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Why Conor McGregor will Beat Dustin Poirier

Just one year and five days after Conor McGregor finished Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone in a mere 40 seconds, the Irishman will return to the UFC Octagon. This time he’s facing Dustin Poirier in a rematch of a 2014 bout in which McGregor TKO’d Poirier in less than two minutes.

I am here to convince you why Conor McGregor will once again get his hand raised on Saturday night at UFC 257. While it might not be difficult to convince you that a -315 favorite will win a fight, maybe this will convince you to get even more aggressive with your McGregor bet.

Beating a man he already demolished shouldn’t be much of a question, especially given the psychological advantage that McGregor has. Also, are we really convinced that Poirier has improved enough since their 2014 tilt?

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If you want to try to be convinced that Poirier is worth a shot as a +245 underdog, check out Scott Hastings’ article.

McGregor vs Poirier Odds

FighterOdds
Conor McGregor-315
Dustin Poirier+245

Odds as of January 20 at Bovada

Without any further delay, here are the three reasons why Conor McGregor WILL defeat Dustin Poirier at UFC 257.

History Will Repeat Itself on Saturday Night

I like to spend my time nowadays writing tweets and giving hot takes in front of a camera for Odds Shark, but when I first started out with the site, I’d write the occasional article. One of the articles I wrote was a deep dive into rematch betting statistics in the UFC.

Now that I’ve moved on from writing articles (I like to make a special exception when McGregor fights), the article is long outdated but its substance is still relevant. You can check out the article here.

As I said, the numbers aren’t up to date, but I can almost guarantee the profit margins will be relatively the same. Numbers don’t lie. When there’s a rematch in the UFC, betting on the fighter who won the original bout is profitable over the long term.

From the beginning of the UFC up until August 2019 when I wrote the article, betting on the winner of the first fight in the rematch yielded a record of 42-19 for a profit of $1,291.10 based on $100 bets.

This shows us that without even diving into the actual fight matchup, betting on McGregor in this spot is mathematically the correct move to make. Don’t forget that McGregor is also 1-0 in rematch fights in his career, beating Nate Diaz in the return engagement after being submitted by Diaz at UFC 196.

Long gone are the days where a rematch with fellow Irishman Joe Duffy seemed possible, but maybe here’s hoping we see a rematch with Max Holloway at some point. Regardless, McGregor is 1-0 in his career in rematch bouts.

McGregor’s a Master of Psychological Warfare

Yes, Dustin Poirier is more aware of McGregor’s skill this time around. Yes, Dustin Poirier will try to keep his emotions more in check than they were in 2014. Yes, Dustin Poirier has grown and matured as a fighter.

Despite all of that, there’s nothing you can say that will convince me that Poirier won’t be having flashbacks to that sultry night in September when McGregor bounced his head off the bloodied canvas.

It’s one thing to face a man who’s already defeated you, but to face a man who laughed in your face for weeks on end and then finished you in less than two minutes in the most embarrassing performance of your life is a whole different thing.

Rest assured, McGregor will once again enter the cage doing his billionaire strut. You can also guarantee he’ll stretch his arms out wide and seemingly embrace the energy of the crowd. Fighting Conor McGregor is a spectacle that has frozen the toughest fighters on the planet and I don’t think jumping on that ride for a second go-around will be any easier.

If Poirier does somehow manage to overcome the anxiety of this rematch and come out of it victorious, it may just be one of the greatest feats in the history of sports psychology.

Are We Sure that Dustin Poirier has Improved Enough?

The narration echoed by everyone who thinks “The Diamond” will get his hand raised this time around is that he’s improved by leaps and bounds since their last fight and that he’ll look completely different in the rematch.

Is that true, though? Are we sure?

Yes, he has an impressive record of 10-2 (one no contest) since their original bout, but one of those two losses came via KO to Michael Johnson. Yes, THAT Michael Johnson. The Michael Johnson who has gone just 2-6 since he beat Poirier.

Sure, his boxing might be better and he seems to fit much better at lightweight compared to featherweight, but do people forget that McGregor has also improved in this time frame? Do they think he’s just been sitting around and smoking cigars for the past six years? McGregor has had some astounding performances in that period, including complete demolitions of Jose Aldo, Eddie Alvarez and Donald Cerrone.

Finally, don’t forget that Poirier needs to have improved A LOT to catch up to McGregor. It’s not like the first bout was a tightly contested fight that came down to the wire and a small improvement by Poirier could give him the edge. Their first fight was nothing short of a beatdown, so Poirier would have had to improve considerably to catch up to and then surpass McGregor’s skill set. I just don’t think he’s there.

As Daniel Cormier says, “There are levels to this game,” and I just don’t think these two fighters are on an even playing ground. McGregor gets past Poirier with ease once again on Saturday night.