Las Vegas – The first UFC Pay-Per-View of 2021 will feature a thrilling lightweight contenders’ bout that will see No. 2 ranked Dustin Poirier look to even the score with No. 4 Conor McGregor. In the co-main event, No. 6 ranked lightweight contender Dan Hooker looks to spoil the highly anticipated debut of Michael Chandler.
This event will take place Saturday, January 23 at Etihad Arena on Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island and will stream live on Pay-Per-View, exclusively on ESPN+ in the U.S. at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT in both English and Spanish.
Preliminary fights will air nationally in English on ESPN and in Spanish on ESPN Deportes, as well as be simulcast in both languages on ESPN+ starting at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT. Early prelims will be available on UFC Fight Pass and ESPN+ (in English and Spanish) at 6:15 p.m. ET/3:15 p.m. PT. The event is in partnership with the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi.
Former interim lightweight champion Poirier (26-6) fighting out of Coconut Creek, Fla. looks to continue his momentum following his thrilling victory against Dan Hooker. Throughout his decorated career, Poirier has also secured impressive victories over Max Holloway (twice), Anthony Pettis and Justin Gaethje. Poirier now aims to make the most of his 25th UFC appearance by taking out one of the biggest names in MMA history.
A former two-division UFC champion, McGregor (22-4) fighting out of Dublin, Ireland returns to action for the first time since his spectacular KO win against Donald Cerrone one year ago. As charismatic as he is skilled in the Octagon, McGregor has delivered iconic KO victories over Eddie Alvarez, Jose Aldo and Chad Mendes. McGregor now has his sights on once again stopping Poirier to stake his claim for another lightweight title shot.
Hooker (20-9) fighting out of Auckland, New Zealand has proven himself to be among the most dangerous finishers in the lightweight division. During his run in the UFC 155-pound division, he has stopped Gilbert Burns, Jim Miller and James Vick in emphatic fashion. He has also netted impressive wins over contenders Paul Felder and Al Iaquinta. Hooker now hopes to kick off 2021 with another vintage performance by derailing Chandler to re-assert himself in the title picture.
Chandler (21-5) fighting out of Boca Raton, Fla. looks to make an immediate impact in his UFC debut by stopping Hooker to send a message to the lightweight division. A three-time champion outside the UFC, he has delivered memorable victories over Benson Henderson (twice), Eddie Alvarez and Patricky Freire (twice). Chandler now aims to take advantage of his biggest spotlight yet by staking his claim as the next UFC title challenger.
Additional bouts on the card include, Women’s flyweight contenders collide when No. 6 ranked Jessica Eye (15-8 1NC) fighting out of Cleveland, Ohio squares off with No. 7 Joanne Calderwood (14-5) fighting out of Glasgow, Scotland. Exciting lightweights meet when Matt Frevola (8-1-1) fighting out of Long Island, N.Y. faces undefeated Ottman Azaitar (13-0) fighting out of Rabat, Morocco.
No. 8 ranked women’s flyweight contender Marina Rodriguez (12-1-2) fighting out of Florianópolis, Santa Catarina, Brazil faces surging No. 9 Amanda Ribas (10-1) fighting out of Varginha, Minas Gerais, Brazil. Arman Tsarukyan (15-2) fighting out of Krasnodar, Russia, by way of Phuket, Thailand goes for his third consecutive win against KO artist Nasrat Haqparast (12-3) fighting out of Hamburg, Germany.
No. 14 ranked middleweight contender Brad Tavares (17-7) fighting out of Las Vegas, Nev. returns against submission ace Antonio Carlos Junior (11-4 1NC) fighting out of Coconut Creek, Fla. and João Pessoa, Paraíba, Brazil. Women’s bantamweight contenders meet when No. 7 ranked Julianna Pena (10-4) fighting out of Chicago, Ill. locks horns with No. 9 Sara McMann (12-5) fighting out of Gaffney, S.C.
Khalil Rountre Jr. (9-4 1NC) fighting out of Las Vegas, Nev. takes on Marcin Prachnio (13-5) fighting out of Warsaw, Poland in an exciting battle of light heavyweight strikers. The Ultimate Fighter season 23 winner Andrew Sanchez (13-5) fighting out of Montreal, Canada goes for another highlight-reel finish against Makhmud Muradov (24-6) fighting out of Bukhara, Uzbekistan.
Nik Lentz (30-11-2 1NC) fighting out of Coconut Creek, Fla. faces Movsar Evloev (13-0) fighting out of Sunzha, Republic of Ingushetia, Russia in an exciting featherweight bout. Amir Albazi (13-1) fighting out of London, England by way of Baghdad, Iraq takes on Zhalgas Zhumagulov (13-4) fighting out of Aktobe, Kazakhstan in an entertaining flyweight bout.
Roberto Villa is the CEO, Executive Writer, Senior Editor of FightBook MMA. Has a passion for Combat Sports and also a podcast host for Sitting Ringside. He’s also a former MMA fighter and Kickboxer.
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