Just over 40 days remain before we get a definitive conclusion in the Conor McGregor vs. Dustin Poirier trilogy, and McGregor has his sights set on repeating his 2014 first-round knockout of the American.
The two fierce rivals will meet for a third time in the featured bout at July 10’s UFC 164 in Las Vegas, and with the scores currently tied at one win apiece and a probable title shot being awarded to the winner, it is clear that there will be a lot more than just bragging rights up for grabs.
Poirier pulled off a stunning upset in their fight in January, becoming the first fighter in mixed martial arts to finish the Irishman by strikes – and both men know that any repeat of his will likely bring a semi-permanent end to McGregor status as a legitimate title challenger in the UFC’s shark-tank 155lbs division.
But McGregor has never been one to pull his punches, either figuratively or literally, and took to social media to remind fans (and his opponent) of what happened the first time both men met each other in the center of a UFC cage (hint: zoom in on his sunglasses).
The image you see reflected in the Dubliner’s shades is that of his finish of Poirier in their battle at UFC 178, and the exact moment where McGregor made good on his pre-fight prophecy of “bouncing” Poirier’s head off the canvas.
Of course, similar soothsaying went unfulfilled in January’s rematch where his prediction of a knockout of the American fighter within the first 60 seconds of the first round came and went.
Once again though, McGregor is predicting a flawless performance.
“July 10th I will do this absolutely flawlessly. We have these clowns sussed and fully!” he recently noted on social media.
“They wanna play a game of tactics? No problem, see you in there. You’ve awoken a beast. A beast with the backing of a much higher power! Say your prayers.”
Poirier, too, is in confident form as he looks to secure what would be his second opportunity at the undisputed UFC lightweight title after losing to Khabib Nurmagomedov in 2019.
“On July 10 I’m going to get my hand raised and I’m going to finish Conor McGregor again,” he told ESPN.
Something has got to give. Exactly what that will be, we find out in six weeks’ time.