As we approach the Conor McGregor vs. Dustin Poirier trilogy bout on Saturday, it seems that — for the first time in a long time — the majority of fans are doubting the former two-division champion.
The uncertainty naturally stems from McGregor’s most recent effort against Poirier in January. The Irishman recently admitted that he had even ‘looked past’ Poirier and “had a Pacquiao camp in place.”
Now, fans and even fellow UFC fighters are questioning McGregor’s motivations as we approach the UFC 264 main event. In recent interviews with Helen Yee and James Lynch, fighters opened up about their thoughts on Conor McGregor vs. Dustin Poirier 3 and explained why McGregor’s success and riches may impact his fighting future.
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Fighters question Conor McGregor’s motivation
“Gotta think so [Poirier beats McGregor], right? I think he was so convincing and I think Conor has got to the point, he doesn’t want to admit this and his fans don’t want to admit this but it has happened not only with him but many other athletes but when they make the amount of money he made and when they get the amount of fame that he’s had, it’s fucking hard to go and train like a mad man. Right?
“That’s something that we do, even me being older now like I can be very disciplined with my training, but I don’t have that same fire I did when I was 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, and then if you have, you know, I’m relatively well-off, but if you have 100 million dollars or whatever he has in the bank, and you see him on his private yacht everywhere and you think that’s gotta be hard for him to want to train hard?
“And I think that’s what we saw in the Dustin fight. He looked good for 5-ish minutes or so and then Dustin started eating up those legs and put him out in the second round.”
“I think Vegas has Conor as the favorite which I was kind of surprised with. Looking at Conor, I’m a diehard Conor fan, I love what he’s done for the sport, it’s been a hell of a ride. I’m just curious — and he recently sold his Proper [Twelve] Whiskey, I think he has made over 150 million dollars doing that deal and he’s the highest-paid athlete of 2020 in the middle of the pandemic, so I’m just curious about his motivation.
“For him, I think it’s about legacy and this is a legacy fight for him. If he wins this, he gets a crack at the title and he does match well with Charles Oliveira but it depends what version of Conor McGregor we get. If we don’t get an extremely, extremely better version of what fought Dustin Poirier in that second fight where he lost in the leg kicks, it’s going to be the same result. I hope that the hungry Conor shows up but a guy that comes off a yacht in the middle of Dubai and he’s in Gucci pajamas, it’s tough to get up for the fight, man. It just is. It’s up to Conor and I hope it’s vintage Conor.”
“I think it’ll be the same outcome. Conman McGregor is washed up. he’s cashed out. he’s made so much money, he’s not as hungry as he was before. He’s not that broke kid that came up in the streets of Ireland who was fighting for food and fighting for this, now he’s got all this money and he’s got a luxury life, he’s privileged. That privilege takes a toll on you. His work ethic is gone and it just so happens that Dustin Soy-ier got lucky timing with that and got the fight.”
“It’s tough [to pick a winner]. Conor was winning that fight. I don’t know what his conditioning was at for five rounds, you know, he’s knocked out Dustin before so it’s not like he hasn’t really touched his chin or really clipped him before. It’s hard to say. But Dustin is more active, though, and if I had to give the advantage to anybody, Dustin’s been consistent, he’s been more active and there’s something about those reps in the Octagon.
“And I think Conor’s not really fighting for the same thing anymore, he’s got all the money and he’s got all the stuff. If he wins or loses, he’s happy, it doesn’t really matter — him going out there and fighting is a big deal.”
“I’d have to say [I’m picking] Dustin Poirier because not taking away from Conor but that guy is so wealthy and he doesn’t need to fight. I feel like he’s kind of comfortable in that sense. I feel like a comfortable fighter is not always the best fighter and I feel like Poirier is still a little hungry and I think he’ll pull away with the trilogy.”
Jake Nichols is The Body Lock's Editor in Chief. Previously, he was the MMA Editor at RealSport.