Dustin Poirier can nullify Conor McGregor’s game if he utilizes leg kicks according to UFC analyst Dan Hardy.
The pair’s lightweight bout will headline the UFC 257 pay-per-view event taking place tonight which is exclusive to the ESPN+ digital streaming service and can be ordered here.
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The general consensus seems to be that it’ll either be an early McGregor knockout again or if the fight goes beyond the first two rounds, Poirier will have the edge in getting the victory.
However, Hardy believes Poirier can even find success even early on if he makes use of leg kicks that will effectively nullify the Irishman’s striking.
“He’s [McGregor] fighting another southpaw here and what we know about McGregor is because he lifts all of his weight off his rear leg when he’s fighting, he puts all of his weight on his lead leg,” Hardy said in a breakdown on his YouTube channel. “So if Poirier can start chopping away at that lead leg, it nullifies big chunks of McGregor’s game. It effectively breaks the handle of the spear because McGregor now can’t plant all of his weight onto that lead leg to throw that left hand over the top with all his power. Because that leg is going to be dead and to put weight on it is going to be painful.
“We know how effective a calf kick can be. A calf kick being singular. You only need to land one in the right shot and that can effectively be a round or two where that is a nullified limb. If Poirier is able to land that early, the threat of the left hand is significantly diminished as well as the kicking game. Because the majority of it is left leg so he needs to plant all of his weight on his right leg to throw all of those kicks.
“So if you dismantle that leg in the early rounds, that puts Poirier in a position where he can force McGregor into a position where he may have to work, clinch or wrestle. And that forces him to work which — long-term game plan — would be valuable.”
Of course, that is easier said than done given McGregor’s excellent distance management and counter-striking which could easily drop Poirier.
However, this is also a significantly improved Poirier who has proven to be much more durable at lightweight compared to featherweight. Luckily, we won’t have to wait long to find out how the fight plays out.
You can watch the full breakdown below while you’re waiting:
UFC 257 streams live Saturday night, January 23, on the ESPN+ digital streaming service. Here’s how to order and watch the Poirier vs. McGregor PPV on ESPN+.
Combat sports fan who loves a good body shot.