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LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – JULY 09: Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor pose during a ceremonial weigh in for UFC 264 at T-Mobile Arena on July 09, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo : Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
We are just a day away from UFC 264, and excitement is building for the third installment of Conor McGregor vs. Dustin Poirier. All eyes will be on T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, this coming Sunday as two of the sport’s biggest stars collide in another titanic lightweight showdown.
Things got heated between the two protagonists even before the start of Thursday’s press conference when the Notorious went after Poirier and threw bottles of the latter’s hot sauce into the crowd.
Tension building ahead of the big fight
As expected, McGregor mocked Poirier and baited his opponent into a war of words when the press conference started. The Irishman ratcheted up the intensity even further during the staredown when McGregor tried to throw a front kick at Poirier.
UFC president Dana White made sure there will be no shenanigans when McGregor and Poirier met for a final faceoff on Saturday during the ceremonial weigh-in. However, both fighters were still locked and intense as they gave a last look before the big fight.
McGregor and Poirier’s trilogy all started back in September 2014 when the Notorious slowly gained momentum as a future UFC star. McGregor made sure his ascent to the top did not stall in this bout as he knocked out Poirier in the first round of their three-round featherweight match. McGregor needed just one minute and 46 seconds to record the TKO win in UFC 178 as he dropped Poirier with a punch and pummeled him on the ground.
McGregor looking for revenge after a shock loss to Poirier
Poirier, however, gained revenge earlier this year when the two faced each other at UFC 257. The Louisiana native set the tone of that fight in the opening moments by delivering a leg kick at McGregor’s left calf. He followed that game plan to perfection through the first two rounds, battering McGregor’s calf with kicks as the Irishman’s movement started to suffer.
With McGregor badly bruised and compromised, Poirier went in for the kill as he stunned the Irishman with a left hand before dropping him with a vicious right hook. Poirier continued the assault, leaving the referee no choice but to end the fight and give the 32-year-old the biggest win of his career.
It was a humiliating loss for McGregor, who was stopped via strikes for the first time in his illustrious UFC career. McGregor recently spoke about that defeat in an interview with ESPN‘s Stephen A. Smith, admitting that he was already looking past Poirier during their January rematch as he was also preparing for a megabucks boxing showdown with eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao.
“I pitied the man. I was looking past him. I had a Manny Pacquiao camp in place,” McGregor said. That match did not come to fruition after McGregor’s loss to Poirier, with Pacquiao eventually choosing Errol Spence Jr. as his next opponent.
McGregor’s focus now is solely on Poirier as he looks to settle some unfinished business and position himself as a possible challenger in the future to current lightweight king Charles Oliveira. Expect Poirier, however, to end that dream and win the trilogy bout against McGregor this coming Sunday, utilizing the same tactics he dished out back in January.
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