The third fight between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier is set to go down this weekend, at UFC 264. Ahead of the fight, Chris Weidman gives his prediction for the fight, and he expects a similar result to their second bout.
The first time that Poirier fought McGregor he got knocked out in quick fashion, but the opposite happened when they faced off again earlier this year. Now the men will look to settle the score, with some massive stakes on the line at UFC 264.
Prior to the third bout, former UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman sat down with ESPN to break down what happened in their second fight and predict how the rubber match will go. He seems to fall in line with those who believe that the stance change from Conor opened him up to the calf kicks that eventually led to the end of the fight.
“One of the main things I noticed, especially looking back after the fight was that (McGregor) was not in his typical Karate stance, more of a sideways stance, where he is bouncing up and down with both feet at the same time, and drill guys with his big left hand,” Weidman said.
“With this fight, it looks like he was just hands up, walking forward, like plodding and looking to box. That’s what it looked like, which is great for his punches, but its way tougher to check kicks with that type of stance…
“I think he’s going to come out (in the third fight) way lighter on his feet. It’s going to be more movement based. He’s not going to be plodding forward, looking to pressure fight,” Weidman added.
“He’s going to be bouncing on his toes, and it’s going to be a hard target to find, for Poirier with the calf kick. When he’s in and out, up on his toes, it’s hard to really crush those calf kicks like it is when you’re in a boxing stance, walking forward. It’s pretty easy to crush. I see him just being lighter on the feet, messing with distance, and drawing (Poirier) with the punches, as opposed to just walking him down.”
Chris Weidman Favors Dustin Poirier
Although he is providing evidence that he thinks Conor McGregor will change his stance and his gameplan, Chris Weidman still is not convinced that this will be enough to get the job done. In fact, he thinks that Dustin Poirier will win the trilogy between these rivals.
The way Chris sees it, until Conor shows the improvements, it is hard to ignore just how good Dustin looked in the second fight. So while there is an avenue for both men to be victorious, he is going with the Louisiana native.
“After watching this second fight that they had with each other, I’ve got to go with Poirier. He just mixed it up so much better than Conor,” Weidman said.
“Conor just didn’t have that same energy I was used to seeing him have, that excitement, that fire, that ‘I’m going to beat your a—’ fire that he’s always had. He gets in that cage and he’s strutting around, and he’s like ‘This is my cage,’ you didn’t see that in him. So until he can prove me wrong, I gotta go with Poirier.”
Do you agree with this assessment from Chris Weidman? Who do you see winning between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier at UFC 264?