Fans can expect a fully focused Conor McGregor against Dustin Poirier when the pair meet to complete their trilogy.
The Irishman was knocked out at UFC 257 on Fight Island in January, but may not have been fully focused on his opponent, his teammate training partner Artem Lobov suggested.
McGregor wasted little time in arranging a rematch and now they’ll battle it out in front of a packed arena in Las Vegas at UFC 264 on July 10.
Going into the fight – a rematch of their 2014 encoutner – McGregor said he was in the shape of his life, but had his legs devastated by Poirier’s kicks and was stopped in the second round.
He admitted to talkSPORT after the fight he’d had one eye on facing Manny Pacquiao in a boxing match and his coach John Kavanagh also told talkSPORT the training camp had heavily focused on boxing.
That proved to be McGregor’s downfall and Lobov – who departed UFC in 2019 – says it’s true McGregor didn’t give Poirier the respect he deserves.
“Absolutely and to be honest, it wasn’t like he wasn’t fully focused or anything, he just didn’t give Dustin the respect he deserved,” he told BJPenn.com.
“He was more thinking about boxing Manny after the fight and was getting ready for that as Conor saw that as the challenge and Dustin was just going to be a warmup fight.
“Obviously, it didn’t work out that way. Dustin did his homework and improved a lot.”
McGregor defeated Poirier via first round knockout in their first fight when the two were rising featherweights.
Less than two years later, McGregor was knocking out Jose Aldo for the title, having two of the most lucrative fights ever with Nate Diaz before becoming the first-ever double champion in UFC history.
For Poirier, he had to rebuild himself and he battled his way to the top years later, becoming interim lightweight champion in 2019. He would fall to Khabib Nurmagomedov when trying to become the undisputed champion, but make no mistake, Poirier is an elite fighter.
McGregor has been in the gym like a mad man preparing for this rubber stamp fight and many feel he needs to win it to retain his superstar status and box office appeal.
The UFC 257 clash is the joint-second highest bought UFC PPV ever, so a massive buy rate is expected once again for the deciding fight between the pair.
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