Artem Lobov believes Conor McGregor overlooked Dustin Poirier back in January at UFC 257.
Although Lobov says McGregor was focused on the fight, he says he was also preparing to box Manny Pacquiao which was a done deal. With that, Lobov says McGregor didn’t give Poirier the respect he deserved as he expected to be able to walk through him.
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“Absolutely and to be honest, it wasn’t like he wasn’t fully focused or anything, he just didn’t give Dustin the respect he deserved,” Lobov said on Just Scrap Radio on BJPENN.com. “He was more thinking about boxing Manny after the fight and was getting ready for that as Conor saw that as the challenge and Dustin was just going to be a warmup fight. Obviously, it didn’t work out that way. Dustin did his homework and improved a lot.”
After McGregor suffered the loss at UFC 257 to Poirier, both men called for the trilogy to happen. It will take place in the main event of UFC 264 on July 10 and Lobov expects McGregor to do much better with the calf kicks and find the KO. He also says Poirier not having nearly two days to rehydrate due to when they weighed in and fought in Abu Dhabi will also impact the trilogy.
“To be honest with you, if you look at the second fight, it was developing how the first fight went. That is what I expected,” Lobov said about McGregor-Poirier 3. “The only thing that made a difference where the leg kicks. It wasn’t like he wasn’t training to defend leg kicks, but those kicks are very unique. When you spar in training and you wear shin pads you don’t feel those kicks and you lift your leg to check. However, in the fight, that doesn’t work anymore. Conor is now aware of that and I see the fight going how it already was going and the way the first fight went and I see Conor stopping Dustin early in this fight, I see Conor stopping Dustin in the first round.”
If McGregor does get the stoppage win over Poirier, Lobov says the Irishman wants the title shot. He says McGregor is focused on recapturing the belt which would then set up the boxing match with Manny Pacquiao.
“He wants that belt now to recapture it again,” Lobov concluded. “The belt makes the Manny Pacquiao fight bigger.”
Do you agree with Artem Lobov that Conor McGregor will KO Dustin Poirier?