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UFC 257 start time changed – fight card revised as one fighter sacked and another one ill

UFC 257: Poirier vs McGregor 2

UFC 257 airs live on pay-per-view from Etihad Arena on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi on Saturday January 23 in the US and Sunday January 24 in Australia. The main event is a rematch between former lightweight and featherweight champion Conor McGregor and former interim 155-pound champion Dustin Poirier. The co-main event is another battle at lightweight featuring the division’s ranked No.6 contender Dan Hooker up against former three-time Bellator MMA champion Michael Chandler.

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The weigh-in ceremony was conducted a day before the fight show with 22 instead of 24 fighters stepping on the scales (results and video here). The initially scheduled 12-fight lineup lost one bout, after one fighter was fired and another one rulled unable to compete due to illness. As a result the event start time has been altered (see below).

Lightweights Ottman Azaitar and Nasrat Haqparast were scheduled to face Matt Frevola and Arman Tsarukyan, respectively. Neither of them weighed-in.

Azaitar is no longer with the UFC due to “violation of the health and safety protocols,” as per UFC.com. Dana White shared what has happened:

“He and his team cut off their wrist bands, gave them to somebody outside the bubble, I don’t know how they even did it,” White said. “That guy taped them, showed up here with a bag, went into a room, shimmied across four balconies, went in his room dropped the bag off, changed his clothes, and then left.”

“Now, when security tried to stop him, he wouldn’t stop. Either way, and yeah, it’s just… He [Ottman Azaitar] is gone. He is no longer a UFC fighter and he is not fighting tonight.”

Nasrat Haqparast was ruled out from his bout against Arman Tsarukyan due to illness.

Given Frevola and Tsarukyan both compete at lightweight, they will now face one another. The bout is set to headline the preliminary portion of UFC 257 card.

The contest, however, proceeds at 157-pound catchweight. Tsarukyan missed weight by one pound on his second attempt, and forfeits 20% of his purse.

UFC 257: Poirier vs McGregor 2 start time and how to watch

MMA fans in the United States can watch UFC 257 main card live on ESPN+ PPV on Saturday January 23. Following the fight card change, the event start time has been pushed forward by half an hour.

The action on the preliminary card live stream on ESPN+ will now begin at 7 pm ET / 4 pm PT. The pay-per-view card, headlined by Poirier vs McGregor 2, will kick off at its initially scheduled time – 10 pm ET / 7 pm PT.

In Australia UFC 257 PPV card is available live on Main Event on Kayo. It will also begin at the originally announced time – 2 pm AEDT.

The preliminary card live stream on ESPN on Kayo is as well moved by half an hour. MMA action will now commence at 11 am AEDT.

The current UFC 257: Poirier vs McGregor 2 fight card can be found below.

UFC 257 fight card

Main Card

  • Dustin Poirier vs. Conor McGregor
  • Dan Hooker vs. Michael Chandler
  • Jessica Eye vs. Joanne Calderwood
  • Andrew Sanchez vs. Makhmud Muradov
  • Marina Rodriguez vs. Amanda Ribas

Preliminary card

  • Arman Tsarukyan vs. Matt Frevola
  • Brad Tavares vs. Antonio Carlos Júnior
  • Julianna Pena vs. Sara McMann
  • Khalil Rountree Jr. vs. Marcin Prachnio

Early preliminary card

  • Nik Lentz vs. Movsar Evloev
  • Amir Albazi vs. Zhalgas Zhumagulov
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