Conor McGregor will be returning to the UFC lightweight division after more than two years against Dustin Poirier at UFC 257 on January 23, 2021. UFC's 155-pound weight class, however, has been the most stacked division in the promotion for years now.
There are a total of six fighters in the division's top 15 who have had the pleasure of having the lightweight strap dangle around their waist. They are Khabib Nurmagomedov, Justin Gaethje, Dustin Poirier, Tony Ferguson, Conor McGregor, and Rafael dos Anjos.
Thanks to the insanely talented fighters and their colossal star value, the lightweight division is by far the most competitive weight class in the UFC.
Dustin Poirier "top" of Conor McGregor's potential opponents
Speaking to The Mac Life, Conor McGregor's coach John Kavanagh stated that among all the top contenders in the UFC lightweight division, Dustin Poirier poses the biggest challenge to McGregor.
Kavanagh added that any opponent other than Poirier would have been slightly easier for the Irishman to deal with.
"I think, in terms of opponent difficulty levels, Dustin (Poirier) would be (at) the top of that group. So, if one is replacing Dustin, there is no nice way of saying it, but it's a slightly easier fight. Dustin is the best of those guys."
You can watch the full interview below:
Kavanagh also agreed that Poirier has improved exponentially since he last fought McGregor in 2014. However, he noted that the experience the "Diamond" has gained over the past six years will not halt McGregor's momentum. Poirier has 13 fights under his belt in the UFC since 2014, as compared to McGregor's eight.
The highly-anticipated McGregor vs. Poirier fight will most certainly be a different affair than their previous outing, in which the "Notorious" comfortably defeated Poirier in the first round via TKO.
In fact, Poirier admitted that it was his loss to McGregor which changed him mentally and also played a part in the turning point of his career.
"It definitely started happening after the Conor McGregor loss. That was the start of it. And it's been a long process - being a father, losing again, winning some, losing again and winning some. It's just a long evolution of 'stop caring so much'. You just stop caring about the noise and the stuff that doesn't matter."
McGregor's fight with Poirier is likely to have title implications and will most certainly shape the future of the UFC lightweight division. Who do you think will emerge victorious? Let us know in the comments below.Published 28 Dec 2020, 03:34 IST