UFC analyst and former welterweight contender Dan Hardy provided an excellent and in-depth expert breakdown to preview UFC 257: McGregor vs. Poirier 2.
For the first episode of Inside The Octagon for the year 2021, John Gooden and Dan Hardy took deep and detailed look into the rematch between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier. McGregor vs. Poirier 2 will headline UFC 257, the first pay-per-view card of 2021, on Saturday, January 23rd in Fight Island, Abu Dhabi.
In the 24-minute episode which was uploaded on the UFC's official YouTube account, Gooden and Hardy discussed a variety of topics related to UFC 257's main event. Hardy broke down the first meeting between McGregor and Poirier, and discussed the performances they had leading up to the rematch.
Hardy believes that even before they shared the octagon in their first fight, McGregor had already mentally beaten Poirier:
"To be honest, the fight kind of started in the face-offs at the press conference, and every opportunity that McGregor had to interact with Poirier before the actual fight started, and that’s very typical of McGregor. Even Nate Diaz hinted at it in that famous post-fight speech, like ‘We don’t want to see you fight these guys you’ve already beaten at the press conference.’ I kind of felt like that from Poirier going in, and even in the face-off, you saw him reactive to McGregor."
McGregor defeated Poirer by first-round TKO in their first meeting back in 2014.
Dan Hardy believes 155-pounds is the right weight class for Poirier in McGregor rematch
Because of how the first fight played out, Conor McGregor is already seen as the favorite in his rematch against Dustin Poirier at UFC 257.
UFC analyst Dan Hardy believes however, that Poirier has become a much better fighter since moving up to the 155-pound lightweight division.
"If we draw a line under his career as a featherweight and we look at what he’s done since he’s moved up, what I would say is that he takes a punch better, he’s more durable, his conditioning is better, and he’s not lost that aggression that some people lose when they go up and they’re fighting bigger guys. He’s still getting in the pocket with guys like Justin Gaethje and taking their best shots. He’s not trying to style it and be the quicker fighter coming up from featherweight. He’s still brawling like he’s a big 155er, so I honestly feel like this expression of Dustin Porier is the better version that we’re gonna get, because 155 is the right weight class for him at this moment."
Since moving back up to lightweight, Dustin Poirier has been nothing short of impressive. He's gone 10-2 with 1 no contest, and in that stretch he recorded wins over Justin Gaethje, Anthony Pettis, Eddie Alvarez, MaX Holloway, and Dan Hooker. He also became the interim UFC lightweight champion and challenged Khabib Nurmagomedov for the title.Published 10 Jan 2021, 12:56 IST