Look at UFC257 | – WWE Sports

Don’t underestimate a fighter that has nothing to lose.

At the three-week finale at UFC’s “Fight Island,” Dustin Poirier was booked as the B-side of UFC257’s main event against media kingpin Conor McGregor. Most sports books were almost 3: 1 favorites by the Irish in the rematch of the original McGregor / Poirier match from 2014. He won through TKO in the first round.

But for more than six years since the first meeting, they were different fighters and took very different paths to get there. Former two-part champion McGregor has become the sport’s top draw with a combination of dynamic batting and flashy charisma. Poirier, on the other hand, continued to fight his competitors and won the provisional 155LBS belt when he won the Max Holloway decision in 2019 and lost to Khabib Nurmagomedov in a unified match later that year. ..

Speaking of Habib, the now retired undefeated Russians provided the background for the event. He attended Fight Island and was discussing the future with UFC President Dana White. Habib’s father died from COVID last year, and he announced his retirement with a 29-0 intact record after Nurmagomedov succeeded in defending the title against Justin Gaethje this October. True promoter Dana White didn’t want to miss the chance to sign a Habib / Connor rematch. The event was the highest pay-per-view in MMA history with a purchase rate of 1.4 million. .. Of course, the infamous bus incident helped generate that number, and the fierce post-combat brawl between the two corners would certainly hype another big draw in the rematch.

In many respects, Dustin Poirier isn’t whether McGregor can beat his real opponent in the UFC 257, but a dynamic enough way to seduce Conor to sign another deal with Habib. I thought about it later because the focus shifted to whether I could win in. He intended to make a big payday to decorate the pay-per-view headline, so there’s nothing to lose. Even if he was defeated, most fans expected, so losing did not reduce his status in the UFC. .. He was always in the conversation because he won a solid competition, but the only top-class challenger he won was the aforementioned Hollowway match. Prior to this clash with Connor, he defeated Dan Hooker by a decision in mid-2020, but had less momentum before the fight because he lost to Habib before that. Connor’s latest performance was a devastating knockout victory over Donald Cerrone in just 40 seconds after being unilaterally defeated by Nurmagomedov in October 2018. This renewed the hype around him.

Again, the focus was not on the competition with Poirier, but on Connor and Habib. The opening round saw a short takedown primarily from Poirier, known as the striker, with most of the rounds where the two exchanged punches and kicks, McGregor shot more shots, and probably the round at points. Won. However, Poirier landed a series of calf kicks during several exchanges, aiming to continue that trend in the second round. For some reason, Connor tried to throw more kicks than usual and was unintentionally vulnerable to more leg kicks from Poirier. Almost halfway through the second round, a calf kick was sacrificed and McGregor wasn’t maneuverable to avoid his opponent’s punches. Poirier landed half a dozen unanswered punches, including a right hook that sent McGregor to the canvas, before the referee landed a few more punches before stopping the fight.

When the referee intervened to stop the fight, it also stopped the discussion of Connor / Habib’s rematch. Remember Nurmagomedov’s first meeting. What is the potential selling point for another one-sided defeat, unless McGregor looks dangerous, especially if the UFC event price tag has recently been raised on ESPN + streaming services? It’s simple, but it’s the reality of a fighting game. The UFC is as involved in the entertainment business as it is in the fighting business. So this Poillar battle was an opportunity to introduce Connor before the final Habib rematch.

To be fair, even if Connor won, Nurmagomedov did not automatically consider the match. Habib has a fairly simple lifestyle and is already making money, so if a larger payday isn’t his motive, Dana White isn’t putting too much effort into negotiations. In addition, there may be situations where Habib does not want to sign the contract. It will also bring McGregor another major payday due to legitimate hostility between McGregor.

Now, I think the story shifts to a potential trilogy battle between McGregor and Poirier to see who wins the series. That said, Connor needs to have a good performance in the match, as another loss can hinder much of his star power. Don’t get me wrong. Conor McGregor is a dynamic athlete and a great striker, but not as balanced as most of the other top names in the organization. His lack of ground skills was revealed in the Battle of Habib, four of his five defeats due to obedience. Sure, the general public isn’t going to see a lack of submission skills, but at some point there are too many defeats to undermine some of the brilliance from his star power. McGregor wasn’t discovered a year before this UFC 257 pay-per-view and could have been due to ring rust, but all in all, he’s been eight more than inside the cage for the past few years. Created More Headlines Outside the Octagon For years, McGregor’s career may be a scenario that has become more enthusiastic than the entity unless it can perform steadily for the next fight. .. That said, most people don’t give him a chance and he won the KO in the second round of the fight, so you need to credit Dustin Poirier.

Don’t underestimate a fighter that has nothing to lose.

What do you think? Please comment below on your thoughts, opinions, feedback and other suggestions.

Until next week
-Jim Ramotta

Follow me on Twitter @ jimlamotta by email |

– WWE Sports

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