Like most of the world, it’s been a chaotic year for the Irishman, who has failed to capitalise on the momentum gained from his stunning win last January over Donald Cerrone, taking the American out in just 40 seconds.
McGregor and Dana White could not agree to much during negotiation to get him out again last year despite the Covid-19 pandemic, which weakened White’s ability to compensate the Irishman as he has been previously, leading to another retirement.
Khabib Nurmagomedov is off the radar for now, having officially retired following his latest victory over Justin Gaethje and the passing of his father.
And without the unbeaten Russian, the lightweight division is now wide open: Gaethje remains the No1 contender, with Poirier second, Tony Ferguson third and McGregor in fourth.
Ferguson has Charles Oliveira up next, on 12 December, with UFC newcomer Michael Chandler not ready to fight again after serving as an alternative opponent for the Khabib vs Gaethje fight in October.
“I’m giving Khabib some time to think this over, he and I are going to meet soon and talk,” White said in relation to the Khabib’s title, which could become vacant before this fight takes place.
Here is everything you need to know about the big fight.
When and where is the fight?
The fight is on 23 January 2021 on top of the bill at UFC 257. It will take place on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi.
What TV channel is it on and how can I watch?
UK fans can watch the main card on BT Sport Box Office HD, as well as the broadcaster’s site and app, for a fee of £19.95.
The prelims will air to BT Sport subscribers for free.
In the US, the main card will air on ESPN+, which – along with ESPN – will show the prelims. Both channels will also air the early prelims, as will UFC’s Fight Pass.
What is the full card?
Conor McGregor vs Dustin Poirier (lightweight)
Dan Hooker vs Michael Chandler (lightweight)
Jessica Eye vs Joanne Calderwood (women’s flyweight)
Matt Frevola vs Arman Tsarukyan (catchweight)
Marina Rodriguez vs Amanda Ribas (women’s strawweight)
Brad Tavares vs Antonio Carlos Jr (middleweight)
Julianna Pena vs Sara McCann (women’s bantamweight)
Khalil Rountree Jr vs Marcin Prachnio (light heavyweight)
Andrew Sanchez vs Makhmud Muradov (middleweight)
Nik Lentz Movsar Evloev (catchweight)
Amir Albazi vs Zhalgas Zhumagulov (flyweight)
McGregor by knockout: 4/5
McGregor by submission: 33/1
Poirier by submission: 10/1