It seems that the rematch between Lightweight contenders Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor is all but confirmed for January 2021, albeit at Welterweight. Amidst all the speculations and assumptions, Conor’s long time coach John Kavanagh sent out a heartfelt tweet to the former Interim Lightweight champion and also asked him to fix a flaw in his game.
Kavanagh asked Dustin Poirier to “Enjoy his Christmas and lash that cranberry sauce on turkey.”
The coach also wished to see Dustin Poirier “hydrated, glycogen loaded and healthy at 170 in January.” He cryptically also asked Dustin Poirier to work on his “pull tendency” assuming that the former Interim champ knew what he meant.
While this could very well be an inside joke, in all probability, Kavanagh was referring to Dustin Poirier's ability to draw opponents into open spaces while being off balance and then landing punishing strikes, an ability he shares with and is perhaps only second to Kavanagh’s student McGregor.
Dustin Poirier - Conor McGregor rematch all but confirmed for January 2021 at Welterweight
The duo first squared off in September 2014 while on their respective paths to Featherweight glory, in a division dominated then by an unforgiving Jose Aldo in his prime. Dustin Poirier, on that particular night, would suffer a devastating first round knockout at the hands of McGregor.
Two fights later, Conor would go on and knock out Aldo in 13 seconds in, perhaps, the most shocking championship mis-match in UFC history.
Their journey took different routes after the encounter and while Conor would become a dual champion and go on to fight Floyd Mayweather in a mega-money boxing match, Dustin Poirier would return to the Lightweight division and go on to amass an 8-1-1 streak with wins over former champions Eddie Alvarez and Anthony Pettis along with a knockout of current #1 contender and interim champion Justin Gaethje. He would then win the interim Lightweight title against former Featherweight champion Max Holloway.
Both fighters, however, would be finished in their respective championship bouts via submission by current Lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov with Conor’s title shot culminating in the infamous UFC 229 brawl. Dustin Poirier’s bout, on the other hand, ended with a heartwarming gesture by Khabib wherein the two fighters exchanged their t-shirts and Khabib promised to donate to Dustin’s charity, the Good Fight Foundation.
The Conor McGregor – Dustin Poirier rematch, so far, has lacked the trademark trash talk from McGregor and his camp and it seems that Conor will be refraining from profanities and verbal barrages for this encounter.
Kavanagh’s wishes and ‘instructions’ to Dustin Poirier solidifies this stance from Conor.
However, for how long this peace holds between the two former contenders, remains to be seen.Published 17 Oct 2020, 14:56 IST