UFC 257 – Poirier vs. McGregor

We’re back in Abu Dhabi for Fight Island, where the sequel of Dustin Poirier vs. Conor McGregor is showcased in a stacked main card.

This is one of a few fights that could actually top last weeks performance by Max Holloway, where both McGregor and Poirier are anticipating a long, hard-fought bout. In the same breath, the Irishman has claimed that he could finish the fight inside 60 seconds. It’s difficult to understand what shape Conor is in, it’s all good claiming that your skills are “Fine-tuned” or that you are in shape, but with Conor’s last fight ending in ease, albeit against an ageing Donald Cerrone, we’re most likely going to see a fresher and quicker fighter, as Conor drops the weight again down to 155lbs.

Poirier is no slouch though, ever since losing to McGregor in 2014, the ‘Diamond’ has gone 10-2 in the octagon, along with one ‘no contest.’ Some of those wins come against the likes of; Anthony Pettis, Max Holloway and Justin Gaethje. So it’s not as if Poirier can’t mix it with the best, he certainly can and after the press conference yesterday, he definitely understands what is at stake. I’ve learnt over the years, that you cannot bet against Conor McGregor, you genuinely never know what sort of fighter will turn up on the night. Poirier has no problem going 5 rounds with anybody, but Conor, in the past, has drastically slowed down in latter rounds of fights.

Despite the snippets of pros and cons, this will perhaps be a fight for the ages, the two fighters seem to have the upmost respect  for one another and I believe they intend to slug it out in the middle of the octagon. In the first round or two, I think both men will be feeling out their opponent, with McGregor potentially looking for the opening he found when facing Jose Aldo, with that step-back left on the counter. With the Southpaw style that Poirier possesses, he too will be looking for the over-hand left to land flush on Conor, at some point in the fight. A major factor could be Dustin’s Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, if he is able to establish ground control against a fighter who, at times, looks very susceptible when defending submissions on the ground, then he may well gain the edge in this fight.

It really is a close fight to call, but McGregor edges it by the finest of margins. On a statistical basis, the pair are on-par with one another, apart from Poirier’s takedown game. It is purely based off the fact that McGregor has beaten opponents who hold a wider range of skills in their arsenal. The only doubt I have is that McGregor will be taking on a southpaw, who can produce a lot of power in his body shots, compared to when the two originally fought several years ago. I wouldn’t be shocked if Poirier came out with the win, especially with a TKO or KO, but McGregor’s movement within the octagon as he creates different angles for his shots, will allow him to control the fight and win by Unanimous Decision.

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