Conor McGregor is determined to prove that lightning doesn’t strike twice in the UFC octagon after he confirmed that his July 10 rubber match against Dustin Poirier is on, telling fans that he will show them “what Mac is about.”
Just hours after Dustin Poirier inked his deal for the UFC 264 trilogy fight, McGregor followed suit early on Saturday to seal the second sequel in their long-running rivalry.
The rematch will come just months after Poirier became the first man in either mixed martial arts or boxing to finish McGregor by strikes in his career, after his successful strategy of pummeling the notorious Dubliner with a salvo of calf kicks in their fight in January paid dividends en route to a second-round TKO finish.
McGregor employed a boxing-heavy approach in their last meeting, heavily leaning on his front foot in a tactic offering Poirier the opportunity to unleash the barrage of low kicks which McGregor later said rendered him all but immobile in the cage.
But as he did in his rematch with Nate Diaz in 2016, McGregor says he plans on once again becoming the master of reinvention, promising to “adjust and absolutely f**king destroy” the Louisiana native when they cross paths one last time this summer.
“The fight is booked!” McGregor announced on Twitter. “July 10th you’re gonna see what the Mac is about. Adjust and absolutely f**king destroy!“
Make sure you don’t get dropped like a Saturday coupon this time
— killerzombies1 (@killerzombies14) April 3, 2021
It remains to be seen what adjustments McGregor and his coach, John Kavanagh, will attempt to implement this time around – but it stands to reason that the boxing-only game plan will at the very least be modified to allow for Poirier’s fight-ending calf kicks to be neutralized.
In the second Diaz fight, for example, McGregor abandoned the head-hunting approach with which he extinguished his own energy levels in their first encounter for a more measured approach in which he targeted the Californian’s legs, in turn allowing openings for McGregor’s laser-sighted left hand.
How can he talk such a good game when he keeps getting beat up 🤣
— Sweens (@Sween_JP6) April 3, 2021
Don’t lose. Your career probably depends on it.
— Anthony (@Torgrude45) April 3, 2021
What was perhaps most noticeable, however, was that the January iteration of the Irishman was perhaps the most hittable we have ever seen him in the UFC cage.
Gone was the fleet-of-foot that flummoxed Eddie Alvarez in Madison Square Garden, when McGregor became the UFC’s first ever dual-weight champion, to be replaced by the more plodding approach against which Poirier was more than happy to counter.
With McGregor’s future title ambitions likely hinging directly on the outcome of whatever happens in the cagein July, this may just be the most pivotal fight of his entire career.