‘The Diamond’ Dustin Poirier is certain he’ll finish Conor McGregor for a second time at UFC 264.
In 2014, a fresh-faced Poirier was verbally bullied by McGregor in lead up to their first fight. Poirier later admitted McGregor got under his skin, making him angry going into the fight and causing him to perform rashly.
This played a huge role in Poirier being dispatched easily by ‘The Notorious’ by way of a TKO victory within the first round. Both Poirier and McGregor went on to dominate for the majority of the following years.
They would meet for a second time at UFC 257 in January 2021. Poirier passed up the chance of a title shot to face the Irishman once more, in what was a very savvy business decision and one that would give him a chance at righting a wrong in his career.
Poirier’s skills had come on leaps and bounds. However, McGregor had gone backwards, as fame and fortune left his UFC career as something of a distraction from his business endeavours. A static McGregor was shockingly at the wrong end of a brutal TKO defeat this time round.
With the pair tantalisingly tied at 1-1, a third fight was agreed for July 11. McGregor’s star is waning in the sport, having lost three of his last six fights.
He will likely announce his retirement from MMA if he loses and may head back over to more the lucrative boxing exhibitions.
Poirier on the other hand looks to have caught up to McGregor, with a stark improvement in performance obvious in recent years. This bout looks to be truly difficult to call.
The UFC have now released a trailer for UFC 264’s Countdown episode, which gives a glimpse into the mindset of Poirier in the lead up to the event.
In the teaser, a confident Poirier said:
“Me and Conor need to do this a third time. We owe it to each other to get back in there and see what’s up.”
“You can have all the money in the world, but you can’t buy heart – and I’m gonna step onto that canvas as the best version of myself I’ve ever been. July 10, I’m gonna stop Conor McGregor again.”
In recent years, Poirier has cemented his place as one of the top lightweights of his generation.
McGregor looks to have reached a crossroads in his career, and his legendary journey in MMA may come to a dramatic conclusion at UFC 264.
The winner of this fight is absolutely certain to claim a title shot against the recently anointed lightweight king Charles Oliveira. The stakes could not be much higher.