On October 6, in the main event of UFC 229, undefeated UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov will attempt to defend his title against the sport’s biggest star, former lightweight and featherweight champion Conor McGregor. While nothing is set in stone just yet, the winner of this fight could then defend the title against surging contender Dustin Poirier.
Given that Dustin Poirier could be the next man in line for the Nurmagomedov vs. McGregor winner, he’ll be watching with keen interest. So who does he think will win?
He’s leaning toward the reigning champ, Khabib Nurmagomedov.
“I’m kinda leaning toward Khabib,” Poirier said Monday on The MMA Hour (transcript via MMA Fighting) “I just don’t know if he’s going to stop Conor or whatnot, but I’m thinking he’s going to get the victory.”
While Dustin Poirier is leaning in the direction of Nurmagomedov, he’s certainly not confident in that prediction. He knows full well that McGregor possesses fight-altering power, having previously felt it himself.
“I mean, [McGregor] has a huge chance,” Poirier said. “He’s got great timing, [he’s a] great judge of distance. We’ll just see if the takedown defense holds up and the cardio holds up. That’s all he has to do. The openings will be there, but he just has to stand the test of the wrestling and the conditioning, the physical part that Khabib’s going to put on early in the fight.”
Interestingly, Dustin Poirier also doesn’t believe that ring rust will be a factor for McGregor, who has not competed in MMA since November of 2016 when he knocked out Eddie Alvarez to win the UFC lightweight title.
“It’s all a mindset, really,” Poirier said. “Once you get your rhythm down, your timing, everything else falls into place.”
What do you think of this prediction from Dustin Poirier?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 8/12/2018.