‘The Notorious’ Conor McGregor and Dustin ‘The Diamond’ Poirier have been on two incredibly intriguing trajectories since they clashed over six years ago.
When they met in September 2014, the brash, loud talking Conor McGregor had just three UFC fights to his name. He had just cause to be confident. A two weight division world champion in Cage Warriors, an unstable belief in his prowess and self worth he was boded by an army of fellow Irish men and women behind him. Dustin Poirier, was a 10-fight veteran ranked as the promotion’s fifth-best featherweight, a division in which he held the record for most wins and most finishes.
After his first-round knockout win over Poirier, McGregor – beat quickly established himself as the biggest star the UFC has ever known, he quickly transformed himself and his stock by embracing out of cage controversies that the promotion quickly wove into his narrative.
All the while Poirier took stock of what led to his defeat and remerged re-invigorated. Methodically he inched closer with each victory, slowly making his way through the lightweight ranks to eventually become interim champion.
Where we are right now on the eve of one of the most anticipated match ups of 2021 is worth exploring. Just, how did we get to this point? Here are the10 key moments since the first fight that led to UFC 257: McGregor v Poirier II.
1. McGregor v Mendes | UFC 189 | 11 July 2015
Originally slated to face Jose Aldo at International Fight Week, but a rib injury saw the featherweight champ replaced by Chad Mendes. a clash with the prize now in the form of an interim belt.
There we lots of questions going into the most predominant being McGregor’s first clash in the UFC with a fighter predominantly known for his wrestling. Mendes was ultimately caught with several clean shots which saw McGregor hold a lot the interim featherweight title.
2. Aldo v McGregor | UFC 194 | 12 December 2015
After thirteen seconds it was over. McGregor solidified his legacy with the fastest finish ever in a UFC title fight, and a record that is unlikely to be beaten.
3. Mayweather v McGregor | 26 August 2017
After what can only be described as a media circus McGregor may have one the preflight rhetoric but was ultimately embarrassed by a one sided slap down by the widely considered ‘Best Ever’
4. Poirier v Pettis | UFC Fight Night | 11 November 2017
‘The Diamond’ submitted former champ Anthony Pettis in the main event in Norfolk, Virginia – his second Fight of the Night in nine months.
5. Poirier v Gaethje | UFC on Fox | 14 April 2018
Poirier stopped Gaethje in the fourth round with a trademark flurry of crisp, venomous strikes.
6. Poirier v Alvarez | UFC on Fox | 28 July 2018
Following an initial domination by Alvarez on the ground, Poirier got to his feet and decimated Alvarez with his powerful striking ability.
7. Nurmagomedov v McGregor | UFC 229 | 6 October 2018
Nurmagomedov dominated and eventually sunk in a neck crank to force Conor McGregor to tap.
8. Holloway v Poirier | UFC 236 | 13 April 2019
Clearly the physically bigger of the two Poirier produced yet another excellent performance to secure a unanimous decision.
9. Nurmagomedov v Poirier | UFC 242 | 7 September 2019
Nurmagomedov dominated through three rounds, wearing down Poirier on the canvas, before finding the rear naked choke.
10. McGregor v Cerrone | UFC 246 | 18 January 202
Arguable McGregor dismantled Cerrone within 40 seconds delivering a career best on so many different levels.
The rematch | UFC 257 | 23 January 2021
Here we are. This promises to be longer than the first but one thing that is almost certain it will be the making of both men