The Dustin Poirier vs. Conor McGregor trilogy bout happens this Saturday at UFC 264 and it’s a fight that has left many fighters and experts divided.
Poirier knocked out McGregor in the second round of their lightweight main event bout at UFC 257 in January in what proved to be a stunning upset. “The Diamond” entered that fight as a sizable +250 underdog and odds for Poirier to win by KO/TKO were as high as +705 at some bookmakers.
The result was unexpected as many believed that McGregor’s boxing ability would allow him to control striking exchanges at close distance but that simply wasn’t the case as Poirier destroyed McGregor’s lead leg with damaging calf kicks before outworking him with punches, as well.
How to watch Poirier vs. McGregor 3
Poirier vs. McGregor 3 is the main event of the UFC 264 PPV this Saturday night. The only way to watch the fight live in the United States is via ESPN+.
The UFC 264 &
Dustin Poirier vs. Conor McGregor 3 predictions
“I see Conor maybe winning this one. I see him making the adjustments and winning but regardless I don’t think either one of them has the complete game to beat somebody like Charles. With Charles, you gotta be on your P’s and Q’s the whole time and you gotta have the skill behind it. I think Dustin has had a lot of fights and he has kind of come into his own but I think he’s coming into sort of a plateau period where he kind of does what he does but there are no new wrinkles added to his game. You gotta do something new.”
“I think it’s a pick ’em. I think Conor, of course, will be ready for the leg kicks. I don’t know if he’ll ever get himself conditioned enough to be ready for Dustin’s sprints, his go-again, and go-agains. The way he does that, it’s a beautiful way of fighting and it’s unique to him. It’s hard to get ready for inside of the gym without getting in real fistfights, real wars. He does that so well. He’s going to put those sprints on Conor and Conor’s conditioning needs to be ready for it.
“Outside of the kicks and the sprints, whoever wants that strap the most… and Dustin’s never tasted it, he’s never got the real belt. I’ll have to always go with the guy who hasn’t tasted it yet. Conor’s tasted the life, the hundreds of millions, he’s tasted the straps, all of it. There’s something deep down in Dustin Poirier, Justin Gaethje… There’s a deep-down desire in these guys who haven’t tasted it and you kind of lean it over to their way.”
“I think it’s the same as the second fight. I think it’s a 50-50 fight. I think that Dustin Poirier should be the favorite. I think that’s rightfully so. However, what I do know about Conor is that he’s very intelligent and everybody can make mistakes and I do think he got too into boxing, you know, you can’t perfect both. You can’t be perfect in both. And when you fight Dustin you’ve gotta be perfect.
“I think he had got a little too distracted by the money in boxing and all of that and he thought ‘you know, if I have the great hands, I’ll beat him in that department,’ but then he got the legs kicked off him. If he can fix that calf kick, this goes back to a 50-50 fight. He looked great in the first round and I thought this might be an early night and he might get it done. But it’s a coinflip, it really is a coinflip.
“I think McGregor got a wake-up call and I think McGregor now understands what he’s going to do. I think we got McGregor in there. I think it’s going to be the same thing as the McGregor vs. Diaz II. He’ll inch it by a little bit and win by decision.”
“Man, this is a tough one. Everyone is saying Poirier but I’m thinking McGregor gets it. I think he’s going to be tuned in for this fight, you know what I mean? It’s hard to doubt that guy, I feel.”
“I’m going to go with Dustin. I wasn’t sure with the first one but after seeing that fight and having that confidence going into the last fight, I think Dustin’s going to take that.”
“You know what? I think Poirier gets it done again. I really do. I think he wants it more. We’ll see if McGregor has changed his mental outlook on the fight, but I feel like back when he didn’t have anything he was a lot more hungry. This is more just cash another paycheck, a little show and face and that’s pretty much it. But who knows? He’s always come back and won on rematches. You can never rule him out, he’s electric in there but I think Poirier gets it done.”
“I’ll go with Conor. I think Conor is a world championship-level fighter and it’s not for nothing that he was double-champ and beat a lot of great fighters. So, I think Dustin is also a great fighter but I don’t think he’s also in that caliber. I think that winning that fight doesn’t make him a better fighter than Conor and history shows like that Conor has the belts at home.”
“I’m rooting for him [Dustin Poirier]. You know, Conor is definitely going to make some adjustments and come back and I’m sure we’ll see a different version of him that’s going to be dangerous but I’d really love to see Dustin win again. I love who he is as a person with all his charity work and how he carries himself — I’m super proud of that guy.”
“I feel like Dustin has been through a lot of wars, he’s been battle-tested through all his fights. If you think about it, during the pandemic he was… [fighting] Dan Hooker, he’s been putting the work in and the hours into it and Conor hasn’t been as active in this game. The more active you are the better you may be.
“In the first fight, obviously, Conor got it. In the second fight, Conor was lighting him up, and obviously, then Dustin with the leg kicks, the calf kicks, was able to come back and turn the fight around. It all depends on how Conor approaches this fight. Is he going to work on all aspects of mixed martial arts and not worry about striking? Or is he going to be fluent like he was the first time? It all just depends on who shows up.”
“That’s a tough one but I think I’ll ride with Poirier in that fight. Just watching the last fight, the adjustments he made mid-fight with the calf kicks, and was able to find the knockout to end that fight, I think he just, I don’t know, he’s in a good place all-around to go out there and win that one.”
“What happened last time, it’s really easy to go with Poirier, you know. I like his style, I don’t root against him very often, so I want to go with him but I feel like Conor will come and bring something new. You know what? I’m going to go with Poirier. I’m trying to be as unbiased as possible, but I think what it is, is that Poirier has improved a lot since the last fight. He’s a strong guy, really good technique, very mission-focused in his fight, you see him going for different things, specifically. I don’t think his opponent sees it as much as we see it on the other side.
“With that being said, I think Conor is going to rely on trying to knock him out. I don’t think he’s going to come in there and try to outwork, outperform and outstrike him in the same way, as he’d think of just finishing him by knock out. I think he’s going to come out there and try to knock him out to prove his dominance as opposed to just dominating the whole way. And Poirier’s coming to dominate every round, so I’m going to go with Poirier on that one.”
“I would go Dustin again. I think now that he’s found his rhythm. I think Conor will be a lot different in how he approaches the third one but I think he’s kind of so set in his ways of how he fights, even if he had been leaning back setting up the left hand, that would actually make you more susceptible to those calf kicks. Maybe the impact doesn’t stack up as much because you don’t have as much weight on them but I think now that he sees that he’ll hunt it even more and be more comfortable in there.”
“If Conor comes back as MMA Conor, it’s going to be Conor. If he goes back on that boxing stuff and Conor forgets about the legs and his true self, I think Dustin might take it.”
“To be honest, I didn’t believe in Dustin [last time]. I was telling people I think Conor would win and this would happen. So, this time, I need to stay behind Dustin because he’s my teammate and we train together at the same gym. Last time, I fucked up. But now, I’m behind Dustin.”
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Jake Nichols is The Body Lock's Editor in Chief. Previously, he was the MMA Editor at RealSport.