McGregor signs UFC 257 bout agreement for Poirier rematch

Conor McGregor celebrates after defeating Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone during a UFC 246 welterweight mixed martial arts bout. (John Locher/AP)

Conor McGregor has officially put pen to paper and is set to face Dustin Poirier in an anticipated rematch at UFC 257 on Jan. 23.

McGregor’s The Mac Life website broke the news on Thursday that the former two-weight titleholder had signed the bout agreement finalizing the matchup. ESPN reported earlier in November that Poirier had already signed the bout agreement.

The fight will be contested in the 155-pound lightweight division. McGregor, despite being a former champion in the weight class, has only competed twice at lightweight during his UFC career – he beat Eddie Alvarez to win the belt in 2016 then lost to Khabib Nurmagomedov in 2018.

McGregor last fought this past January at 170 pounds when he made quick work of Donald Cerrone. McGregor’s two fights with Nate Diaz were also contested at welterweight, and the Irish superstar began his UFC tenure with a 7-0 run to the featherweight title.

Poirier, meanwhile, has fought at lightweight ever since he lost to McGregor in their 145-pound matchup back in 2014 when McGregor earned a knockout win at UFC 278.

“I am very grateful to be about to return and get to do what I love again,” McGregor said in a recent interview. “I look forward to the fresh test Dustin will bring since our first bout, while also showcasing my own incredibly deep cache of weaponry. Whatever tool is needed on the night will be pulled from the duffel."

It was unclear at the time of the initial report whether the event will take place at the UFC APEX facility in Las Vegas or at the Flash Forum on Fight Island in Abu Dhabi. The UFC has been hosting events exclusively at those two venues since late May.

There was plenty of trash talk and heat between the two fighters prior to their first encounter. The fight itself wasn’t too competitive though with McGregor landing the finishing strikes just 1:46 into the opening round.

McGregor is 3-2 overall since leaving the featherweight division. Poirier has gone 10-2 since losing to McGregor and is a far superior version of himself at lightweight. Poirier holds wins over Justin Gaethje, Eddia Alvarez, Max Holloway, Anthony Pettis and Dan Hooker and briefly held an interim title in 2019.

Nurmagomedov, who holds submission wins over both McGregor and Poirier, announced his retirement in October so there are a lot of moving parts in the lightweight division at the moment with roughly half a dozen fighters vying for the top spot, including: Gaethje, Tony Ferguson, the newly signed Michael Chandler, former champion Rafael dos Anjos and others.

Expected UFC 257 fights…
-- Dustin Poirier vs. Conor McGregor
-- Michelle Waterson vs. Amanda Ribas
-- Jessica Eye vs. Joanne Calderwood
-- Nasrat Haqparast vs. Arman Tsarukyan
-- Brad Tavares vs. Antonio Carlos Junior
-- Andrew Sanchez vs. Andre Muniz
-- Ottman Azaitar vs. Matt Frevola

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