For the UFC 257, the Conor McGregor vs. Dustin Poirier lightweight clash is billed as the main event, and rightly so. It will be encounter No. 2 for the two MMA stars and on his part, Poirier has a score to settle - to erase the humiliation he suffered in September 2014.
It only took McGregor less than two minutes to prove who was the better man in UFC 178. The Irishman played his usual game even before meeting Poirier at the octagon and he subdued his foe with relative ease.
The American admitted that six years ago, McGregor dominated him because the UFC superstar came out to fight with s solid mindset. The Notorious played his agitator role to the hilt and his tactic proved effective enough. He conquered Poirier in just 96 seconds and went on to win two UFC crowns, plus the bonus of becoming rich and famous.
Now 31 years old and more focused on what to do, Poirier said his January 23 showdown with McGregor will not be a repeat of the UFC 178. And he is not even out for revenge, which Poirier stressed is not a smart fight approach.
"This isn't about getting even for me. This isn't like a revenge type of thing for me. This is about moving my career forward ... It's not trying to get back a guy who got me. This is just business," the Louisiana native told MMA Junkie in an interview.
Poirier recalled that in his first try to defeat McGregor, he was just dripping with emotions. The overpowering agenda was to hurt the opponent that he thought trampled on his ego. It proved disastrous in 2014 and Poirier has resolved he would never commit the same mistake.
Poirier said he is not weighed down by anger going to the rematch with McGregor. And he confident he will emerge the victor because he is wiser now. The 31-year-old, now a family man, promised: He will outsmart the cunning Irishman.
Taking on a deliberate stance in the upcoming UFC combat is a prudent thing to do not only for Poirier but also for McGregor. Whoever wins will be the acknowledged top contender in the lightweight division, meaning the stakes are high for both men, according to Talk Sport.
For Poirier, he will get shot at the title, and if success favors him, his résumé that indicates an interim title holder will be bumped to a certified title win. And more upgrades and honors could follow from there.
As for McGregor, a triumph over Poirier will lead him to the path for another UFC title. And likely, becoming champion again could convince Khabib Nurmagomedov to disrupt retirement and go for 30-0 in an epic duel with the Irishman. Indeed, the stakes are high and the possibilities are limitless for the McGregor vs. Poirier.