Coach John Kavanagh wants the MMA community to remember that Dustin Poirier has already felt Conor McGregor’s knockout power in the past.
McGregor and Poirier meet for the second time next month at UFC 257 on UFC Fight Island. The first time these two fought was back in September 2014 at UFC 178. That fight was almost seven years ago and it was down at featherweight. Both men are different fighters now and both are now fighting up at lightweight. It’s why some analysts believe that Poirier has a much better chance to win the rematch this time.
Speaking to The Mac Life a few weeks away from UFC 257, McGregor’s long-time coach Kavanagh gave his thoughts on the matchup against Poirier. Kavanagh agreed that Poirier has shown improvements in his game, but he believes that will all go out the window once McGregor catches him with a big shot and he feels his KO power.
“I think (Poirier) has definitely gotten better. There’s a few more takedown attempts now in his fights. I hadn’t seen it before – he has a good guillotine. We can see that. Then his volume and his conditioning is looking on point. You can see in his fights he has an ability to take a lot of punishment and still come forward. Pick any of the last few fights to see that quality. However, he’s fighting a different animal than any of those guys: somebody with true, one-punch knockout power that he’s already felt,” Kavanagh said (h/t MMAjunkie.com).
“He knows that he is facing somebody who can shut off his lights very, very rapidly and now is a lot more powerful and a lot more experienced than he was even then, so it’s a tough, uphill battle for Dustin.”
This is certainly going to be an interesting rematch. Like Kavanagh suggested, Poirier has the ability to implement grappling into his gameplan along with his striking attack. But just like back at UFC 178, Kavanagh doesn’t see the rematch ending well for Poirier considering the KO power that McGregor possesses. The betting odds for McGregor vs. Poirier 2 were released a few months back with McGregor as the betting favorite and the odds remain that way, though there will certainly be some bettors who decided to ignore Kavanagh’s take and back Poirier.
Do you agree with John Kavanagh that Conor McGregor still has the upper hand in the rematch against Dustin Poirier?