Dustin Poirier was an emotionally charged going into his first encounter with Conor McGregor greater than six years in the past, which led to a disastrous consequence, however he expects issues will probably be totally different for the rematch at UFC 257.
Poirier hasnt minced phrases about it within the years since was knocked out by McGregor simply 96 seconds into their featherweight bout at UFC 178. He let the brash Irishman get into his head, and due to that he was compromised earlier than moving into the octagon. That was evident throughout their pre-fight media day faceoff, as the 2 sides needed to be separated and Poirier informed McGregor he aint (expletive), boy.
McGregors fast end of Poirier validated him in an enormous method and set his profession trajectory in an unprecedented upward path. Poirier was the primary ranked opponent hed crushed within the UFC, and from there The Infamous went on to win titles in two divisions and change into the face of the game.
Actuality is way totally different years later, although. Poirier has moved up a division and firmly entrenched himself as one of many high lightweights in UFC historical past, claiming an interim title and recording quite a lot of signature wins on his resume. Hes not the new head he was in his mid-20s, however fairly a 31-year-old husband and father who has discovered rather a lot about himself as each a fighter and individual.
These experiences have Poirier getting into the rematch with McGregor on Jan. 23 with a wholesome mindset.
He was clearly a fantastic fighter in ending a bunch of men earlier than me in his UFC profession, however at this level were each a lot extra established and have a lot extra expertise, simply extra mature fighters, and I feel you get a totally totally different combat right here, Poirier informed MMA Junkie on Monday. I used to be emotional within the first one. I needed to harm the man. This time I simply wish to outsmart him, simply wish to beat him. That is enterprise. This isnt any ailing will in the direction of the man.
After I was youthful, I used to combat with a variety of emotion. This isnt the identical factor for me. This isnt about getting even for me. This isnt like a revenge kind of factor for me. That is about transferring my profession ahead, about placing my household in a greater spot. Its not making an attempt to get again a man who acquired me. That is simply enterprise.
McGregor is thought for his capacity to agitate opponents together with his phrases, and Poirier succumbed to it the primary time round. It might be simple to carry on to that error through the years, particularly as McGregor has made his mark within the sport, however Poirier mentioned he discovered to let go a very long time in the past.
As their positions within the 155-pound rankings have remained shut, a Poirier vs. McGregor rematch by no means appeared like an impossibility. Poirier has been requested about it quite a lot of occasions through the years, however has by no means stepped out of his line to marketing campaign for the combat or present indicators of desperation.
Placing the rematch collectively now didnt essentially appear to be the UFCs precedence. McGregor made his frustration together with his lack of exercise in 2020 very well-known, although, and after he exchanged some social media messages with Poirier, it got here collectively considerably naturally.
Given McGregors star energy within the sport, he largely has the flexibility to choose and select his photographs when it comes to matchmaking. Poirier admits hes not fully sure whats behind McGregors motivation to choose him, however see it as a really logical reserving.
I knew it was a chance, however I by no means chased it, Poirier mentioned. It is smart, I feel, at this level. The rankings, the provision of fighters. Were each coming off wins. I didnt chase it. I didnt give it some thought on a regular basis, however I knew it was a chance.
The rematch with McGregor will mark the third time Poirier has encountered an opponent for a second time. His earlier two rematch conditions went nicely, with him beating Max Holloway and Eddie Alvarez the second time they fought. The distinction with these bouts, nevertheless, is that Poirier didnt endure a loss to both man within the unique assembly.
Poirier just isn’t all that apprehensive concerning the dynamics, although. He is aware of the progress hes made out of a psychological and bodily standpoint, so its onerous to narrate to something from 2014.
Its type of the identical, actually, Poirier mentioned. Going into the Max combat I knew he was a distinct fighter. I knew I used to be a distinct fighter. I couldnt actually draw any momentum from the primary combat, and type of identical right here with this. This can be a utterly totally different combat. Were each utterly totally different fighters, and Im probably not wanting again at that first combat.
Regardless of dropping the primary one, Poirier seems to have some very actual benefits for the rematch. A type of merely is exercise in MMA. McGregor has fought simply twice previously 4 years, whereas Poirier has fought eight occasions throughout that very same stretch.
The dimensions ideas in Poiriers favor relating to latest, high-level expertise, too. Nevertheless, he mentioned McGregor is to not be ignored in any method. Inactive or not, Poirier is aware of theres rather a lot he must be cautious of.
We’ve got to get in there and learn the way it aligns, Poirier mentioned. Watching footage and stuff like that, I can let you know the man has top-of-the-line counter-twos within the sport. Little doubt about it. His timing, his stability, his understanding of distance when guys are being too heavy on their entrance foot and throwing energy photographs. Hes a fantastic counter puncher. He actually is. I give him credit score for that.
Im positive hes at all times evolving and dealing to get higher. I feel folks, as a result of hes been submitted, hes such an enormous puncher, folks underestimate his floor sport. I feel his jiu-jitsu and his grappling is best than folks give him credit score for. I actually do. Im not underestimating this man in any side of combined martial arts. Im anticipating him to return out as a combined martial artist, not a boxer, not a one-puncher. Hes coming to combat, and so am I.
When anybody indicators on to combat McGregor, cash and the considered a Purple Panty Night time change into a part of the narrative. Poirier was in talks to combat Tony Ferguson at UFC 254 in October, however the combat did not materialize as a result of phrases couldn’t be reached with the UFC.
Poirier didn’t give actual figures of what the monetary aspect of the McGregor fights seems to be like for him, however he confirmed he did obtain a brand new UFC contract with loads of incentives, and emphasised he wouldnt be combating McGregor at UFC 257 if he didnt really feel glad.
One of many stakes that continues to be unknown, although, is what the combat means for the light-weight division. Reigning champion Khabib Nurmagomedov introduced his retirement following a submission win over Justin Gaethje in October, however theres since been hypothesis about whether or not that may stick. UFC president Dana White has expressed frequent confidence hell get Nurmagomedov again for one combat, and mentioned the title receivedt be taken off him.
Poirier is curious as to what is going to occur, but when Nurmagomedov sticks to his phrase, he mentioned his matchup with McGregor needs to be designated as an undisputed title bout.
I feel if Khabibs retired and never coming again, then Im subsequent in line for the title shot, and this might be the title combat, Poirier mentioned. This might be for the undisputed belt. I feel thatd make sense. Danas saying one factor, Khabibs saying one other. Who is aware of what the reality is? Time will inform.
Whether or not the title is on the road or not, Poirier mentioned hes 100 % targeted on successful at UFC 257. Its the one factor on his thoughts, and he hopes McGregor takes the identical method, regardless of his crew not too long ago popping out and discussing a boxing match with Manny Pacquiao.
He is perhaps (overlooking me), and that might be an enormous mistake, Poirier mentioned. That will be an enormous mistake. I is perhaps combating Pacquiao.
click hear for more Finance Updates