Conor McGregor’s return to the Octagon is set following Friday’s official UFC 257 weigh-in. He’ll square off with Dustin Poirier in a main event rematch on Saturday in Abu Dhabi.
McGregor was the first fighter to the scale, hitting 155 pounds on the nose. It marks his first fight since taking out Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone in 40 seconds at UFC 246 in January of 2020.
Following the win over Cerrone, McGregor’s planned 3 to 4 fight 2020 season went into a tailspin. Negotiations over his next fight faltered and then completely fell apart when the novel coronavirus swept across the globe.
McGregor briefly retired, but dialed that back when the Poirier rematch was put on the table.
Poirier was also early to the scale, weighing 156 pounds, hitting the upper limit for their non-title fight.
He hasn’t fought since defeating Dan Hooker in June of 2020. That bout marked his rebound from a loss to UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 242 in September of 2019.
The winner of Poirier vs. McGregor is expected to be next in line for a shot at the lightweight title. The bigger question might be whom he would be fighting.
Khabib has yet to fully commit to retirement, but has also been reluctant to say he’s returning to the Octagon, while UFC president Dana White continues to hold out hope that he can convince Khabib to fight one more time.
Khabib announced his retirement after defeating Justin Gaethje in October, saying it was a promise he made to his mother, but he has yet to relinquish the belt and make it official.
UFC 257 co-main event could determine a title challenger
Though Charles Oliveira waits in the wings after defeating Tony Ferguson, the UFC 257 co-main event between Michael Chandler and Dan Hooker might also determine a contender if Khabib doesn’t fight again.
Chandler, in particular, could cement a shot at the belt if he notches an impressive win over Hooker. Chandler is a former three-time Bellator champion and is making his Octagon debut on Saturday. He also served as the back-up for Khabib vs. Gaethje before ever setting foot in the Octagon.
Hooker and Chandler weighed in early during the two-hour UFC 257 weigh-in window, each tipping the scale at 156 pounds.
Matt Frevola makes weight, but fight canceled
Matt Frevola made weight at 155.5 pounds for his lightweight bout with Ottman Azaitar, but the bout was canceled.
As of the time of publication, UFC officials had not yet given a reason for Azaitar not making it to the scale. Typically it would be because of a last-minute injury or medical issues related to weight cutting, but the global pandemic has also been a leading cause of fight cancellations over the past year.
Arman Tsarukyan misses weight for UFC 257 featured prelim
Arman Tsarukyan weighed 159 pounds, or three pounds over the lightweight limit, for his UFC 257 featured preliminary bout with Nasrat Haqparast, who failed to make it to the scale.
Matt Freeman vs. Arman Tsarukyan in the works
After Azaitar and Haqparast were ruled out of the event, UFC officials moved to match Freeman, who made weight, against Tsarukyan, who missed weight.
Tsarukyan was given an additional hour to make weight, but only got down to 157 pounds. Freeman agreed to take the fight, receiving 20-percent of Tsarukyan’s fight purse.
Tsarukyan vs. Freeman will now be the UFC 257 featured preliminary bout on Saturday.
Khalil Rountree Jr. misses weight, but given extra time
Khalil Rountree Jr. stepped on the scale at 206.5 pounds for his light heavyweight bout with Marcin Prachnio, who weighed 205 pounds. Rountree Jr. was 0.5 pounds over the limit, but was given an additional hour to continue cutting weight.
Rountree Jr. made weight on his second attempt, coming in at 206 pounds.
UFC 257: Poirier vs. McGregor 2 weigh-in results
UFC 257 Main Card
- Dustin Poirier (156) vs. Conor McGregor (155)
- Dan Hooker (156) vs. Michael Chandler (156)
- Jessica Eye (126) vs. Joanne Calderwood (126)
- Marina Rodriguez (116) vs. Amanda Ribas (116)
- Matt Frevola (155.5) vs. Ottman Azaitar (—) – Canceled
- Andrew Sanchez (186) vs. Makhmud Muradov (186)
UFC 257 Preliminary Card
- Arman Tsarukyan (159) vs. Nasrat Haqparast (—) – Canceled
- Brad Tavares (185.5) vs. Antonio Carlos Junior (185)
- Julianna Pena (136) vs. Sara McMann (135)
- Khalil Rountree Jr. (206.5) vs. Marcin Prachnio (205) – Rountree given an additional hour to cut weight
- Nik Lentz (150) vs. Movsar Evloev (150) – 150-Pound Catchweight Bout
- Amir Albazi (126) vs. Zhalgas Zhumagulov (126)
UFC 257 weigh-in video: Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier weigh in
(Video courtesy of MMA Junkie)