With a fight of this magnitude, it only seems appropriate that The Wolf dedicates a whole preview to this one match up. Here is The Wolf’s preview for Conor McGregor vs Dustin Poirier at UFC 257 this Sunday.
Check out The Wolf’s UFC 257 tips for the remainder of the card as well.
The Wolf has used this cliche plenty of times in the past but this will be the most anticipated fight in a very long time for MMA fans around the world. With the status of current Lightweight Champion Khabib Nurmagomedov unknown, the exact stakes of this fight are somewhat unclear but one thing we do know is, the winner of this fight will take the mantle as the unofficial #1 155lb fighter in the world (for now).
McGregor v Poirier Preview
Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier have a few things in common; they both own victories over ex-champions Eddie Alvarez and Max Holloway but more recently, were both demolished by Khabib two fights ago. They have both since atoned for their losses but in very different ways. Dustin fought Kiwi contender Dan Hooker to a strong unanimous decision victory, whilst Conor took a mere 40 seconds to dispatch of fan-favourite Donald Cerrone, overwhelming him with a head kick and follow up strikes.
Conor and Dustin faced each other back in September of 2014, with Conor getting the job done by way of knockout in less than two minutes. Both fighters have dramatically evolved and improved since then, so a similar result isn’t exactly a given.
Dustin has continued to improve his striking game over the years, showing he can stand with the very best in the division. He handed Max Holloway his first lost in 5 years at UFC 236 (although Max was coming up in weight) and he knocked out Justin Gaethje in April of 2018, who would have to be considered one of the most feared strikers at 155lb.
Conor McGregor has spent the last seven years in the Octagon on a meteoric rise, combining flashy suits, trash talk and heavy hands to create an image for himself as the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world. He is blessed with knockout power that most fighters can only dream of and has continuously improved his grappling and takedown defence to a point where it took Khabib four rounds to put him away. In addition to this, he is always showing new facets to his game, as seen against Cowboy Cerrone. He came out of the blocks firing, surprising Cerrone with a rarely seen shoulder strike and following that up with a left head kick, which caused an end to proceedings not long after.
Stylistically, this is a very intriguing fight. Both are natural Southpaws but fight in very different ways. Dustin prefers a pressure style of striking, moving forward and pouring the strikes on whereas Conor has traditionally done his best work as a counter-striker, looking for openings and then uncorking his dynamite left hand. The interesting thing to note here is that despite the differences in their styles, statistically they are very similar. Both fighters land 49% of their strikes as Significant Strikes, they absorb a similar amount of strikes per minute and Dustin lands a marginally higher strikes per minute at 5.59, compared to Conor with 5.43. The Wolf could go on about their grappling and takedown stats but let’s be honest, this fight isn’t going to the ground.
McGregor v Poirier Tips
This form of Dustin Poirier is a very different version to the one who was knocked out by Conor six years ago. He has proven himself as one of the premier fighters not only in the division but in the entire UFC. With that being said, Conor is a different beast altogether. He is clearly best known for his knockout power but the way he goes about creating those opportunities is just as impressive. He uses his footwork, distance management and timing to find openings better than just about anyone else in the UFC.
This should be a more competitive fight than their first encounter and should last at least a few rounds. Dustin is as tough as they come and won’t stop coming forward but that might ultimately what brings him undone. Conor McGregor to get the win by KO is The Wolf’s tip but look to the round markets for some extra value.
Check out Sportsbet’s full range of McGregor v Poirier odds.