UFC 257 Preview: Conor McGregor – Dustin Poirier 2

Apr 13, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Dustin Poirier (blue gloves) during UFC 236 at State Farm Arena. Poirier won by unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

We are just one day away from UFC 257 and the main event that fight fans have been waiting for. Dustin Poirier (26-6, 1 NC) will get his chance at revenge when he takes on the biggest star in the sport, Conor McGregor (22-4).

The fight is of course a rematch from UFC 178. That night, Poirier was supposed to provide the first true test for Conor McGregor. Instead, McGregor tore through Poirier and finished him in the first round.

Here we are now over six years later getting ready to see the rematch and this time at lightweight. For Dustin Poirier, his career really took off when he moved up to 155 pounds. Since making the move to lightweight after the McGregor loss, he’s only lost twice.

One of those coming to the undisputed UFC lightweight champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov (29-0). Outside of that, Poirier has been sensational at lightweight. He’s tougher, more durable, and way more powerful at 155 pounds.

He became the UFC interim lightweight champion during his run. Poirier holds victories over Dan Hooker, Max Holloway, Eddie Alvarez, Justin Gaethje, and Anthony Pettis since moving up. Simply put, he’s one of the best.

Return of the Mac

Then of course you have Conor McGregor. The UFC’s first champ-champ will be making the walk for the first time since last January. It’s worth noting that this is actually only McGregor’s third fight in the UFC’s lightweight division.

In his first fight, he defeated Eddie Alvarez for the title. After that, he pursued a boxing match with Floyd Mayweather. The only other time he fought at lightweight was at UFC 229 when he lost to Khabib Nurmagomedov.

Despite this only being McGregor’s third fight in the UFC’s lightweight division, it should be noted that he’s one of the best in the world. If you’re doubting the skill of Conor McGregor, you’re simply hating on the man because his skill can’t be questioned.

You do not just knockout Jose Aldo and Eddie Alvarez the way he did without skill. You don’t finish Donald Cerrone in 40 seconds without skill. Conor McGregor is an incredibly dangerous lightweight contender and he might be the best in the world outside of Khabib.

UFC 257 Prediction

The rematch at UFC 257 is incredibly fascinating. I believe that both men are fighting at their natural weight class in this fight. Dustin Poirier is so much better than he was the first time they fought. However, McGregor is a lot better than he was as well.

The questions surround whether Poirier has done enough to not just make up the gap, but surpass McGregor. One thing I’ll be looking at right away tomorrow night is the pace and who pushes forward early.

When Dustin Poirier is at his best, he’s the one pressing the action. However, if he’s tentative and moving backwards, he gets himself into trouble. When he fought Max Holloway, the only time he was getting touched up was when he didn’t press the action.

He can’t afford to let McGregor dictate the pace at UFC 257. That said, he also needs to be incredibly careful in the first round when McGregor’s at his most dangerous. It’s a tight rope to walk and the first round is going to tell me a lot.

I’ve gone back and forth and I’m making this prediction based on the best version of both guys. If the best version of Dustin Poirier fights the best version of Conor McGregor at UFC 257, the result will be similar to the first and that’s what I’m going with.

I like McGregor’s speed and ability to throw straight shots. Poirier hooks a lot more than McGregor and if he does that too much, he’ll get beat to the punch down the center line. In the end, I think McGregor wins the rematch in the second round with a finish.

Prediction: Conor McGregor by TKO – Round 2