McGregor vs. Poirier III: The Trilogy Fight of the Decade

McGregor vs Poirier 2 live stream: UFC 257 start time, main card,  pay-per-view | What Hi-Fi?The most highly anticipated trilogy fight in UFC history won’t have a championship title on the line. Still, the winner and loser implications are of extreme importance, especially for the Irishman Conor McGregor. 

July 10th, 2021, a jam-packed T-Mobile arena will host the third meeting between fan favourites Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor.

Despite the fact no championship is up for grabs, the magnitude of the contest is exceeding that of most title bouts. Why? Well, for one, Conor McGregor is the world’s most famous martial artist and two, Dustin Poirier avenged his 2014 loss to McGregor just five months ago. 

We know from his past losses, nothing riles up the Notorious one more than losing, hence why the third encounter is taking place so soon. But how did we get here, and what should we expect? 

The First Meeting – McGregor vs. Poirier I (September 27th, 2014, at UFC 178) 

At this point of Conor McGregor’s career, he had gained a significant amount of hype highlighting his future star potential, and the signs weren’t wrong. 

From the moment McGregor and Poirier’s first encounter began, McGregor was light on his feet and seemed to have all the confidence in the world. Poirier seemed out of place and was seemingly the less confident of the two. Remembering that this fight took place at featherweight, the division where McGregor has won most of his professional fights. 

After keeping Poirier at a distance with some spin kicks and smooth evasive defensive slips, it quickly became evident who the superior striker would be. Featherweight McGregor fought with a wide karate stance, masking the deadly straight left cross with his kicking offence, faints, and floating footwork. 

Just under two minutes into the first round, hands dropped by his side, McGregor planted his powerful straight cross to the side of Poirier’s skull, and all that remained was Herb Dean pulling the Irishmen of his opponent. 

The Rematch – McGregor vs. Poirier II (UFC 257 – January 24th, 2021) 

By the time the rematch had resurfaced, McGregor had risen to superstardom as a two-division UFC champion and successful entrepreneur. Poirier fought an additional fourteen fights and collected UFC lightweight gold. His only losses were coming against Michael Johnson and one of the greatest fighters ever to grace the octagon, Khabib Nurmagomedov.  

The weight class had changed, and more notably, so had McGregor’s approach to fighting Poirier. The light-footed- fluent movement of Conor had been replaced with a more traditional boxing style. Perhaps the training camps leading up to his boxing bout versus Floyd Mayweather.

McGregor moved forward with a heavy lead leg, seemingly hunting for the kill shot with every strike he threw. Poirier quickly landed a takedown due to this approach, as the old McGregor would have had no problem moving backwards with strikes to keep Poirier at bay. McGregor promptly got to his feet, but Poirier’s strength was able to keep the former champ-champ against the cage. 

With one minute remaining in the first round, both men were back to the centre of the octagon, and Poirier began to show his leg kicking game plan while McGregor laced him up with a bombardment of offensive punches.  

Poirier’s durability at lightweight is evidently more robust, as he was eating McGregor’s best from all angles. Round two saw Poirier hunt the lead leg of his opponent, and again, McGregor’s willingness to box inside the pocket was his downfall. A counter right from Poirier backed McGregor into the cage, and the rest was history. A flurry of strikes had gifted the Louisiana native his revenge. 

The Trilogy – McGregor vs. Poirier III (UFC 264 – July 10th, 2021)

Predicting the third instalment is not for the faint-hearted; we don’t know how much McGregor is invested into the fight game. The first fight was a hungry up and coming version of McGregor we may never see again; with that said, perhaps the hunger coming off a loss has resurfaced. 

One thing we know for sure, Poirier is challenging to put away at lightweight, and McGregor should be training for a twenty-five-minute war. Avoiding a grappling game at all costs, switch stances more often, ignore this silly move of striking inside the pocket like a boxer and focus on keeping distance whilst waiting for the openings needed. 

Pointsbet have the odds at -110 for both fighters, and you can’t blame them. 

This contest will be a learn-on-the-job affair for both men, and I don’t believe the most experienced of fight analysts could predict how this fight will play out. 

With that said, I’m siding with the Notorious Conor McGregor taking his revenge. We watched the Irish star enter his second bout versus Nate Diaz with the correct changes implemented, and I believe he’ll have been fixated on altering his downfalls from January’s bout.  

Severe MMA Staff

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