminiscence.
Not solely did the previous Bellator light-weight champion land an enormous shot that dropped the Hangman, earlier than ending it with floor and pound, the 34-year-old then minimize a sensational promo.
Chandler joins the likes of Eddie Alvarez, Gaethje and Ben Askren in debuting within the UFC off the again of standout careers in different promotions.
Undoubtedly his was the most effective, and he is already in line for a shot on the 155-pound belt within the not-too-distant future.
Hooker did not retire, did he?
Hooker could not get something off within the period of time his combat with Chandler lasted.
Afterward, as Bruce Buffer was studying out the consequence, the Kiwi might be seen undoing the tape on his gloves and pulling them off.
In keeping with Daniel Cormier in commentary, Hooker threw the gloves on the bottom and left him within the cage, often an indication fighter intends to retire.
I genuinely hope that is not the case.
Herb, we have to discuss
Whenever you referee as many high-profile fights over such a very long time as Herb Dean has, you are certain to make the odd mistake or two alongside the best way.
It appeared as if the veteran ref was stopping the strawweight bout between Marina Rodriguez and Amanda Ribas when Ribas was caught with a proper hand within the second spherical. As a substitute, he stepped in however pulled up brief, making Rodriguez suppose she’d gained.
The combat continued and Rodriguez gained a short while later, nevertheless it wasn’t an excellent look and it is not the primary time he is gotten it flawed.
Julianna Pena calls out Amanda Nunes . . . and Nunes hits again
Pena earned a third-round RNC submission win over fellow UFC veteran Sarah McMann after which promptly referred to as out Nunes, claiming the longtime bantamweight champion was ducking her.
It did not take lengthy for Nunes to reply.
What was within the bag?
Yeah, I am gonna must know what was within the bag one in all Ottman Azaitar’s boys delivered to him on Struggle Island.
If you do not know the backstory, hit this link right here, however the brief model of it goes like this: Lower than a day trip from his scheduled combat with Matt Frevola, Azaitar was sensationally minimize from the UFC completely after he and his staff gave their safety wristbands to a number of different individuals who have been then capable of enter the bubble of the W Resort.
In keeping with UFC president Dana White, one of many males who got a wristband “confirmed up right here with a bag, went right into a room, shimmied throughout 4 balconies, went in his room, dropped off the bag, modified his garments after which left.”
And, I simply must know what was within the bag.
For the file, White stated he had “no clue” what was within the bag.
Points with ESPN+ after streaming crackdown
White talked an enormous recreation about clamping down on unlawful streamers forward of UFC 257, however on combat evening it was the authorized stream having points.
When the pay-per-view portion of the cardboard kicked off, MMA followers, fighters and even different celebrities flooded Twitter saying ESPN+ wasn’t letting them entry the published.
Surprise if the 2 have been associated.
They’re apparently so fixated on unlawful streamers they forgot to deal with their authorized ones
— Dave Doyle (@davedoylemma) January 24, 2021
That is wild. 25 minutes into the PPV and nonetheless cannot entry it. Enjoyable occasions!
— Shaheen Al-Shatti (@shaunalshatti) January 24, 2021