Artem Lobov Says Conor McGregor Overlooked Dustin Poirier At UFC 257
Artem Lobov is confident that former two-division UFC champion Conor McGregor gets the job done in his trilogy fight against Dustin Poirier in the UFC 264 main event.
McGregor came out on top in their first meeting at UFC 178 in 2014, when he stopped Poirier in less than two minutes. While ‘The Diamond’ got his revenge at UFC 257 in January, winning by second-round TKO.
McGregor Overlooked Poirier
In the UFC 257 post-fight press conference, McGregor admitted that Poirier was the better man on the night. Lobov however, believes he only has himself to blame for the loss. Speaking to BJPenn.com, ‘The Russian Hammer’ said that ‘The Notorious’ went into the rematch overconfident.
“To be honest, it wasn’t like he wasn’t fully focused or anything, he just didn’t give Dustin the respect he deserved,” Lobov said. “He was more thinking about boxing Manny [Pacquiao] after the fight and was getting ready for that, as Conor saw that as the challenge and Dustin was just going to be a warmup fight. Obviously, it didn’t work out that way. Dustin did his homework and improved a lot.”
Although McGregor landed the better shots in the first round, Poirier’s leg kicks slowly but surely sealed the deal for him in the rematch. Come UFC 264 though, Lobov said that the former interim champion’s trump card won’t work a second time, and his SBG teammate will stop him in the first round.
“To be honest with you, if you look at the second fight, it was developing how the first fight went. That is what I expected,” Lobov said. “The only thing that made a difference where the leg kicks. It wasn’t like he wasn’t training to defend leg kicks, but those kicks are very unique. When you spar in training and you wear shin pads you don’t feel those kicks and you lift your leg to check.
“However, in the fight, that doesn’t work anymore. Conor is now aware of that and I see the fight going how it already was going and the way the first fight went and I see Conor stopping Dustin early in this fight, I see Conor stopping Dustin in the first round.”
According to Lobov, McGregor still has has his eye on the Pacquiao fight. But he intends to reclaim the UFC lightweight crown first.
“He wants that belt now to recapture it again,” Lobov said. “The belt makes the Manny Pacquiao fight bigger.”
Should McGregor Part Ways With SBG Ireland?
Head coach John Kavanagh and boxing trainer Owen Roddy came under fire in the UFC 257 aftermath, with many fans suggesting that McGregor needs to switch camps. Lobov however doesn’t think there’s any chance that the Dublin native parts ways with his longtime trainers.
“Absolutely, he would never leave them, he’s a loyal guy,” Lobov said. “But, the main thing is as well, hold on, guys, you mean leave the coach that helped him become the first-ever two-weight world champion? You mean that coach? The coach that helped him achieve something that nobody has achieved before. Is that the coach you want him to leave? Come on now. Yeah, this is a f***ing tough game of course.
“We all talked about this. Sometimes Conor maybe wasn’t committed, wasn’t training as hard as he should have. We know what the issues are. It has nothing to do with the coaches. Now, he’s committed again, he’s training all the time, and he’s with the right people. John Kavanagh knows his every move. To switch coaches, if I were to switch coaches, I wouldn’t fight for two years then. You need two years to really understand the coach.”
McGregor has been training in Dubai for his rubber match with Poirier, which Lobov said will help him prepare with minimal distractions.
“Unfortunately, I won’t be able to spar Conor because him and John Kavanagh and the whole main camp are away in Dubai, training,” Lobov said. “That is where the camp set with all the restrictions it was easier to do it there… We will get it done, I have no doubt that Conor will get the win and I will bring another win as well July 24th.”
Do you think Conor McGregor will come out on top in his trilogy fight with Dustin Poirier at UFC 264?