Can Poirier derail McGregor’s Comeback?

McGregor and Poirier will face off for the second time

One of the biggest fights to take place in 2021 is the one between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier, scheduled for January 23 at UFC 257, meaning McGregor has gone 12 months without fighting. His last fight inside the Octagon was at UFC 246 when he beat Donald Cerrone, a veteran welterweight contender. It is said to be one of the more highly anticipated matchups of 2021 with ‘The Diamond’ Dustin Poirier attempting to derail the runaway train, Conor McGregor

The history between Poirier and McGregor

Poirier and McGregor have previously crossed paths, in September 2018 when McGregor beat Poirier via TKO in the first round at the UFC 178. The winner of this encounter will presumably be in the prime position to fight for the championship bout later in the year.

The Irishman Conor McGregor is already predicting a devastating first-round knockout. Moreover, a victory similar to the one in 2014 where he had a first-round knockout at UFC 178 when he bludgeoned Poirier with a barrage of punches.

McGregor is well known for his eccentric ways and is also a keen poker fan, having once flown a player 3,500 miles to meet him in the past. Poker and MMA have a relationship that stems back to 2018 when PokerStars became the UFC’s first-ever ‘Official Poker Partner’. Keen MMA and poker fans have been visiting pokerlistings to see all the latest poker offers an operator reviews.

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Lead Up to the Fight

Both Poirier and McGregor have improved in the six years since gaining a plethora of experience at the highest level of MMA. They have both moved from the featherweight confines of 145 pounds up to arguably the deepest division in the history of the organisation, the lightweight division.

McGregor was previously referred to as the Mystic Mac due to his Muhammed-Ali-like ability to predict when and how he would defeat his opponents. Connor has said he will attempt to beat Poirier even faster than the 106 seconds it took him the last time they fought. Poirier is being targeted by McGregor to try and force a rematch against Nurmagomedov who is currently rated pound for pound king, however Nurmagomedov announced his sudden retirement after fighting Justin Gaethje, albeit at the height of emotion following the death of his father. McGregor is also committed to competing at lightweight throughout 2021 as there are ample opportunities for matchups to be had in this division. McGregor said: ”I will show the world once again who I am, and what I am about”

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What are the Odds?

McGregor seems to be an unstoppable force and knows how to lead a life of victory. In saying that Poirier is in good form and younger than McGregor and it could turn into one of the best matches should Poirier’s chin hold up to McGregor’s left hand and should Connor’s submission defences do the same.

McGregor is fiery, brash and an in your face striker and as previously seen, it’s hard for him to keep his emotions intact and maintain a fast pace which could be a potential weakness.

He needs to realise Poirier is no walkover and although he previously beat him in 2014, he has improved as a fighter gaining more experience and skill over the past six years. Poirier has punching power and can manifest damaging combos to secure a takedown. So it means McGregor will have to mix things up faster and offer different levels of offence, making it harder for Poirier to muscle his way back in and derailing McGregor.

On the other hand, should Poirier be determined in taking McGregor down, he must secure an early takedown because McGregor is going to come out with guns blazing in the hopes of finishing the fight early to ensure a run at the title.

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Poirier certainly has better grappling skills and a far more developed guard which will gain him an instantaneous edge should he be able to take the match to the canvas. The Diamond (Poirier) could then shut off McGregor’s offensive game and for what it’s worth Poirier has never been finished off by strikes which is how McGregor has won 13 out of his 15 victories.

Wrapping it Up

Connor McGregor, the Irish Superstar, is a force to be reckoned with. He has won 19 of his 22 career fights by KTO and ended Jose Aldo’s nine-year undefeated career in 2015 and won the featherweight title. Poirier is a former interim Lightweight Champion and has won 26 contests with six losses. Poirier was awarded his Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt from long-time coach and former UFC fighter Tim Credeur. Dustin has competed professionally since 2009 and also competed in the WEC, and as at October 2020, he is #2 in the UFC lightweight rankings and #7 in the UFC men’s pound for pound rankings. Who the winner will be is any body’s guess as these are two MMA fighters that are amongst the best in their game.