Artem Lobov is backing his teammate and friend, Conor McGregor, to emerge victorious from his trilogy fight with Dustin Poirier at UFC 264 on July 10.

‘Notorious’ famously made quick work of Poirier when the pair first fought at featherweight in 2014. McGregor scored a knockout win to continue his path towards the 145lb title.

Earlier this year McGregor and ‘The Diamond’ met once again at UFC 257. Poirier avenged the loss from six years ago in impressive fashion. The former interim lightweight champion mixed his wrestling with leg kicks and fast hands to get the job done inside two rounds.

McGregor immediately called for a trilogy fight with Poirier who was happy to oblige, even passing up on a shot at the undisputed lightweight title to pursue a mega-money rematch against the Irishman.

During an appearance on Bareknuckle Uncensored Lobov expressed his belief that McGregor was looking beyond Poirier at UFC 257, to a potential boxing match with Manny Pacquiao.  

“Conor is a very, very smart fighter. I just feel the last fight he maybe took it a little bit lightly and thought, ‘I’ll just show up and do what I do and destroy him.’ Not only that, he was already mentally and physically getting ready for a boxing fight so he wasn’t thinking leg kicks…No MMA. He just thought it was going to be the same way as the first fight,” Lobov said.

‘The Russian Hammer’ was keen to credit Poirier for his performance at UFC 257 but insisted McGregor would turn the tables at UFC 264.

“We have to give credit to Dustin. He’s done his homework. He’s improved a lot since the first fight and he did a good job. But I think now when Conor is switched on, he knows what’s up. His full focus is on this fight. He’s studied him, he looked at what the issues were in the second fight and honestly when Conor shows up like that? There’s no stopping him. So I see him stopping Dustin early, first, maybe second round. I want to say first. My prediction is first round but it could go into the second.” (Transcribed by BJPenn.com)

Do you agree with Artem Lobov? Will Conor McGregor avenge his loss to Dustin Poirier at UFC 264?

A lifelong fight fan from Liverpool, England who has been covering mixed martial arts (MMA) and boxing for several years. Follow @JordanEllisUK on Twitter for all the latest fight news, views, interviews and live event coverage.