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John Kavanagh looks back on how Conor McGregor should have handled Dustin Poirier's leg kicks

UFC 257: Poirier v McGregor
UFC 257: Poirier v McGregor
Modified 26 Jan 2021

Conor McGregor's coach, John Kavanagh, examined how "The Notorious One" could have avoided Dustin Poirier's low kicks during their rematch at UFC 257.

Poirier's kicks at Conor McGregor's right calf were the decisive factor of the bout. Poirier could invalidate some of his opponent's movement with accurate blows, eventually allowing him to position himself to the octagon's center to confirm the victory.

In a talk to ESPN's Ariel Helwani, coach Kavanagh analyzed that Conor McGregor should have dodged the kicks as much as possible but added that there was little hope to regain control over the match after Poirier connected the first few blows.

"Actually, in the very opening sequence, he is not there [to be kicked]. There is a very nice one during the first 30 seconds, maybe, where Dustin tries to kick the lead leg, and he pulls it back very fast. [Conor McGregor puts his] lead leg back. Then he wiped in through some shots. That is number one, that is the best: just don't be there. Because even option number two, where you point the foot out 45 degrees, you're still taking it. It's kind of the option where you were not fast enough, where the timing was not there to take the lead leg out of the away," reviewed Kavanagh. "So, you have got to turn out the foot, and he actually did that quite well. If you see, there's at least two times where he points the foot out, catches the lead leg, and throws a punch or ends up with kind of a single leg position, where he is controlling Dustin's leg. I was really hoping that would put Dustin off throwing any more of them, but he didn't. He kept with them, and Conor just... two or three of them landed, and then it didn't even matter. You could try to check, and it is so compromised at that stage that there is not a whole lot that we could do at that point."

Conor McGregor's shocking defeat to Poirier at UFC 257 caused a lot of uncertainty to the lightweight championship's future. Many hoped that the former UFC double champion would face off with Khabib Nurmagomedov in case of a victory. However, following his defeat, Conor McGregor asks for a third fight with Poirier for the lightweight division's belt.

How will Conor McGregor prevent low kicks in the future?

McGregor v Cerrone
McGregor v Cerrone

Many UFC fans and analysts were surprised at how effectively Dustin Poirier's low kicks worked against Conor McGregor at UFC 257. However, if future opponents want to consider using the same strategy, McGregor's coach, John Kavanagh, would advise otherwise:

"Next time, we will be in a different way. We will have a different approach to it. We will make sure that that technique is part of our arsenal, and it will not happen [again]," said Kavanagh. "Very few people in the world lose better than Conor, and I mean that in terms of the grace shown afterwards, but also taking the lessons from it, and he will certainly... we will have a solution to that going back in."

Would you like to see a third fight between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier? Sound off in the comments.

Published 26 Jan 2021, 04:14 IST
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