McGregor and Poirier are set to lock horns again in Las Vegas on July 10 in a hotly-anticipated blockbuster showdown but Volkanovski (22-1), 32, of Wollongong, Australia, believes ‘The Notorious’ is most likely to emerge victorious.
The current UFC featherweight champion admits that he is a fan of McGregor’s stand-up fighting style and is convinced that if he can make a couple of minor tweaks, coupled with his reach and punching ability, it will be a completely different result than the last.
“I still feel like Conor is more dangerous, and I feel like he’s going to be dangerous early again,” Volkanovski said to Submission Radio.
“And I think he’ll be able to control where it goes a little better than where it did go.
“Obviously, he got a little bit tired with those calf kicks and things like that, but I do believe he’s going to get his hands on Poirier, and I feel like Conor’s gonna get it.
“I think he gets a finish, I said that last time and I was wrong, but I still believe that, I mean, you could still see that he was hurting Dustin and things like that.”
The Australian also believes that Poirier must be careful not to get caught in a firefight with the Irishman if he is to stand any chance of replicating his success.
“Dustin definitely can fight a clever fight and maybe engage in some clinch and things like that, just to wear on Conor and not let him get Conor’s hands on him so early, which I think you need to do,” Volkanovski explained.
“But if he tries to stand up and think, oh yeah, what happened later in the round is going to happen early in the fight.
“If he feels like ‘I have the better hands than Conor, I knocked him out’, that’s not gonna end well for Dustin early in the fight.”
“Again, slow him down, wear him down, then you can probably put hands on him. But early, I wouldn’t take that risk. But I feel like he might.”
UFC president Dana White recently confirmed that a featherweight title fight between Volkanovski and Brian Ortega is likely to take place in late September at UFC 266. The location of this event has not yet been confirmed by the promotion.
When he was then pressed for how he thinks the fight will play out, Volkanovski replied: “Obviously, I want a finish, you know, you want to put him away. But I think I’m going to be way too much for him, you know what I mean?
“And this whole process of being away – I had so much time to do jiu-jitsu and all that type of stuff, but I’ve involved. Obviously being away from the family and going over there – all I had to focus on was focus on the boys, work on gameplans, study fights, break down certain positions.
“The whole time I was just sort of focused on fighting and I was evolving as a fighter while I was doing that. My understanding of the game right now is just at another level.
“There’s so many tools in this belt, so many tools in this arsenal right now, and I can’t wait to use them all. I just think I’m going to be too much for Ortega.”
Both fighters can also currently be seen serving as opposing coaches on the 26th season of ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ with new episodes live every week only on ESPN+ and UFC Fight Pass.