Dustin Poirier is without question a world-class fighter and contender at 145 pounds, but at UFC 178, he ran into a hype train that never had any intention of slowing down.
Hype is a word commonly attached to success without comprehension. Despite only having three fights in the UFC, Conor McGregor still entered the cage as a prohibitive favorite over Poirier, a proven veteran.
If names weren’t attached, one would certainly confuse McGregor as a longtime superstar defending his position in the division against an up-and-comer. For months, McGregor-mania has been running wild, and Poirier figured he’d be the man to silence it all.
Unfortunately for Poirier, hype was revealed as truth on Saturday night, as McGregor proved to be every bit as good as advertised. He even finished the fight in the exact fashion and round he predicted weeks ago at the UFC 178 media day.
After enduring months of back-and-forth jawing, Poirier admitted to being “truly heartbroken” after losing to McGregor by TKO in the first round.
Taking to his social media on Friday night, Poirier explained why the rematch with McGregor means so much to him. Here’s what “The Diamond” wrote on his Twitter.
This rematch isn't about getting even. It's about getting where I belong. It is payback, but to myself.
I owe this victory to me.#PaidInFull
— The Diamond (@DustinPoirier) October 24, 2020
There certainly is some validity to what McGregor said in his post-fight interview with UFC commentator Joe Rogan about the traditional muay-thai stance growing stale in MMA circles. The concept of “human movement,” as McGregor calls it, adopts Bruce Lee’s ideology of a fighter having no technique and being formless.
Basic footwork and predictable offense was ultimately Poirier’s undoing in this fight. His ability to bounce back from such a devastating loss should tell a great deal about his MMA future.
Mcgregor vs Poirier at Welterweight or Lightweight?
In a tweet last week, McGregor’s coach, John Kavanagh, indicated the fight would take place at welterweight, saying “to see them hydrated & healthy at 170 will be fascinating.” That garnered a positive response from Poirier.
The issue, though? Both McGregor and Porier are vying for the same thing: a shot at the UFC lightweight title. Current champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, who fights Justin Gaethje this weekend at UFC 254, said he’d only give the winner a rematch if the fight took place at 155 pounds.
If Conor and Dustin Porier are under the impression that their rematch would take place at welterweight, perhaps they should think again.
That’s because UFC president Dana White made it very clear Wednesday where he stands.
“It’s 155 pounds,” White told BT Sport. “I’m not putting on a friggin’ multi-million dollar fight at a catchweight that means nothing. … That fight means nothing at 170.”
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