What Should Be Made of Conor McGregor’s UFC 257 Knockout Prediction?

Conor McGregor UFC 257 PPV ESPN+


Presented in partnership with UFC 257 on ESPN+

Truth of the matter is that when “The Notorious” Conor McGregor makes a very bold and very specific fight prediction, it’s impossible not to give it some level of credence. Impossible.

Sure, he may not always be right; however, on most occasions — the overwhelming majority, in fact — McGregor is pretty dead on accurate. It’s the reason he earned the “Mystic Mac” moniker.

With “The Notorious” recently predicting that he will knock Dustin “The Diamond” Poirier out in less than 60 seconds when the pair face off in the UFC 257 main event on ESPN+ PPV (Saturday, January 23, 7 p.m. PST / 10 p.m. EST), it’s essential to showcase McGregor’s innate ability to conjure up visions of the future and bring them to fruition.

ONLY ON ESPN+: UFC 257  – Saturday 1/23/20 10:00 PM/ET 


It is a huge part of McGregor’s brand and persona, after all, and one of the things that make him the most charismatic and famous MMA fighter in history, not to mention one of the most dangerous.

Recalling McGregor’s epic and legendary showdown against former featherweight king, Jose Aldo, at UFC 194 in December 2015, I was one of the many skeptics of Conor’s antics, mental warfare, and prediction that he’d finish the longtime champ in the first round.

Still, based on McGregor’s ability to call his shots in some of his previous fights, I drove 270 miles to Las Vegas to cover the bout live, knowing full well that I’d have to turn around right after the event to drive straight back to LA in the middle of the night.

At the time, I couldn’t believe McGregor could be so brash and disrespectful as to disregard a Hall of Fame-caliber fighter altogether, but “The Notorious” made good on his prediction, needing just 13 seconds to flatline Aldo and unify the featherweight title. It was a most exhilarating experience, seeing McGregor starch Aldo like that. And, it happened so quickly that we all almost missed it.

ONLY ON ESPN+: UFC 257  – Saturday 1/23/20 10:00 PM/ET 


That night, I became a believer, and not just because McGregor did me a solid by finishing the fight quickly, making my late-night return trip across the desert that much easier. I became a believer because for the second time in six months (I was also cageside in July 2015 when McGregor claimed the interim featherweight title over Chad Mendes), I witnessed McGregor call his method and time of victory live, in the flesh. And this was after he’d done the same to his three previous opponents, Poirier among them.

Having paid attention to McGregor’s visions for years now, it’s clear that he has an uncanny knack for visualizing scenarios and predicting the future, at least when it comes to his MMA career. And, while Conor was unsuccessful in his predictions against Khabib Nurmagomedov and Floyd Mayweather (he at least predicted that he’d get the nine-figure fight in the first place, so that’s something), he seems to have recaptured that “Mystic Mac” persona … and that’s when he’s most dangerous.

See, it’s not just that McGregor is predicting a one minute knockout of Poirier in the UFC 257 PPV main event. It’s that McGregor cares enough to stare deep into his looking glass to offer a prediction. That’s the same Conor who predicted a first round KO the last time he fought Poirier, at UFC 178, albeit he’s a bigger, badder, and more mature McGregor in 2021.

Conor McGregor knows the game he’s in. He knows the stakes and he knows the circumstances, and yet McGregor continues to call his shots, successfully.

Just last year, in January 2020, when McGregor made his most recent return to the UFC Octagon, he made a similar prediction against Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone.

At the time, McGregor’s 40-second win via head kick and punches, not to mention a bevy of shoulder strikes, seemed more a case of outclassing an overmatched opponent; however, Conor demonstrated more than just his dominating skill in that fight. He displayed his ability to return to form after a 15-month layoff, completely dominate an opponent, and care enough to even make an accurate prediction.

ONLY ON ESPN+: UFC 257  – Saturday 1/23/20 10:00 PM/ET 


It’s much like another one of McGregor’s most memorable predictions, when he became the UFC’s first simultaneous two-weight champion by knocking out former lightweight champ Eddie Alvarez.

Sure, maybe McGregor was off by a round that night at UFC 205 (he predicted a first round  KO, but finished the fight in the second round). However, no one was really complaining, given that McGregor absolutely toyed with Alvarez, dropping the former champ on a number of occasions, even going so far as to put both his hands behind his back at one point.

The performance was absolutely spectacular and McGregor made good on his word. He landed everything he wanted that night, delivering an instant classic, which is something he’ll need to do if he’s to make good on his prediction against Poirier at UFC 257.

Explaining in a recent interview with The Mac Life that he “will have landed devastating blows within those first 60 seconds [of the fight],” McGregor has stated that he welcomes a war against Poirier at UFC 257, adding that “if Dustin can withstand and stay in there, more power to him.”

ONLY ON ESPN+: UFC 257  – Saturday 1/23/20 10:00 PM/ET 


It’s not a knock on Poirier, who has developed into one of the UFC’s most durable lightweights, but rather McGregor’s way of saying that there’s no way “The Diamond” will be able to absorb the punishment he’s about to unleash inside the Octagon.

This school of self belief type of pop psychology is far from an accurate science, and if it were any other fighter, it would be quite easy to ignore, relegating such a prediction to a moment of unbridled ego or bravado.

However, when it comes to Conor McGregor, the rules are just a bit different.

I realize that this is a really long winded way to not-so-subtly suggest tuning in to watch Conor McGregor face Dustin Poirier in the UFC 257 main event on ESPN+ PPV. I also realize that it feels completely inexact to predict a fight is going to deliver on PPV based on the visions of an athlete who has taken more than a few hits to the dome.

Then again, it’s Conor McGregor, so you can safely trust that these visions and fantasies of sub-minute knockouts will come true, or at least come close to it. That’s the sort of pseudo science you can put your money on, a sort of MMA alchemy that is as mystic as McGregor.

ONLY ON ESPN+: UFC 257  – Saturday 1/23/20 10:00 PM/ET 


So, in the end, what should be made of McGregor’s UFC 257 prediction?

We should look at that prediction as a sign that McGregor is focused, poised, and dialed in to dish out some serious punishment on January 23. So, whether it’s a 60-second KO, a third round stoppage, or a five round war, the Conor McGregor who makes bold and detailed predictions is absolutely a fighter worth tuning in for.

And remember, I’m qualified to say this because, well, I’m pretty damn mystic myself.

More UFC 257 Content from BroBible

UFC 257 Pay Per View Main Card (on ESPN+ PPV) 7 p.m. PST / 10 p.m. EST

  • Conor McGregor vs. Dustin Poirier
  • Michael Chandler vs. Dan Hooker
  • Jessica Eye vs. Joanne Calderwood
  • Matt Frevola vs. Ottman Azaitar
  • Amanda Ribas vs. Marina Rodriguez

UFC 257 Prelims (on ESPN+ & ESPN) 5 p.m. PST / 8 p.m. EST

  • Nasrat Haqparast vs. Arman Tsarukyan
  • Brad Tavares vs. Antonio Carlos Junior
  • Juliana Pena vs. Sara McMann
  • Khalil Rountree vs. Marcin Prachnio

UFC 257 Early Prelims (on ESPN+ & ESPN) 3:15 p.m. PST / 6:15 p.m. EST

  • Andrew Sanchez vs. Makhmud Muradov
  • Nik Lentz vs. Movsar Evloev
  • Amir Albazi vs. Zhalgas Zhumagulov

*Fight card subject to change

ONLY ON ESPN+: UFC 257  – Saturday 1/23/20 10:00 PM/ET 


Dan Shapiro is a writer, editor, musician, and producer currently based in Los Angeles. In addition to covering some of the biggest fights in combat sports history, he’s also hunted down the world’s best sushi, skied the northern hemisphere in July, and chronicled Chinese underground music for publications like CNN, the New York Daily News, VICE, and Time Out. Dan also conjured up a ghost at the Chateau Marmont while out on assignment for RoadTrippers. Follow him on Twitter here.

The BroBible team writes about things that we think you want. Occasionally, we write about items that are a part of one of our affiliate partnerships and we will get a percentage of the revenue from sales.