Owen Roddy Breaks Down Poirier vs McGregor Rematch At UFC 257
Conor McGregor’s striking coach Owen Roddy predicts Dustin Poirier is going to struggle against his man when the two rematch in the UFC 257 main event on January 23rd.
McGregor beat Poirier via first round TKO the first time they met at UFC 178 in 2014. ‘The Diamond’ has come on leaps and bounds since the loss however, winning ten of his last thirteen fights, and bagging an interim lightweight title in the process. The Irishman has had his share of success too since their first meeting, winning the UFC featherweight and the lightweight championships.
While Poirier’s coach Mike Brown warned McGregor that his man is “a different animal” now, Roddy is confident that his fighter makes light work of the Louisiana native again.
In his last three fights – against Max Holloway, Khabib Nurmagomedov, and Dan Hooker – Poirier absorbed a total of 539 strikes, 18 more than he landed. That, Roddy told The Mac Life (as transcribed by MMA Fighting), isn’t a very encouraging statistic, especially when your opponent is a striker as precise and lethal as McGregor.
“He’s technically good,” Roddy said. “He’s [got] good hands, he’s tough, he’s durable and he sets a pace. I think it’s a combination of those things that’s allowed him to have that success. But he always gets rocked in every fight.
“People don’t punch like Conor. His opponents don’t punch like Conor. All Conor needs is a split second. A half an inch to see the shot, and once he bangs the shot, you’re going to be out. You’re going to be on wobbly legs, and if you’re on wobbly legs, it will be the next one that finishes you. Poirier gets hit an awful lot, so I believe it’s just a matter of time. When Conor hits him, how long can he last after that. Whether he goes to sleep straight or he toughs it out a little bit, but Conor has 25 minutes in there to land on the chin. For me, there’s serious odds.”
It took less than two minutes for McGregor to win their first fight, which was at featherweight. Their rematch at UFC 257 is at lightweight however, where Poirier has an impressive 10-2-1 record. In comparison, ‘The Notorious’ is 1-1 at 155lbs. But Roddy believes that Conor’s ability to find the shots is why he is confident the rematch ends the same way as their first fight.
“I always say this, it’s going to take Conor maybe a minute or so, two minutes and Conor could see the shot in ten seconds, you never know,” Roddy said. “But it might take Conor a couple of minutes to find a shot and land a shot. Once he lands the shot, Poirier’s either asleep or he’s out on his feet and then it’s only a matter of time before the second one lands. Whether it takes a couple of minutes or a round or two, Conor will find the shots.
“Conor has the best ability in the world to get the read of his opponents. You could bring somebody in that Conor has never seen before, never watched and you just watch Conor. He throws his shots out there, he feels it out, he records the reactions and then he finds the killer blow and then he lands. 99-percent of people don’t recover after that first shot so I see it going the exact same way.”
As for now, the rematch is a non-title bout, but both Poirier and McGregor’s head coach John Kavanagh have made their case for it to be for the UFC lightweight title, after Khabib announced his retirement after successfully defending his title against Justin Gaethje at UFC 254.
UFC president Dana White and Khabib are expected to meet in Abu Dhabi this month over the Dagestani’s fighting future, and it is quite possible that things might take a dramatic turn in the coming weeks.
Who do you think wins the UFC 257 main event between Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor?