|Place: Fight Island, a meeting in Abu Dhabi: Sunday the 24th. January: Main map from 03:00 GMT
|Cover: Watch live text commentary from 03:00 GMT and listen to live radio commentary of the McGregor fight on the Radio 5 Live, Sounds, Sport website and application from 05:00 GMT.
Conor McGregor not only excels at mixed martial arts, he excels at the sport itself.
The hype around the Irish when they fight is no different in the UFC than it is in MMA, which often doesn’t give a second glance at the sport.
When 32-year-old Dustin Poirier takes over at the UFC 257 main event this Sunday at Fight Island in Abu Dhabi, it will be the next chapter in an incredible story.
The sport looks back at the iconic moments that made Conor McGregor one of the most recognizable athletes in the world.
That fight made you believe the hype.
Brazilian Jose Aldo entered UFC 194 as the number one pound-for-pound fighter – and the most dominant heavyweight champion.
For months, McGregor cemented his infamous nickname by mocking Aldo in the media.
He insulted Aldo multiple times in Portuguese and angered him by taking the UFC title right under his nose.
On fight night in December 2015, McGregor countered Aldo in 13 seconds to deliver the fastest knockout in the history of the UFC title fight.
It was the biggest test of McGregor’s career, and he came out flying his green-white-orange feet and screaming Irish Crumble with excitement, we did it!
The whole world noticed.
After defeating Aldo, McGregor finished his story.
A lightweight fight for the title against Rafael dos Anjos was staged. McGregor’s goal is to become the first UFC athlete to hold two world titles simultaneously in two divisions.
That never happened. A broken leg forced Dos Anjos out of the fight, leaving UFC president Dana White searching for a replacement.
Just 11 days earlier, fan favorite Nate Diaz was named McGregor’s opponent and one of the UFC’s most popular fighters was born.
Americans Diaz and McGregor have been in two non-title bantamweight fights: Diaz won the top spot in UFC 196 by submission and McGregor won by decision in UFC 202.
The great personalities of the two fighters – as well as the trash talk and exciting fantasy matches – captivated fans, and both events ranked in the top 5 most-watched events in UFC history.
So, about a possible trilogy fight….
Many critics consider McGregor’s victory over Eddie Alvarez in November 2016 to be his best moment.
Leading the first UFC event in New York, the Irishman became the first fighter to capture world titles in two divisions simultaneously.
In a stunning display of timing and precision, McGregor made a left-right combination in the second round to knock out the American and solidify his place in the history books.
He not only did it, he did it flawlessly, UFC commentator Joe Rogan said.
And then there was the famous after-fight interview.
I made fun of everyone on the list and I want to apologize from the bottom of my heart to absolutely no one, McGregor said.
It’s called Money Fight and Biggest Fight in the history of combat sports: McGregor versus the great boxer Floyd Mayweather.
A win in his professional boxing debut against someone with a 49-0 record was certainly a step too far, even for McGregor.
But, incredibly, after the first few tours in Las Vegas, people started thinking….
These are the two most uncomfortable rounds I’ve ever seen in Mayweather boxing, said Radio 5 Live commentator Steve Bunce.
Floyd Mayweather is not used to being intimidated in this way, said Michael Page, an MMA fighter.
As the fight progressed, parity was restored and the American Mayweather’s superior cardio and boxing experience played a major role in defeating the Irishman in the 10th.
But in those early rounds, McGregor had convinced many people, including boxing purists, that he could do the impossible.
It also raised £77.5 million for its efforts.
Not a bad night.
The next step for McGregor was a return to MMA in the biggest and arguably most controversial fight in UFC history.
His rivalry with the undefeated Khabib Nurmagomedov was fierce, marked by a series of ugly incidents that reached a dramatic climax at UFC 229.
McGregor’s pre-combat psychological warfare, which worked so well against Aldo, had a negative effect on Nurmagomedov.
The Russian went after McGregor, who was known for his screaming: Let’s talk about it now, because he put up one hell of a fight.
After winning the fourth round, Eagle then jumped out of the cage in an unusual way to attack one of McGregor’s teammates, leading to a massive brawl inside and outside the octagon.
The defeat was perhaps one of the darkest moments in McGregor’s career. The aftermath of the event made it memorable.
Anyone want a rematch?
McGregor was absent from the Octagon for over a year following his loss to Nurmagomedov before returning to face Donald Cowboy Cerrone in January 2019.
In a fight that some critics might consider difficult because of Cerrone’s dangerous strike, the Irishman silenced the skeptics with his top performance in Las Vegas.
After breaking Cerrone’s nose with an unconventional shoulder strike, McGregor shook him with a headbutt and a series of punches before the referee stopped the fight after 40 seconds.
By defeating the American veteran, McGregor became the first person to win by KO in three different weight categories in the UFC.
Whether you love him or hate him, there is no fighter in the world like Conor McGregor.
What moment in his extraordinary career do you consider the most important? Vote below.
If you are viewing this page in the news app, click here to vote.
Conor McGregor doesn’t just transcend mixed martial arts; he transcends sport itself.
The hype that surrounds the Irishman when he fights is like nothing else in the UFC – he puts eyes on MMA which often wouldn’t give the sport a second glance.
When the 32-year-old meets Dustin Poirier on Abu Dhabi’s Fight Island this Sunday for UFC 257’s main event, it will be the next chapter in an extraordinary story.
Sport looks back at the iconic moments that have made Conor McGregor one of the world’s most recognisable athletes.
This was fight that made you believe the hype.
Brazilian Jose Aldo went into UFC 194 as the promotion’s number one pound-for-pound fighter – and its most dominant featherweight champion.
For months, McGregor cemented his ‘Notorious’ nickname by taunting Aldo in front of the media.
He repeatedly insulted Aldo in Portuguese and infuriated him by stealing his UFC title, right in front of his eyes.
When fight night landed in December 2015, McGregor’s counter left punch floored a charging Aldo inside 13 seconds, recording the fastest knockout in UFC title bout history.
It was the biggest test of McGregor’s career and he passed with flying green, white and orange colours, shouting “Ireland baby, we did it!” in delight.
The world had taken notice.
Following the win over Aldo, McGregor set his sights on more history.
A lightweight title bout against Rafael dos Anjos was set up, where McGregor would aim to become the first UFC athlete to hold two world titles simultaneously in two divisions.
It never happened. A broken foot forced Dos Anjos out of the fight, and left UFC president Dana White to find a replacement.
At only 11 days’ notice, fan favourite Nate Diaz was named as McGregor’s opponent and one of UFC’s most popular rivalries was born.
American Diaz and McGregor took part in two welterweight non-title contests, with Diaz winning the first at UFC 196 by submission and McGregor gaining revenge at UFC 202 with a decision victory.
The big personalities of the two fighters – together with trash talking and exciting stand-up games – gripped fans, with both events holding spots in the UFC’s top-five most bought pay-per-viewsexternal-link in history.
Now, about that potential trilogy fight…
Many critics point to McGregor’s lightweight title win against Eddie Alvarez in November 2016 as his finest moment.
As he headlined the UFC’s first New York event, the Irishman became its first fighter to hold world titles simultaneously in two divisions.
In a stunning display of timing and precision, McGregor delivered a left-right left-right combo in round two to knock out the American and secure his place in the history books.
“He didn’t just do it; he did it flawlessly,” said UFC commentator Joe Rogan.
And then came that famous post-fight interview.
“I’ve ridiculed everyone on the roster, and I’d just like to say from the bottom of my heart I apologise… to absolutely nobody,” said McGregor.
It was dubbed the ‘Money Fight’ and the ‘Biggest Fight in Combat Sports History’: McGregor against boxing great Floyd Mayweather.
To win on your professional boxing debut against someone with a 49-0 win record was surely a step too far, even for McGregor.
But incredibly, after the first few rounds in Las Vegas, people started to believe…
“That’s the most uncomfortable two rounds I’ve ever seen Mayweather box in,” said Radio 5 Live commentator Steve Bunce.
“Floyd Mayweather is not used to being bullied like this,” said MMA fighter Michael Page.
Parity was restored as the fight wore on, with the American Mayweather’s superior cardio and boxing experience proving key as he stopped the Irishman in the 10th round.
But for those first few rounds, McGregor had many people convinced, boxing purists included, that he could pull off the impossible.
He also took home £77.5m for his efforts.
Not a bad night’s work.
Next up for McGregor was a return to MMA in the biggest and perhaps most controversial fight in UFC history.
The rivalry with the undefeated Khabib Nurmagomedov was bitter, marred by a succession of unsavoury incidents, which climaxed in dramatic fashion at UFC 229.
McGregor’s signature pre-fight mental warfare, which worked so well against Aldo, had an adverse effect on Nurmagomedov.
The Russian took his anger out on McGregor, famously shouting “let’s talk now” as he delivered vicious ground and pound during the fight.
After winning by submission in the fourth round, ‘the Eagle’ then uncharacteristically jumped out of the cage to attack one of McGregor’s team-mates, sparking mass brawls in and out of the octagon.
The defeat was undoubtedly one of the lowest moments of McGregor’s career. The aftermath made it unforgettable.
Anyone for a rematch?
McGregor had more than a year away from the octagon after losing to Nurmagomedov, then returned in January 2019 to face Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone.
In a fight some critics suggested could be difficult, citing Cerrone’s dangerous kicks, the Irishman silenced doubters with an elite performance in Las Vegas.
After breaking Cerrone’s nose with some unconventional shoulder strikes, McGregor rocked him with a head kick and a flurry of punches before the referee stopped the fight inside 40 seconds.
In beating the veteran American, McGregor became the first person to win by knockout in three different UFC weight classes.
Whether you love him or hate him, there is no fighter in the world quite like Conor McGregor.
Which moment, from his extraordinary career, stands out for you? Cast your vote below.
If you are viewing this page on the News app please click here to vote.