UFC 257: Conor McGregor promises to knock out Dustin Poirier in first minute

Countdown to Fight Island ramps up with a big prediction from the Irish fighter

FILE PHOTO: MMA Mixed Martial Arts - UFC 246 - Welterweight - Conor McGregor v Donald Cerrone - T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, United States - January 18, 2020  Conor McGregor before his fight against Donald Cerrone  REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo
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Conor McGregor is back making bold predictions about his fights, saying he’ll knock out Dustin Poirier within a minute of their much-hyped clash in Abu Dhabi next week.

The Irishman, who some time ago famously crowned himself "Mystic Mac", takes on Poirier in the headline bout at UFC 257 on Fight Island on January 24 in a rematch of their 2014 encounter. McGregor won that by TKO, also in the first round.

However, speaking on the soon-to-be released UFC 257 Countdown show, McGregor said he expects to dispatch Poirier even quicker than he did six years ago. And that took him less than two minutes.

“I like Dustin. I think he’s a good fighter,” the former two-division champion said. “He’s even a great fighter. But great is still levels below me. I’ll knock Dustin out inside 60 seconds.”

McGregor, 32, has not fought since his 40-second TKO of Donald Cerrone in Las Vegas last January. Last month, his management told The National that the former featherweight and lightweight champion was in better shape than he had been in almost a decade.

Poirier, meanwhile, last competed in June, when he came through on points in a Fight of the Year contender against Dan Hooker.

UFC 257 represents the final of three events on the latest Fight Island series in Abu Dhabi, which takes place at the new Etihad Arena. The run begins on Saturday, headlined by Max Holloway against Calvin Kattar, with another Fight Night event on January 20. All three events are open to a “limited amount” of fans – the first time the UFC has welcomed spectators to a live show since March.