Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier clashed in a blockbuster crossover super-fight in January 23, 2021. The bout was rightly called ‘the money fight’ as it ended up getting the second highest pay-per-view buys in the history of ufc.
However, it could be questioned whether facing the Irishman again would be a good decision for Dustin Poirier winning streak. ‘Notorious’ has learned a lot from his previous fight. As a result, his chances of defeating Poirier in aufc match have increased. Here are the reasons why Conor McGregor can defeat Dustin Poirier:
McGregor’s improved cardio and endurance.
In McGregor’s previous loss to Poirier, his lack of cardio played a major role. The referee had to stop the fight in the tenth round as McGregor failed to defend himself from Poirier’s punches. McGregor was so gassed out that he could not keep his guard up, let alone throw counter-punches.
McGregor failed to defeat Dustin Poirier in their second fight at UFC 257 earlier this year in January. In this fight, he fell short of both cardio and endurance against a dangerous striker in Dustin Poirier.
Ever since his loss to Poirier, McGregor has been training aggressively to improve his cardio and endurance. To make this more evident, the Irishman posted stories on his social media while training in Dubai earlier in April. He was seen jogging by the sea while explaining his workout.
Better read on Poirier’s boxing
In the first few rounds of his previous fight with Poirier, the Irishman landed some solid shots that shook Poirier. McGregor failed to land them consistently as his cardio and endurance gave out.
McGregor, being the bigger man of the two, landed well timed volume punches on his American opponent with his long reach. It was a surprise to see his punches land as McGregor had no fighting experience against Poirier’s uniquely elusive style.
McGregor will have a better read on Poirier’s movement patterns in their second fight. This could possibly allow him to dish out more effective offense, something that was absent in the previous fight.
McGregor’s change of stance
Until his loss to Khabib ‘the eagle’ Nurmagomedov at UFC 229, McGregor used to have a stance where his guard wasn’t held too high and his body would be in a line facing the opponent. This leaves his head open to take hits without allowing McGregor to block strikes in time.
Both Floyd Poirier and KhabibNurmagomedov took advantage of this low guard in their respective fights with McGregor. Poirier landed several punches on the Irishman’s head, while Khabib successfully landed one punch that knocked McGregor down.
McGregor made his return to the octagon after his loss to Nurmagomedov at UFC 246 on 18th January 2020, to face Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone. Nine days before the fight, McGregor posted a video of himself while training at the UFC Performance Institute in Enterprise, Nevada. In the video, he was seen working on the pads with a different stance.
His new stance was a traditional boxing stance in which he would lean forward and hold a high guard along with a square body position. This stance resembled that of known in-fighters in heavyweight boxing like ‘Iron’ Mike Tyson and Joe Frazier.
This stance allows fighters to make a swift entry inside the opponent’s reach and make relentless volume attacks while guarding one’s own head. The stance is an out-fighter’s worst nightmare. Legendary boxer Joe Frazier defeated Muhammad Ali with this stance to hand him his first loss in professional boxing. Mike Tyson was also able to score knock-out wins against most of his opponents who were usually bigger than him while using the same stance.
Poirier, being an out-fighter himself, is in real danger if McGregor uses this stance in their second fight. McGregor’s bigger size and reach would allow him to use it more aggressively from a distance that Poirier would have trouble covering.
4. Mayweather is getting better confident
UFC commentator Dan Hardy recently revealed his pick for the much-anticipated trilogy bout between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier at UFC 264.
Dan Hardy believes Conor McGregor will win the rubber match against his rival because of the Irishman’s newfound motivation. Speaking with his fellow retired UFC MMA welterweight on the Real Quick with Mike Sick podcast, Dan Hardy said:
“If he would’ve beaten Poirier the second time, I’d pick Poirier the third time because McGregor wouldn’t be as interested. But because he’s coming off a loss, I think he’s more motivated and I think he’s more likely to win the next one around.”
The Brit also broke down the rematch between ‘Notorious’ and ‘Diamond’ at UFC 257. Hardy is convinced that McGregor’s overconfidence ultimately led to the former two-division champion’s downfall.
“I think he took Poirier a little lightly because he stopped him so early the first time around. And I don’t think he credited Poirier with being a different animal,” Dan Hardy said. “I don’t think he credited Poirier with his adaptability to be able to find a way to beat McGregor. So he just went back to, ‘I’ll just counter-punch with my left. I’ll come over his jab and catch him with my left.’ Because that seemed to be the only and the main game plan which is what left his lead leg vulnerable.”
At UFC 257, Dustin Poirier targeted Conor McGregor’s lead leg with low kicks to impede the Irishman’s mobility and diminish his punching power. The strategy paid dividends as McGregor was visibly affected by the damage his leg had sustained.