Conor McGregor will only have to make a couple of minor tweaks in order to stand a chance of beating Dustin Poirier when the two fight for the third time this summer, according to fellow UFC star Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson.
The Notorious, widely regarded as one of the greatest MMA fighters of all time, is the slight favourite to win at the T-Mobile Arena as they battle it out for all of the bragging rights.
While former title challenger Thompson is well aware of the dangers posed by former interim lightweight champion Poirier, he is backing the 32-year-old to get the job done – but only if he goes back to the basics.
Asked for his advice for McGregor, Thompson told Submission Radio: “I think the person that has to do more changing of the fighters is definitely Conor.
“I mean, Dustin Poirier has been fighting pretty much the same way for the longest time.
“He’s got great boxing, good timing, he’s tough as nails, he likes to sit in the pocket, and he’s intelligent.
“I think he [Conor] kind of lost something in his last fight. I think it was all the boxing that he was doing. He doesn’t have that movement anymore that you normally saw.
“Like when he fought Jose Aldo, it was the movement that won him that fight. And he was kind of standing there in front of Dustin Poirier, and he took a lot of low calf kicks, and that’s what settled it, sealed the deal.”
“So, he’s got to get back into moving like a karate guy,” he added. “He’s got to get back into getting on his bike, using that in-and-out movement, switching sides, playing that game if he’s going to go out there and beat him again.
“Because he can draw out Dustin Poirier’s strikes with his movement. And him being such a good counter puncher, [he] can counter off of that.
“So out of the two, Conor’s got to get back to that. So, don’t know how hard that is and how long he’s been doing the boxing stuff, but he’s got to get out of that and get back to his movement. If he can do that, Conor can win.”
He continued: “For a lifelong martial artist such as Conor McGregor, I think it should be fairly easy for him. I think he can get back to that fairly easy as long as he’s been doing that directly after the fight.
“After his last fight, he should have gone back to the gym and started working on it. I mean, he knew then they’re going to have a rematch.
“He’s won one; Poirier has won one. It’s bound to happen. It’s meant to be, have a third fight.
“So, hopefully he’s doing that, and hopefully he’s got good coaches to get him back, making him do that movement. So, I don’t think it should be that hard for him.”