When Conor McGregor got rid of Donald Cerrone in just 40 seconds over a year ago – it was widely recognized that the UFC was putting their precious asset back in motion with a tune-up fight, recover from a long layoff since losing to Khabib in 2018.
Fast forward a year, UFC boss Dana White could have taken the same approach given the Irishman’s limited activity in 2020, and it would have been a safe bet the fight would be a seller. strong no matter who he faced in the octagon.
While the gamblers are so sure McGregor to fight his way past Dustin Poirier at UFC 257 on Sunday AEDT, with the superstar drawing a few bets over $ 100,000, the general consensus is that Poirier poses more of a threat than Cerrone, especially if he can expand the fight into the later rounds.
McGregor has only fought twice in the Octagon in the past three years. He fought for 40 seconds in 2020 and has made just three rounds in 22 career fights. He went to five rounds just once and had 12 fights ending in under two minutes, while five wins came in 40 seconds or less.
The Irishman’s weakness has long been identified as endurance with most of his late losses. Even in his exhibition fight against Floyd Mayweather in 2017, he lost his legs in a TKO loss in the 10e round. Add to that its limited activity in recent years, the longer the fight, the more unpredictable it becomes.
“Khabib, Nate Diaz, they both did a great job (beating McGregor),” said UFC featherweight champion Alex Volkanovski. Great world of sport.
“Diaz was able to weather the storm and you saw Conor McGregor slow down as the rounds went on. It’s a fact now, you know what I mean?
“He’s got really fast contractions and it’s really hard for someone like that to last five rounds, especially when you pull the trigger and you’re explosive all the way through.
“I guarantee you that’s what Poirier wants to do, but is he going to have a chance when Conor gets in front?” We could see him panic and get caught.
After being finished by champion Nurmagomedov in 2019, Poirier’s time as top contender was in jeopardy. Then he put on a warrior demo against New Zealand star Dan Hooker, in a fight that was dubbed the fight of the year in 2020. The bloodbath against the Kiwi showed he could thrive. as a fighter the longer the battle dragged on.
“Poirier showed he could go well in the last laps. Max Holloway, Dustin, Gaethje they really put him at the end of the fight because they have big tanks of gas,” said the weight champion. feather.
“But at first he gets hit, he’s also scored, and if he fights this fight against Conor, it doesn’t get past the first round. He doesn’t want to fight this fight but I believe McGregor will make him fight. this fight. “
Poirier has won 10 fights since losing in the first round in 2014 to McGregor. However, since the loss most members of the UFC say he’s a different fighter and the man himself has said he has more control over his emotions now.
The Louisiana fighter has seven career submission wins. McGregor’s four losses came by submission and the Irish star has never lost on points nor been eliminated. How the underdog handles himself in the first moments of the fight will be revealing, according to Volkanovsky.
“Conor not only puts pressure on you in press conferences and stuff, he really puts you in the face and doesn’t give you a chance to get into the beat,” he said.
“He’s freaking you out. He’s freaked out fighters in the past and then against. You can’t let him do that. You can’t let him get you thrown when he wants to.
“You have to make him fight at your own pace. Poirier has to be smarter because Conor has strong hands, you have to give him credit.”