Dustin Poirier has been warned Conor McGregor can "shut off his lights very, very rapidly" ahead of their upcoming rematch at UFC 257.
The pair are due to face off at UFC Fight Camp in Abu Dhabi on January 23 – more than six years since their last meeting in the Octagon.
McGregor won their last clash less than two minutes into their bout at UFC 178, following up on a strong left-hand before the referee stepped in to save Poirier from further damage.
While Poirier, 31, has had several big-name match-ups since, McGregor's long-time coach John Kavanagh feels previous events will still loom large over the American.
"I think you can spend a lifetime going to sports psychologists and talking to this person and that person; that’s not going to have been erased from his mind,” Kavanagh recently told TheMacLife.
“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."
Poirier has only lost twice in 13 bouts since he last fought McGregor, who has the same number of defeats from five less fights.
Both men were beaten by retired unbeaten lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov by submission, but Poirier's other defeat came more than four years ago.
Since then he has racked up impressive wins over the likes of Justin Gaethje, Anthony Pettis, Eddie Alvarez and a title win against Max Holloway prior to be dethroned by Khabib.
He also has the advantage of fighting McGregor at a higher weight this time out, with the 155 pounds limit more suitable, but there is no doubt he is still the underdog.
Who will win between McGregor and Poirier? Have your say below.
“I think (Poirier) has definitely gotten better,” Kavanagh said. “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 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."
Source: Read Full Article