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Conor McGregor Vs Dustin Poirier 2: What's different this time?

18 Jan 2021

Conor McGregor's back in the ocatgon for the first time in over a year this Saturday, taking on an old foe in Dustin Poirier - someone he first met some six years ago on his way up through the rankings in the Ultimate Fighting Championship's Featherweight division.

Since then, both men have come in leaps and bounds in their careers. McGregor would go on to hold two belts in both the UFC's Featherweight and Lightweight divisions simultaneously, as well as taking on arguably the best boxer of a generation in Floyd Mayweather - making millions in the process.

Dustin Poirier has become a household name in the UFC, and beat some of the most recognised names in the sport (including former UFC Featherweight champion Max Holloway) as well as challenging Khabib Nurmagomedov for the Lightweight Championship.

So, with years of progress behind them and a very notable evolution in Dustin Poirier inside the octagon, how does this fight look years after their first meeting?

There's no chance McGregor's lost anything of himself over that time. He still hits like a truck, he's still got amazing countering ability and a great boxing ability. He's still the same fighter, only, fans and comptetitors alike have had a chance to see a few things:

The first, and probably most important for Dustin Poirier is McGregor's cardio. In his 5 round war with Nate Diaz, Conor's full commit to big punches - that dropped Diaz on a few occassions - McGregor began to fade in the later rounds. However, if Dustin wants to go their, he's going to have to withstand McGregor's forward pressure.

The second is Conor's development. It was entirely conceivable that Conor McGregor could be on the receiving end of a head kick from Donald Cerrone in his last bout. What wasn't, is that Conor McGregor might deliver one of his own to "Cowboy", which would quickly signify the beginning of the end of the fight.

Cerrone's clinch game was much talked about going in. It's a strong technique for Cerrone to get strikes in, and it was thought that that might be a hurdle for McGregor in the matchup. Probably very few people considered McGregor would be able to escape in that manner.

For Poirier, he's stayed sharp and faced very little adversity in his competitors. With few losses to speak of, it's hard to put his skillset down.

Still, McGregor's ability to put his opponents away quickly, and him having done so repeatedly definitely favours him in this fight. Without this being a prediction, he'd be my favoured to win going in.


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