UFC 257: Poirier vs. McGregor 2 Full Fight Results
January 23, 2021
The lightweight division ushered in a pair of new faces Saturday night in Abu Dhabi with a pair of huge wins from underdogs in the main and co-main events on the first pay-per-view event of 2021. In the main event, Dustin Poirier knocked out the sport’s most popular and controversial figure Conor McGregor in the second round. Then in the co-main event, UFC newcomer and former Bellator champ Michael Chandler knocked out Dan Hooker in the first round. Hooker appeared to retire after the fight. It was a pair of dramatic finishes that capped a relatively entertaining card.
The 11-fight card had just five finishes, with four coming on the main card. Also earning big wins on the night was Makhmud Muradov, who knocked out Andrew Sanchez in the third round, and Marina Rodriguez, who KO’d Amanda Ribas in the second. Julianna Pena picked up a submission win over Sara McCann in the third round of a preliminary bout. Matt went 7-4 to bring his 2021 record up to 24-11. He correctly predicted both Chandler inside the distance and Poirier winning. Craig had a rough night of predictions, going 4-7. But he did hit on a two-fight parlay with Amir Albazi winning and Arman Tsarukyan winning by decision. Craig sits at 20-15 for the 2021 season.
Amir Albazi (-113) def. Zhalgas Zhumagulov (-109) by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Props: by decision (+195); over 2.5 (-250)
Matt’s pick: Albazi; Craig’s pick: Albazi
After a slow start in the opening round, Amir “The Prince” Albazi turned up the heat to earn the decision by winnings rounds 2 and 3. Using a quick jab and a hard straight right, he controlled the standup in the second round. In the third, Albazi took down Zhalgas Zhumagulov and worked to his back, trying to lock in the rear-naked choke before settling for the decision win.
After squeezing out of a couple tight Nik Lentz’ guillotine attempts, Movsar Evloev had all the answers in winning a split decision. He won most scramble exchanges as Lentz opted to jump guillotine every chance he got, and never looked phased despite some seemingly deep chokes. By the end of the third round, Evloev was teeing off on a beat up Lentz, who showed the damage on his face in a big way. The split decision was completely bizarre, with Lentz getting pieced up in both rounds 2 and 3.
Marcin Prachnio (+297) def. Khalil Rountree (-385) by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Props: by decision (+675); over 2.5 (+335)
Matt’s pick: Rountree; Craig’s pick: Rountree
This was a video-game fight as both fighters only threw power punches. Marcin Prachnio was the far busier fighter, with Rountree landing the more punishing punches throughout. But Rountree never seemed to get in gear, constantly in download mode as Prachnio pushed forward. Prachnio took rounds 1 and 3 to earn the unanimous decision.
Julianna Pena (+106) def. Sara McMann (-130) by submission (R3, 3:39)
Props: by submission (+457); over 2.5 (-235)
Matt’s pick: McMann; Craig’s pick: McMann
“The Venezuelan Vixen” Julianna Pena picked up a huge win over Sara McMann with a rear-naked choke in the third round. After McMann dominated the first round with her wrestling, Pena found ways to threaten McMann in the second round. In the third round, Pena got the better of the grappling exchange with McMann as she took McMann to the ground with a stepthrough trip before locking in the choke. After the victory, Pena shockingly called out female G.O.A.T Amanda Nunes.
Brad Tavares (-101) def. Antonio Carlos Junior (-121) by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Props: by decision (+167); over 2.5 (-195)
Matt’s pick: Carlos Junior; Craig’s pick: Carlos Junior
In probably the least entertaining fight of an otherwise strong preliminary card, Brad Tavares kept things on the feet and outboxed “Shoeface”. Antonio Carlos Junior could never get things to the ground despite multiple attempts. Meanwhile, Tavares pieced him up on the feet with jab after jab to earn the unanimous decision.
Arman Tsarukyan (-736) def. Matt Frevola (+499) by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)
Props: by decision (-131); over 2.5 (-178)
Matt’s pick: Tsarukyan; Craig’s pick: Tsarukyan
While not as lopsided as the odds suggested this fight would be, Arman Tsarukyan was still the dominant fighter throughout. He was the aggressor as a wrestler, threatened submission and was sharp on the feet. Matt Frevola, to his credit, put in a good name for himself but it was a very clear unanimous decision.
Marina Rodriguez (+260) def. Amanda Ribas (-334) by TKO (R2, 0:54)
Props: by knockout (+1140); under 2.5 (+165)
Matt’s pick: Ribas; Craig’s pick: Ribas
MARINA RODRIGUEZ! In the second round, she landed a right hand to Amanda Ribas’ jaw and knocked her out cold. Herb Dean continued to let it go on as Marina Rodriguez walked away, before Rodriguez landed several more shots on Ribas forcing Dean to eventually call an end to the fight. It vaults Rodriguez into the upper echelon of the strawweight rankings.
Makhmud Muradov (-180) def. Andrew Sanchez by TKO (R3, 2:59)
Props: by knockout (+167); over 2.5 (-154)
Matt’s pick: Muradov; Craig’s pick: Sanchez
If you were watching Fight Night Picks’ Fight Companion, you heard Matt say in the first round, “if that Muradov right connects, Sanchez is going out.” Fast forward to round 3, Makhmud Muradov landed a right hand from Hell and followed it up with a flurry of blows to finish the fight and earn the flyweight victory. Andrew Sanchez had his moments but couldn’t get the fight to the ground, and didn’t really try to after a first-round stuffed takedown.
In a bizarre gameplan, Jessica Eye came out ready to clinch with “Dr. Kneevil” Joanne Calderwood. Needless to say, it didn’t end all that well. Calderwood pieced up Eye throughout the fight, as Eye refused to abandon the pressure clinch gameplan. Calderwood landed a front kick that cut Eye in the second round and finished strong for the unanimous decision victory.
Michael Chandler (+124) def. Dan Hooker (-149) by TKO (R1, 2:30)
Props: by knockout (+491); under 1.5 (+182)
Matt’s pick: Chandler; Craig’s pick: Chandler
Welcome to the UFC, Michael Chandler! Chandler landed a hard hook to the body before coming over the top with a left-handed bomb that crumpled Dan Hooker. Chandler finished the job with a number of ground blows before Marc Goddard stepped in. Not only does it validate Bellator as a promotion, but puts Chandler in the mix with the top lightweights of the UFC. “There’s a new king in the lightweight division,” he exclaimed in his post-fight interview with Jon Anik, while quoting Ric Flair. Dan Hooker left his gloves in the Octagon, signaling a potential retirement. He is just 30 years old but coming off two losses to Poirier and Chandler.
Dustin Poirier (+257) def. Conor McGregor (-325) by TKO (R2, 2:32)
Props: by knockout (+591); under 2.5 (-165)
Matt’s pick: Poirier; Craig’s pick: McGregor
Dustin Poirier did something no professional fighter has ever done: knock out Conor McGregor. After trying to get the fight to the ground in round 1 and take the legs out from McGregor, Poirier caught “The Notorious with a check right hook and then followed up with as many punches as possible, landing blow after blow up against the cage before catching McGregor with a right hand that crumpled him to the canvas. “I had him hurt, so I went a little crazy,” Poirier said in his post-fight interview with Jon Anik. Poirier is now the face of the lightweight division with Khabib Nurmagomedov allegedly retired. “I felt like this was a title fight,” Poirier said. “I’m the champion.” A classy McGregor admitted he was a little rusty but wants to get back in the Octagon again soon. “You don’t get away with being inactive in this division.” … It’s a tough one to swallow.”