What might be the biggest MMA fight of 2021 takes place on Saturday when Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor face off for the third time. Each man has a TKO win over the other. McGregor put Poirier away in the first round of a featherweight scrap in 2014. Earlier this year, Poirier evened the score with McGregor when he stopped the former two-division UFC champ in the second stanza. That contest, like Saturday’s UFC 264 main event, took place at 155 pounds.
The January loss put McGregor on the worst run of his professional career. The 32-year-old is 1-2 since 2018 with stoppage losses to Khabib Nurmagomedov and Poirier bookending a TKO win over Donald Cerrone.
Poirier, who has been far busier than his UFC 264 opponent, is 5-1 since 2018. The American fighters sole loss was a 2019 submission defeat to Nurmagomedov. That setback came after Poirier won the interim lightweight crown with a unanimous decision win over Max Holloway.
McGregor, who had been criticized for his focus on a potential boxing fight before his loss to Poirier, says he is all-in on MMA these days ahead of UFC 264.
“I’ve been busy flat out putting the work in,” said McGregor. “Full focus, fully immersed in mixed martial arts, it’s been nothing but mixed martial arts. So I’m ready to put on a show.”
As for Poirier, he is confident he’ll score another win over the Irish fighter.
“He’s not gonna let the fight unfold,” Poirier said. “I think as it unfolded and as I got more comfortable, he realized, ‘Oh, shit, this guy can really fight.’ If I was him, I would try to touch me early and keep me out of rhythm. Because if this thing starts to blossom into a fight: second, third, fourth, we start hurting in there, we start having to grind it out, we start getting a rhythm, I win that fight 10 out of 10 times.”
Below is a look at how Poirier and McGregor matchup in head-to-head-stats before UFC 264.
UFC 264: Poirier vs. McGregor head-to-head stats
|Sig. Strikes Landed Per Min.||5.59||5.32|
|Strikes Absorbed Per Minute||4.17||4.54|
|Takedown Avg./15 min||1.47||0.7|
|Submission Average Per 15 min||1.3||0|