Conor McGregor has been handed a shot at redemption but he CANNOT slip up again… another defeat by Dustin Poirier and his reign as the ‘king’ of the UFC will be over
- Conor McGregor will face Dustin Poirier for a third time at UFC 264 in July
- Both fighters are locked at one triumph apiece after Poirier’s January knockout
- McGregor’s position as one of the top fighters in the sport in under threat
- Credibility in the eyes of casual fans will be decimated with another defeat
Conor McGregor’s trilogy bout with Dustin Poirier is now confirmed and it’s now down to the Irishman to avenge his devastating defeat in January.
McGregor and Poirier are now tied at 1-1, the Diamond shocking fans with a stunning knockout seven years after being dispatched in under two minutes.
The Notorious made light work of the American during his famous run to the featherweight title in 2014 but it was an entirely different story in their second meeting at UFC 257.
Conor McGregor will get his chance to exact revenge on Dustin Poirier at UFC 264 in July
It was no secret that Poirier had come a long way since the first bout but few predicted exactly what went down on the night.
McGregor started well, out-striking his opponent on his way to claiming the first round.
However, a couple of Poirier’s low calf kicks had already caused some noticeable damage and discomfort.
And they would prove to be McGregor’s downfall as a few more in the second round compromised his lead leg and allowed Poirier to swarm all over him and hand him his first finish by knockout.
It was a crushing sight for fans of the UFC’s biggest ever star, his only previous defeats having come by way of submission.
McGregor will hope to bounce back Poirier superbly sent him crashing down on Fight Island
There was something about seeing him get stopped with punches that just felt different to those previous losses to the likes of Nate Diaz and Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Those setbacks didn’t damage his image as a devastating striker. This one really had his followers questioning if he might just be past it. After all, it can’t be as easy to stay motivated with so much money in the bank.
But there was still something to cling on to, that being the unique nature of the calf kicks.
Watching the fight again it became clearer that McGregor was in control for the vast majority.
He caught Poirier with some fine shots with the winner admitting himself that he had been rocked.
The Irishman was in control for the majority of the fight before Poirier’s kicks took their toll
Ultimately Poirier weathered the storm and executed a fine game plan, neutralising McGregor with a technique that he simply didn’t see coming.
That won’t be the case this time.
McGregor knows he can get the better of his rival with his hands. And countering those kicks will now be his main focus.
The most obvious way to do this is through ‘checking’ them, a technique where the leg is bent and brought up to protect the thigh. This causes the kicker to slam their shin into the defending fighters’ shin or knee, causing pain and damage to himself.
McGregor just didn’t do this the first time around but he surely will now.
Another strategy would be to revert to his old karate stance, allowing him to slip in and out of range much more effectively.
McGregor’s leg was left completely compromised by his opponent’s devastating calf kicks
In recent years the Dubliner has adopted much more of a boxing stance, leaving that lead leg exposed.
A high-profile showdown with Floyd Mayweather and a planned fight with Manny Pacquaio must be somewhat to blame.
The stiffness in his fighting style has been noted by UFC fans and it was something that Poirier took advantage of.
If he makes the changes, there is no reason why he can’t win. But the truth is that he must win.
Another convincing defeat and it’s really tough to see where he goes from here.
Sure he will always be a draw in some form but the mystique will be gone, his time as the self-proclaimed ‘king’ of the UFC over.
Another fall and his credibility in the eyes of the causal fan will be decimated. It’s already in serious doubt.
A win and as we’ve seen before, all will be forgotten. The ‘king’ will be back and he can do pretty much whatever he wants next.
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