McGregor would not make it easy on UFC president Dana White when negotiations begun shortly after, with his high demands not realistic according to the UFC supremo due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. It forced another apparent retirement, but now a compromise has been made.
FOLLOW LIVE: Conor McGregor vs Dustin Poirier at UFC 257
Khabib Nurmagomedov is seemingly off the radar for now, having retired following his victory over Justin Gaethje in October and the passing of his father.
And without the unbeaten Russian, the lightweight division is now wide open: Gaethje remains the No 1 contender, with Poirier second, Charles Oliveira third and McGregor fourth.
Former Bellator champion and UFC newcomer Michael Chandler has also added intrigue to the division and will take on Dan Hooker in the co-main event at UFC 257.
Here is everything you need to know about the seismic bout, as well as the card in full.
When and where is the fight?
The fight is on 23 January on top of the bill at UFC 257. It will take place on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi.
The main card is expected to begin at 3am GMT (Sunday morning), with the prelims before that starting at 1am GMT. The early prelims will get under way at 11.15pm GMT on Saturday night.
What TV channel is it on and how can I watch?
UK fans can watch the main card on BT Sport Box Office HD, as well as the broadcaster’s site and app, for a fee of £19.95.
The prelims will air to BT Sport subscribers for free.
In the US, the main card will air on ESPN+, which – along with ESPN – will show the prelims. Both channels will also air the early prelims, as will UFC’s Fight Pass.
What is the full card?
Conor McGregor vs Dustin Poirier (lightweight)
Dan Hooker vs Michael Chandler (lightweight)
Jessica Eye vs Joanne Calderwood (women’s flyweight)
Matt Frevola vs Arman Tsarukyan (catchweight)
Marina Rodriguez vs Amanda Ribas (women’s strawweight)
Brad Tavares vs Antonio Carlos Jr (middleweight)
Julianna Pena vs Sara McCann (women’s bantamweight)
Khalil Rountree Jr vs Marcin Prachnio (light heavyweight)
Andrew Sanchez vs Makhmud Muradov (middleweight)
Nik Lentz Movsar Evloev (catchweight)
Amir Albazi vs Zhalgas Zhumagulov (flyweight)
McGregor by knockout: 4/5
McGregor by submission: 33/1
McGregor on points: 13/2
Poirier by knockout: 7/2
Poirier by submission: 10/1
Poirier on points: 6/1