The UFC's king of pay-per-views, Conor McGregor, returns to the octagon this Saturday, June 10, 2021, at UFC 264. He takes on Dustin Poirier in a high-stakes trilogy fight. Both combatants have one win apiece, and a lot is on the line going into the fight at UFC 264.
When Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier first met at UFC 178, the Irishman displayed a wide variety of moves in his arsenal. Fighting from a karate stance, McGregor threw kicks and punches, keeping Poirier guessing, before securing a TKO win.
At UFC 257, the Dublin native adopted a more boxing-centric approach, and while he used some elbows in the clinch, many of his previous moves were absent. 'The Diamond' chipped away at Conor McGregor's legs with calf kicks before finally catching him with a flurry of punches. Resultantly, Dustin Poirier handed 'Notorious' the first TKO loss of his career.
Heading into UFC 264, Conor McGregor will definitely look to bring the best version of himself with an updated arsenal of martial arts weaponry. Poirier and McGregor recently exchanged heated words over each other's approach to mixed martial arts. 'The Notorious' Conor McGregor has promised to bring a wide variety of attacks against 'The Diamond'.
All the signs point towards the Irishman bringing something previously unseen and unexpected to UFC 264.
With that in mind, here are three unexpected finishes we could see from Conor McGregor against Dustin Poirier:
3) Spinning backfist
While this may sound unlikely, it's not impossible. Conor McGregor is a striker who loves mixed martial arts. We've seen him break Donald Cerrone's nose with shoulder strikes.
Who's to say the Irishman couldn't land a spinning backfist if he wanted to? Like the shoulder strikes we saw at UFC 246, McGregor will probably find a way to make the backfists more effective than anyone before him.
It may be improbable, but Conor McGregor is entirely capable of shocking us all and catching Dustin Poirier unaware with a lightning-quick spinning backfist. Only a handful of UFC fighters have managed to end their fights with spinning backfists, and Conor McGregor is no stranger to making history.
His former foe, 'The Irish Dragon' Paul Felder, is one of the few to have ended a fight with a spinning backfist.
2) Conor McGregor lands a flush flying knee
This could be quite likely. Conor McGregor has thrown flying knees several times throughout his career.
Picture this: Dustin Poirier shoots for a takedown, McGregor sees it coming, and lands a flying knee flush on the chin. Another possible opening is when 'The Diamond' ducks to evade incoming strikes to the head and gets caught with a nasty knee.
Conor McGregor is a martial artist and warrior at heart, and there is every chance that he could land a lethal flying knee to the chin or head of Dustin Poirier. The Louisiana native has a solid chin and a lot of heart, but a big flying knee is too much to handle, sometimes even for the best.
Cory Sandhagen most recently demonstrated this in his fight against Frankie Edgar.
1) McGregor throws a devastating spinning elbow
This move could make for an extremely dangerous and exciting finish.
Before Conor McGregor posted his prediction for the UFC 264 fight, he uploaded a video where he seemed to be engaged in a Muay Thai routine. 'The art of eight limbs', as it's fondly called, is one of the deadliest striking sports on the planet.
Muay Thai makes incredible use of innovative elbow and knee strikes to cause significant damage to an opponent. If Conor McGregor is indeed sharpening his Muay Thai skills, it wouldn't be far-fetched to imagine him throwing some deadly, unorthodox elbows.
Jon Jones and Tony Ferguson have been known for their unique use of elbows in MMA. Conor McGregor could add another stellar knockout to his existing highlight reel with a spinning elbow to shut Dustin Poirier's lights out. The Irishman even hinted at incoming elbow strikes when he responded to a fan's query about a possible staph infection.
Jiri Prochazka recently knocked out Dominick Reyes with a spinning elbow which made for a highlight reel KO. Could we see Conor McGregor pull off one of these at UFC 264? Only time will tell.