The first UFC PPV of 2021 is a big one with the return of the “Notorious” Conor McGregor to take on Dustin “The Diamond” Poirier at UFC 257 at the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi of the United Arab Emirates.
These two men collided in 2014 with McGregor scoring the first-round knockout over Poirier. Now, more than six years later, with championship belts having been around the waist of both men over that span, they are set to run it back. I’m going to outline three reasons why Dustin Poirier will beat Conor McGregor in the rematch.
Online sportsbook Sportsbook has listed the odds for the Conor McGregor vs Dustin Poirier rematch with McGregor listed as the -305 favorite and Poirier coming back at +235. I have done a full preview of the UFC 257 main card as well as an odds analysis for McGregor vs Poirier to offer further information regarding this fight.
McGregor vs Poirier Odds
Odds as of January 20 at Sportsbook
Also, be sure to check out Iain MacMillan’s article on Why Conor McGregor will beat Dustin Poirier.
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New to betting on the fights? Intrigued by some of the suggested reasons why Dustin Poirier will beat Conor McGregor? Be sure to check out our UFC betting guide to help get you in the action. Also, keep an eye on our UFC odds page for the latest up-to-date betting lines.
Fatigue Makes Cowards of Us All
Perhaps the biggest factor in why Dustin Poirier will beat Conor McGregor is the pace of the fight. The Diamond has been involved in some absolute dogfights recently, going five hard rounds with Max Holloway and Dan Hooker and even in his bout with Justin Gaethje in 2018, each of which saw Poirier with his hand raised.
Poirier has landed at least 150 significant strikes in three of his last five fights, while McGregor has landed more than 70 significant strikes just once. It’s no secret that McGregor has had issues with conditioning in the past, most notably in his losses to Nate Diaz and Khabib Nurmagomedov and in his boxing adventure with Floyd Mayweather.
I do think Conor has improved in this area, but if this should get to Round 3 or later, McGregor may be looking for a way out.
Leg Kicks, Leg Kicks, Leg Kicks
One of the things that makes McGregor such a dangerous striker is his wide stance, which allows him to be deceptive with his distances, and to move in and out of range quickly to land heavy but avoid damage coming back. A downfall of this stance is that it makes him more susceptible to leg kicks.
This has been a tactic used in the past against Conor, though only one fighter actually stuck to that game plan and that was Denis Siver in 2015. McGregor was a -950 favorite in that fight and although Siver essentially could do nothing with his punches, he landed 15 of 23 leg kicks, which caused the Irishman to change stances at times and start to trash talk to get under Siver’s skin.
Poirier doesn’t have devastating leg kicks by any means but he lands a high percentage of his attempts and that could be a tool to slow down McGregor’s fantastic movements.
The Unknown is Known
Poirier admitted that McGregor got into his head in their first fight and he went head hunting, which is a game you can’t play or you will be knocked out. Now that he has been in there and failed, he knows what to expect in the rematch.
In his more recent performances, he has looked very strong mentally, not breaking down when the going got tough. Notably, fighting Khabib Nurmagomedov in Abu Dhabi, Dustin landed a good shot in the second round and had a good submission attempt as well.
If the Diamond can survive the first two or three minutes of this fight, surely you’ll see his confidence grow. If he can get into one of his patented dogfights, making it a gritty, phone-booth style of bout, the mental games will be on.
We saw McGregor get into this type of war when he fought Nate Diaz in their rematch, which was back and forth before Conor ultimately got the majority-decision win. If this turns into a dogfight, I think Poirier would have the upper hand as he would be brimming with confidence and would start dictating the pace.