Conor McGregor will face Dustin Poirier for the second time on January 23 in UFC 257's main event in Abu Dhabi. While McGregor enjoys much of the favoritism for the fight - according to critics and analysts, we decided to scrutinize the duel round by round.
There are a lot of numbers in this one, so bear with us. Here are the figures:
Conor McGregor has had 26 fights in his career, 22 of which he won. However, only seven of these victories came in a five-rounder bout.
Poirier, a more experienced fighter, has entered the octagon 33 times. He left victorious in 22 opportunities, of which only six were in the main event bout.
So with all of this information, let's take a closer look at who is likelier to win the highly anticipated fight at each round.
Who's likelier to win the first round: Conor McGregor
The explosive Conor McGregor has a clear advantage in the first round, conquering most of his wins in the first few minutes of his fights.
A remarkable 67% of McGregor's wins came during the first round - his most famous one against Jose Aldo included. That is 14 victories for the Irishman even before the bell rings for the first time.
Dustin Poirier is not too far behind - the first round is also the American's favorite stage. 46% of The Diamond's wins have come before the end of the first five minutes.
However, when compared to Conor McGregor's performance, that is a clear disadvantage for Poirier. In fact, in their previous encounter, The Notorious One did not need more than two minutes to send Poirier to the canvas.
Who's likelier to win the second round: Conor McGregor
In the second round, the difference between the two gets slightly closer. Both Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier are early round fighters, conquering the majority of their victories in the first two rounds of a fight.
However, McGregor's agility still leaves the Irishman with the advantage. With six wins - 27%, against Poirier's five - 19%, The Notorious One bags the second round as well.
However, a good retrospective for Poirier is that The Diamond has never lost a fight in the second round. Conor McGregor, on the other hand, was defeated by Nate Diaz in UFC 196 via submission.
Who's likelier to win the third round: Dustin Poirier
If the bout gets any longer than what Conor McGregor intends, the advantage changes sides. This is because The Notorious One finishes most of his duels in the opening rounds and he is not used to these stages of the fight.
From the third round on, McGregor's performance falls drastically. The former UFC double-champion only won twice after the first two rounds. One of them came in the third round, against Max Holloway via unanimous decision.
While that single win represents 5% of McGregor's victories, Dustin Poirier has his second-best retrospect in the third round. The American won six times at this time of a fight, which is equivalent to 23% of his successes inside the octagon.
Nevertheless, three of Poirier's losses came also during the third round, the most recent to Khabib Nurmagomedov, when the reigning UFC Lightweight champion submitted The Diamond with a rear-naked choke.
Who's likelier to win the fourth round: Dustin Poirier
As we enter into 'main event territory,' things start to get more favorable to Dustin Poirier. Although Conor McGregor has won seven out of his nine main event fights, only one of those victories came after the second round.
Poirier has won six times on the big stage and lost three, besides a no-contest against Eddie Alvarez. The American has one win in the fourth round while McGregor has none.
The fourth round is probably the most disliked by the Irishman since his most bitter defeat happened at this point of the fight against Khabib Nurmagomedov when the retired champion applied a neck crank to win via submission.
Who's likelier to win the fifth round: Dustin Poirier
Conor McGregor has left only one of his seven five-round fights to be decided by the judges. It happened during the rematch with Nate Diaz, where The Notorious One won via majority decision.
Dustin Poirier has a frail ladvantage over the former UFC double-champion, having succeeded twice during the fifth round of a fight. In fact, Poirier's last two victories - against Dan Hooker and Max Holloway, came after the five rounds were over.
In conclusion, Conor McGregor would be better off finishing the fight in the same way he did in their previous meeting. The Notorious One has to avoid the battle passing through the third round at all costs since that will probably be Poirier's strategy, judging by his past performances.
Who do you think will win the Conor McGregor versus Dustin Poirier rematch? Sound off in the comments.Published 29 Dec 2020, 07:50 IST