Reports have been popping up since October that former UFC Lightweight and Featherweight Champion Conor McGregor will return to the Octagon at UFC 257 in January to face Dustin Poirer. An advertisement for that show finally arrived on Thursday via The Mac Life, confirming the fight had been signed for that event in January. McGregor, who teased retirement earlier this year after expressing frustration over not being booked for another fight, originally tried to have the event take place at the Dallas Cowboys' AT&T Stadium outside of Dallas, Texas. The show will reportedly take place in Abu Dhabi.
"I accept, Jan 23rd is on!" McGregor wrote back in October. "My goal is to see this fight take place in Cowboy stadium. Proper Style! Jerry Jones is a friend and the stadium can hold our crowd. I will be ready for Texas and Texas will be ready for my fans! Then Manny [Pacquiao]."
UFC President Dana White confirmed this week that the bout between McGregor and Poirier will not be for a vacated UFC Lightweight Champion. Reigning champion Khabib Nurmagomedov claimed after his last victory that he was retiring from MMA with a perfect 29-0 record, but White seemed confident he would fight again.
"No, [it won't be a championship fight]," White explained. "Khabib's gonna fight [again]. I believe he's gonna fight. It's not for the title."
Nurmagomedov beat McGregor at UFC 229 back in October 2018, then Poirier at UFC 242 in September of the following year. McGregor initially won the championship at UFC 205 against Eddie Alvarez, only to be stripped of the belt without ever defending it. Poirier took the interim championship at UFC 236 before failing to unify it against Nurmagomedov.
“I talked with my mother, I promised her this was gonna be my last fight,” Nurmagomedov explained in his retirement announcement. “I gave my word, I have to follow it. It was my last fight here. I know I want things from the UFC, I want to be put on the number one pound-for-pound fighter in the world. Undisputed, Undisputed UFC Lightweight Champion 29-0….God gives me everything,. Ain’t no way I come here without my father.”