Who will win McGregor vs Poirier 3 at UFC 264?
McGregor vs Poirier 3 fight is scheduled to take place at UFC 264 on July 10, 2021. An upcoming trilogy bout between the two will put an end to the rivalry between “The Notorious” and “The Diamond” which started all the way back in 2014. If you are wondering how much it would cost you to watch McGregor vs Poirier 3 pay-per-view, make sure to check out this article.
Before we do a breakdown and give our predictions on who will win McGregor vs Poirier 3 fight at UFC 264, let’s take a look back at what happened in the first two fights between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier.
McGregor vs Poirier 1
The first fight between Conor and Dustin took place at UFC 178 in 2014. At the time, McGregor and Poirier competed as featherweights at 145 lbs. Prior to UFC 178, “The Notorious” was 3-0 in the UFC while Poirier was heading into the fight with a UFC record of 8 wins and 2 losses while riding a 3-fight winning streak. Both fighters were considered as two of the most promising and talented youngsters in the featherweight division.
The first bout between McGregor and Poirier did not last long. Conor was very effective with his striking early in the fight and he knocked out Dustin in less than 2 minutes. This knockout victory earned “The Notorious” “Performance of the Night” bonus.
Following this fight, Conor also beat Dennis Siver, won the interim UFC featherweight title against Chad Mendes, and defeated Jose Aldo to unify the UFC featherweight championship.
For Dustin Poirier, a fight against McGregor at UFC 178 was his last at 145 lbs as afterward he moved up to the lightweight division where he has been competing since then to this date.
McGregor vs Poirier 2
A rematch between Conor and Dustin took place earlier this year at UFC 257 on January 23rd.
The betting odds for McGregor vs Poirier 2 opened at -175 McGregor as a betting favorite and Poirier as +150 underdog. Public was heavily betting on McGregor which lead to him closing at -340 (you risk $340 to win $100) and the odds on Poirier to win went up as high as +210.
Nevertheless, Dustin Poirier was able to beat Conor McGregor in a rematch despite the long odds. “The Notorious” was hoping for a quick finish and he landed some very good shots in the first round but “The Diamond” stayed composed and landed very good combos of his own. Poirier surprised McGregor with nasty calf kicks which made a huge impact on the direction of this fight. Dustin landed 9 calf kicks in the first round and 9 more in the second prior to getting the finish via technical knockout.
Who will win McGregor vs Poirier 3?
Now that we know how the first two fights between McGregor and Poirier played out, let’s break down their upcoming trilogy bout at UFC 264.
McGregor vs Poirier 3 will take place just 6 months after their second fight. Poirier dominated McGregor at UFC 257 – thanks to a great game plan which involved calf kicks (that Conor was not prepared for) but it doesn’t mean that the same strategy will be as effective on July, 10th.
No doubt – Conor will address these calf kicks and he will find an answer to this dangerous weapon. Which means that Dustin will have to come up with something new to surprise “The Irishman” once again. Poirier could take a heavier wrestling/grappling approach to this fight but he already tried taking McGregor down 6 months ago and despite getting a takedown, he did not have an advantage against Conor on the ground. Instead, it seemed like Dustin wasted a lot of energy and was gassing out trying to grapple McGregor.
A lot of people believe that McGregor has a weak ground game simply based on the fact that he was dominated by Khabib Nurmagomedov, when in reality, his defensive grappling is pretty good which is the reason why he lasted past 3 rounds against the Dagestani champ (unlike Poirier and Gaethje). It is very unlikely that we will see a lot of grappling in the McGregor vs Poirier trilogy because neither fighter has a strong offensive ground game as they both do their best work striking on their feet.
If we strictly compare McGregor’s and Poirier’s striking, Conor is a stronger and more technical striker between the two. McGregor is also a far superior counter-puncher than Poirier. Even in the fight that he lost at UFC 257, “The Notorious” had some very good moments in the first round and he was landing serious shots. Dustin was able to eat those shots well and they did not seem to have as much effect on him in the second fight but it would be a big mistake for Poirier to rely too much on his chin. McGregor has some serious power in his hands and if he finds his timing and connects, he will only need one shot to put Poirier away.
Another path for McGregor’s victory here would be to mix things up and use more calf kicks, kicks to the body, and head kicks which could be a game changer at UFC 264. Conor has great boxing skills for MMA but he has been relying on his hands way too much since his boxing match against Floyd Mayweather. McGregor has some flashy karate and taekwondo kicks in his arsenal which include spinning back kicks, crescent kicks, side kicks to the body, and roundhouse kicks.