Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) recently announced the official booking of a highly-anticipated rematch between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier, which is set to go down at UFC 257 on Jan. 23, 2021, on “Fight Island” in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
The duo first met back at UFC 178 back in 2014, which saw McGregor knockout “The Diamond” in the first round. And while many fighters like to say they learned a lot from their first fight going into a rematch, that’s not the case for Poirier, who says there isn’t much to take from the loss. That’s because both men have grown and matured as fighters since then, and this do-over six years later will be an entirely different contest.
“He was obviously a great fighter in finishing a bunch of guys before me in his UFC career, but at this point we’re both so much more established and have so much more experience, just more mature fighters, and I think you get a completely different fight here,” Poirier told MMA Junkie.
“I was emotional in the first one — I wanted to hurt the guy,” he continued. “This time I just want to outsmart him, just want to beat him. This is business. This isn’t any ill will towards the guy.
Furthermore, Poirier claims he isn’t out for revenge, saying that this fight is all about trying to advance his career as opposed to trying to get one back on a man he didn’t much care for in their first meeting.
“When I was younger, I used to fight with a lot of emotion,” he said. “This isn’t the same thing for me. This isn’t about getting even for me. This isn’t like a revenge type of thing for me. This is about moving my career forward, about putting my family in a better spot. It’s not trying to get back a guy who got me. This is just business.”
Heading into this fight, there will be no animosity between the two other than natural competitive nature. The two were recently trying to set up a charity fight among themselves before Dana White and Co. intervened and offered them a real fight.
Nevertheless, “Notorious” has vowed to donate $500,000 to Poirier’s “The Good Fight” foundation after the bout. All that being said, just because they’ll be going into the fight with no hard feelings doesn’t mean either one of them will pump the brakes once the action starts going. That’s because the winner will likely earn a shot at the 155-pound title with a win.
Against who, remains to be seen.