After returning from retirement, fighting and then retiring again, Conor McGregor has his next UFC fight scheduled. McGregor will face Dustin Poirier in January 2021, the UFC announced on Monday. The rematch will serve as the main event of UFC 257, which will take place on Saturday, Jan. 23. No location has been announced for the UFC 257 card, though UFC president Dana White recently indicated he’s eyeing it to take place on Fight Island in Abu Dhabi.
As is usually the case for McGregor, the journey to this fight was unusual. McGregor had been on vacation in mid-September when he was detained in Corsica after allegations of attempted sexual assault. Around the same time, McGregor tweeted about being drug tested by USADA on his yacht despite claiming to be retired.
He followed that up by releasing a string of direct messages with UFC president Dana White from February. In the messages, McGregor pushed White for a fight against veteran Diego Sanchez in Los Angeles. He ended the string of tweets by announcing that his next fight would be in the Middle East against Manny Pacquiao in a boxing match. Confusion followed as it became clear the fight was not yet a done deal.
On Sept. 28, Poirier quote-tweeted a McGregor rant directed at Daniel Cormier, sparking McGregor to offer a charity bout. “Zero to do with the UFC,” McGregor tweeted. “I will donate half a mill towards your charity for it. Sell it on PPV or work a TV deal and we work out other charities that are close to my heart also. I am engaged in many. Strictly a charity exhibition.”
The UFC, not wanting to let a potential big-money fight between the former featherweight and lightweight champion and former interim lightweight champion slip away, offered up the fight to take place in the Octagon with White stating on Oct. 2 that Poirier signed on and they were just waiting for McGregor’s response. It would take more than a month before all parties would sign on the dotted line to make the bout official, but everything now looks set for McGregor and Poirier to step into the Octagon in January.
McGregor and Poirier previously faced off in September 2014, with McGregor scoring a TKO in just 1:46. The bout was McGregor’s fourth in the UFC and is looked back at as a key moment in his march to becoming UFC champion.