Next weekend at UFC 264 we will see the trilogy fight that we’ve been waiting for since January. Former interim lightweight champion Dustin Poirier (27-6, 1 NC) will be taking on former two-division UFC champion Conor McGregor (22-5) in the main event.
The two first fought early on in their careers at UFC 178. At the time, McGregor was on his meteoric rise while Poirier was already really established in the UFC. Poirier was expected to be the first big challenge for McGregor and ‘Mystic Mac’ passed with flying colors stopping Poirier in the first round.
Both men went on to achieve great success in their careers. At UFC 257 on Fight Island, their paths crossed with the second time. In the first round, Poirier was able to land an early takedown, but McGregor clearly controlled the striking and won the first round on all cards.
However, Poirier was doing damage to McGregor’s leg that was adding up. McGregor had taken more of a front-leg heavy boxing style and Poirier was throwing heavy calf kicks. In the second round, the kicks became too much and hurt McGregor. Poirier put on the pressure and ultimately stopped McGregor at UFC 257.
Now, the two men will fight for the third and likely final time next Saturday night. Poirier sat down with ESPN this week where he previewed UFC 264. There’s no questioning what Poirier wants next Saturday night. Poirier wants this fight in deep waters and he’s very confident he wins that fight.
A War at UFC 264
Poirier told ESPN, “If I was him, I would try to touch me early and keep me out of rhythm. If this thing starts to blossom into a fight in the second, third, fourth and we start hurting and grinding, I win that fight ten out of ten times… I want a blood and guts war.”
When it comes to UFC 264, I completely agree with Dustin Poirier. If Conor McGregor is going to win this fight, he’s going to have to keep Poirier out of rhythm and he’s going to have to get it done early.
Yes, Conor McGregor was able to win a war with Nate Diaz. However, Dustin Poirier is not Nate Diaz. Dustin Poirier has the finishing ability that Nate Diaz really doesn’t have and his power carries into those later rounds.
If McGregor cannot get Poirier out of there early at UFC 264, he’s going to be in trouble. I’m a fan of both of these guys and I can’t wait to see how this unfolds. To me, the path to victory is clear for both men.
Sound Off: Do you think Conor McGregor can win next Saturday if the fight turns into a back-and-forth war?