McGregor famously beat Poirier in super-quick fashion when they first fought at featherweight in 2014.
Earlier this year, ‘The Diamond’ avenged that defeat as he knocked out the Irishman inside two rounds at UFC 257.
Ahead of the trilogy fight, ‘Wonderboy’ thinks McGregor is the one who has a lot of work to do if he wants to emerge victorious.
In an interview with Submission Radio, Thompson advised the former dual-weight champion to get back to what got him to the highest level of MMA.
“I think the person that has to do more changing of the fighters is definitely Conor,” Thompson said. “I mean, Dustin Poirier has been fighting pretty much the same way for the longest time. He’s got great boxing, good timing, he’s tough as nails, he likes to sit in the pocket and he’s intelligent. I think he [Conor] kind of lost something in his last fight. I think it was all the boxing that he was doing. He doesn’t have that movement anymore that you normally saw. Like when he fought Jose Aldo. It was the movement that won him that fight. And he was kind of standing there in front of Dustin Poirier and he took a lot of low calf kicks, and that’s what settled it, sealed the deal. So, he’s got to get back into moving like a Karate guy. He’s got to get back into getting on his bike, using that in and out movement, switching sides, playing that game, if he’s going to go out there and beat him again. Cause he can draw out Dustin Poirier’s strikes with his movement. And him being such a good counter puncher, can counter off of that. So out of the two, Conor’s got to get back to that. So, don’t know how hard that is and how long he’s been doing the boxing stuff, but he’s got to get out of that and get back to his movement. If he can do that, Conor can win.”
‘Wonderboy’ says McGregor shouldn’t have any issue making the necessary changes ahead of UFC 264.
“For a lifelong martial artist such as Conor McGregor, I think it should be fairly easy for him,” Thompson said. “I think he can get back to that fairly easy. And as long as he’s been doing that directly after the fight. After his last fight he should have gone back to the gym and started working on it. I mean, he knew then they’re going to have a rematch. He’s won one, Poirier has won one. It’s bound to happen. It’s meant to be, have a third fight. So, hopefully he’s doing that and hopefully he’s got good coaches to get him back, making him do that movement. So, I don’t think it should be that hard for him.”
Do you agree with Stephen Thompson? Will using a karate stance help Conor McGregor defeat Dustin Poirier at UFC 264?