The first UFC pay-per-view event is almost upon us, and with it comes the return of Conor McGregor. UFC 257 is headlined by McGregor and Dustin Poirier, who will scrap in a highly consequential showdown from a championship standpoint. Moreover, the numbers are trending well for the fight and it promises to be a successful showing overall.
Poirier and McGregor fought each other around 6 years ago in 2014 as up-and-coming featherweights. ‘The Notorious’ sparked Poirier in the first round and eventually went on to reach dual champion status in the organization. Poirier moved up to lightweight in his next outing and would end up clinching interim gold and defeated several former champions.
UFC lightweights: Dustin Poirier vs Conor McGregor
Poirier is coming off a ‘Fight of the Year’ contender against Dan Hooker, wherein he once again displayed his toughness. Poirier’s tight stance is a tie-in to McGregor’s wide southpaw stance and the fight will play out on the feet. Moreover, ‘The Diamond’ relies heavily on close-range looping punches which is another contrasting feature.
A huge narrative coming into the fight is Dustin’s mentality and composure heading into a fight with ‘Mystic Mac’. Although this largely comes in as an intangible, there’s no denying that staying composed early on is essential. Poirier displayed some tentativeness and overzealousness when he fought Conor McGregor in 2014, and it cost him dearly.
The former double champion in McGregor is coming off a year-long hiatus as he competed at UFC 246. McGregor put on a clinic against ‘Cowboy’ and put him away in a matter of just 40 seconds. The aforementioned fight took place at welterweight but McGregor seems to have made his way down to lightweight by doing the right things.
Apart from the mental edge, McGregor has the style to give Poirier problems no matter how many times they meet. His power piston of a left hand coupled with his explosiveness in the first ten minutes has traditionally been a huge issue for Poirier. The Irishman needs to avoid early leg kicks that will hinder his movement, and he will likely hunt for the finish.
Prediction: Conor McGregor to claim a second-round TKO victory
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