In January Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier are slated to clash in a rematch of their 2014 contest at UFC 178. The Irishman won that bout by first round TKO after catching Poirier with a clubbing left hand.
If you believe McGregor’s boxing coach, Phil Sutcliffe of Crumlin Boxing Club, the same thing could happen again at UFC 257.
McGregor’s own The MacLife site interviewed Sutcliffe recently and got his take on Poirier’s boxing skills. McGregor’s man wasn’t impressed, to say the least.
“Skill-wise, no [I’m not impressed by Poirier],” said Sutcliffe (ht MMA Junkie). “Toughness, yes. I know Conor knocked him early, but Conor’s (got) too much boxing ability. Poirier comes straight at you, his arms are wide open.”
“Conor will be able to get his shots or his kicks or anything in there like he did the last time,” continued Sutfliffe. “Now hopefully he’s more powerful now than he was. Conor’s more powerful now and so will the other guy be a little more powerful because he’s had to put on a bit of weight.”
Sutcliffe did offer a backhand compliment to Poirier in saying he didn’t think it would be an “easy fight” for McGregor. But he then reiterated that his fighter would be victorious on January 23 thanks to an improvement in both power and technique.
“He’s stronger now than he was the last time he fought him,” claimed Sutcliffe. “Conor hits very, very hard, but precise with technique. He hits with precision.”
Only one of McGregor’s UFC wins came via anything other than TKO/KO (a majority decision over Nate Diaz at UFC 202 in 2016). After knocking out Poirier in their first clash he stopped Dennis Siver and Chad Mendes on route to a UFC featherweight title fight with Jose Aldo. McGregor won that bout with a famous 13-second KO.
Despite what Sutcliffe says, Poirier is certainly no slouch on the feet. 12 of his 33 career wins have come by TKO/KO. In the UFC he holds stoppages over Eddie Alvarez, Justin Gaethje, Bobby Green and Carlos Diego Ferreira.
After his loss to McGregor Poirier went 10-2 (1 NC) and earned a UFC lightweight title fight with Khabib Nurmagomedov. Poirier lost that fight by submission, but was successful last time out — beating Dan Hooker by unanimous decision in June.