On Saturday, July 10, the legacies of both Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor are on the line.
Most UFC fans know the lore—Poirier and McGregor first fought at UFC 178 in 2014. That fight lasted only 1:46 before McGregor TKO’d Poirier. Fast-forward seven years and the two strikers geared up for a lucrative and heated rematch.
As with most McGregor fights, even the most casual MMA fans tuned into UFC 257 for Poirier vs McGregor II. After an even first round, where Poirier landed but couldn’t hold a takedown and McGregor landed heavy but couldn’t sleep Poirier, Poirier started to chop away at McGregor’s lead leg.
Early in round two, McGregor’s leg started to bruise and blister; but, he kept stalking forward landing solid shots. Although McGregor was leading the dance for most of the fight, around the three-minute mark of round two, Poirier circled out and was able to apply the pressure. Once he got McGregor’s back to the cage, Poirier landed a big left, then a flurry of punches, and eventually dropped the Irishman with a deadly right uppercut. While the series was tied 1-1, a trilogy was not an automatic booking. Poirier had a decision to make—a chance to fight for the vacant lightweight title or a massive payday with a trilogy fight against McGregor. Poirier went with the Jerry Maguire approach, show me the money!
Money, although likely to be a large sum for both men, is not the only motivation for Poirier vs McGregor III. Legacy is also at stake. A top-ranked contender for years, Poirier has recent wins over Pettis, Gaethje, Alvarez, Holloway, Hooker, and McGregor. But, in a division dominated by Khabib, “The Diamond” lost to the undefeated “Eagle” and has never been the undisputed champion. Meanwhile, McGregor has held both the featherweight and lightweight championship belts, winning them in 2015 and 2016 respectively. However, he never defended the featherweight belt and lost the lightweight belt due to inactivity. So, despite being a two-division champ, there is still controversy surrounding his legacy. If he loses this fight, he’ll be 1-3 in his last four fights, which leaves him in the fog of fighters unable to reach the promised land. Money may be the headline; but, years from now, legacy will be the tagline of this trilogy.
Is a perennial contender but never undisputed champion worthy of being considered an all-time great? Is a two-division champion who never successfully defended his gold one of the best to ever do it, or was he just a one-hit-wonder? Poirier vs. McGregor 3 will help clarify and solidify the legacy for both lightweights. Both men will enter the octagon for UFC 264. One will leave victorious, and, will likely soon have a title shot. Meanwhile, the other man will leave having lost the trilogy fight, and, possibly, his legacy.
Watch Conor McGregor vs. Dustin Poirier 3 and the complete UFC 264 fight card only on
UFC 264 Fight Card?
Saturday, July 10 – T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas
Main Card – 10:00 pm (ET) on ESPN+ PPV
- Dustin Poirier vs. Conor McGregor
- Gilbert Burns vs. Stephen Thompson
- Tai Tuivasa vs. Greg Hardy
- Irene Aldana vs. Yana Kunitskaya
- Sean O’Malley vs. Kris Moutinho
Prelims – 8:00 pm (ET) on ESPN+
- Carlos Condit vs. Max Griffin
- Niko Price vs. Michel Pereira
- Ryan Hall vs. Ilia Topuria
- Dricus du Plessis vs. Trevin Giles
Early Prelims – 6:00 pm (ET) on ESPN+
- Jennifer Maia vs. Jessica Eye
- Omari Akhmedov vs. Brad Tavares
- Zhalgas Zhumagulov vs. Jerome Rivera
- Alen Amedovski vs. Hu Yaozong
Michael Pounders is a high school English Teacher, a boxer himself, and is a fan who loves, gambles on, and nerds out about all things MMA.