PREVIEW | UFC 257: Poirier vs. McGregor – Full card and predictions
THE UFC’s first pay-per-view event of 2021 sees its biggest draw return to the octagon atop a stacked main card to be hosted at Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi.
Fighters littered up and down the card will be keen to latch onto the attention garnered though the highly-anticipated main event, with plenty of statements to be made on the famed Fight Island.
>> SCROLL for the full card and predictions
Just over a year removed from his spectacular showing at UFC 246, ‘The Notorious’ Conor McGregor steps into the octagon for a second time against Dustin Poirier, but much has changed since their first meeting in 2014.
Both have gone on to claim UFC gold in the lightweight division but will be out to impress current title holder, Khabib Nurmagomedov and potentially earn rematches against the undefeated Dagestani champion.
They won’t be the only 155-pounders eager to claim their contendership status, with the co-main event pitting vicious New Zealand striker Dan Hooker against UFC newcomer Michael Chandler.
Hooker’s last bout saw him edged by Poirier in a five-round war, while Chandler has held brass in Bellator’s lightweight division and now makes the long-awaited move to MMA’s leading promotion.
Another title eliminator of sorts takes place as women’s flyweight contenders Jessica Eye and Joanne Calderwood lock horns, with both eager to climb back into the top five and claim challenger status.
Another women’s bout slots into the main card as Brazilian prospects Marina Rodriguez and Amanda Ribas do battle, both on hot streaks and holding the potential to rise steeply with an impressive outing.
A potential banger between two men with some of the best monikers going around rounds out the main card action, as Matt ‘The Steamrolla’ Frevola meets Ottman ‘Bulldozer’ Azaitar. The undefeated Azaitar has shown plenty during his short time in the UFC, but comes up against a tough Long Island favourite in this bout.
FULL CARD AND PREDICTIONS:
FOTN: Hooker vs. Chandler
POTN: McGregor, Ribas, Azaitar
Prelim banger: Arman Tsarukyan vs. Nasrat Haqparast
Lightweight | Dustin Poirier  vs. Conor McGregor 
Prediction: McGregor by T/KO
Lightweight | Dan Hooker  vs. Michael Chandler
Prediction: Chandler by decision
W. Flyweight | Jessica Eye  vs. Joanne Calderwood 
Prediction: Eye by decision
Lightweight | Matt Frevola vs. Ottman Azaitar
Prediction: Azaitar by T/KO
W. Strawweight | Marina Rodriguez  vs. Amanda Ribas 
Prediction: Ribas by submission
Lightweight | Arman Tsarukyan vs. Nasrat Haqparast
Prediction: Tsarukyan by decision
Middleweight | Brad Tavares  vs. Antonio Carlos Junior
Prediction: Tavares by T/KO
W. Bantamweight | Julianna Peña  vs. Sara McMann 
Prediction: McMann by decision
Light Heavyweight | Khalil Rountree Jr. vs. Marcin Prachnio
Prediction: Rountree Jr. by T/KO
EARLY PRELIMINARY CARD
Middleweight | Andrew Sanchez vs. Makhmud Muradov
Prediction: Muradov by T/KO
Catchweight (150lbs) | Nik Lentz vs. Movsar Evloev
Prediction: Evloev by decision
Flyweight | Amir Albazi  vs. Zhalgas Zhumagulov
Prediction: Albazi by submission
Image Credit: UFC – (Retrieved via) Main Event