The MMA world is still abuzz following the UFC 257 shocker that transpired in Abu Dhabi. You’ve probably already seen how Dustin Poirier knocked out former two-division UFC world champion Conor McGregor inside of two rounds in their top-billed lightweight thriller.
Despite McGregor putting in some pretty good work early on, tagging Poirier with beautiful boxing combinations, and seemingly slightly ahead of the bout at the point of the stoppage, Poirier was strategically setting him up for the finish.
In this video, ONE Championship lightweight superstar Amir Khan and flyweight Kim Kyu Sung from the EVOLVE Fight Team shed light on Poirier’s specific game plan to slow McGregor’s movement by investing in low kicks, and then ultimately trapping him against the Octagon fence to author the TKO victory.
First of all, you have to give credit where it’s due. Poirier definitely took McGregor’s best shots. The Irishman’s vaunted left was on point, as “The Notorious” caught Poirier on the chin on multiple occasions. Poirier ate them like a box of cookies, not so much as flinching, and enough to chip away at McGregor’s confidence.
“The Diamond” targeted McGregor’s lower lead leg, particularly with the calf kick, an American Top Team staple. Poirier made sure to connect on the flesh side of the leg, which did very well in debilitating McGregor’s ability to stay light on his feet. By the start of the second round, that lead leg was absolutely compromised, and McGregor became increasingly flat-footed.
McGregor acknowledged Poirier’s strategy in the post-fight presser backstage, revealing that he indeed tried his best to check the low kicks by turning his shin bone into the contact. But Poirier’s experience with the technique was simply superior.
“Those leg kicks are not to be messed with. That low calf kick, I’ve never experienced that. That was a good one,” McGregor told the media.
You could hear Thiago Alves in Poirier’s corner instructing the Lafayette, Louisiana native to continue his leg attack, noticing that McGregor was clearly feeling the effects of the steady barrage.
McGregor, despite being reduced to a stationary target, was still much of a threat, and in fact, nearly finished Poirier himself with another powerful combination moments into round two. That’s a testament to how dangerous McGregor truly is, especially at lightweight. Unfortunately for him, it just wasn’t his night.
Once McGregor’s movement was taken away from him, Poirier went to work. He had McGregor trapped along the fence, and moved in for the kill. A flurry of lefts and rights greeted the wobbly and unsteady Irishman, as McGregor tried his best to duck, slip, and block incoming power shots that came from all angles.
A short right cross connected on the nose, sending McGregor crashing to the ground, and Poirier immediately jumped on him with two more downward strikes to complete the demolition job. The official finish came at the 2:32 mark of round two.
With the victory, Poirier evens up his rivalry with McGregor at one win apiece. Luckily for fans, both McGregor and Poirier are up for a trilogy bout to settle the score once and for all.
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