Artem Lobov expects the upcoming Conor McGregor vs. Dustin Poirier fight to go the same way as the first.
McGregor meets Poirier in a rematch in their lightweight headliner at UFC 257 which takes place January 23 in Abu Dhabi’s Fight Island. It will take place nearly six years on from their featherweight meeting in 2014 that saw McGregor come out on top after knocking Poirier out in the first round.
Poirier, of course, has improved significantly since then as he has become one of the top fighters in the lightweight division and was even an interim champion.
That said, Lobov expects the same result for his friend and training partner — especially as he believes Poirier was a killer back then and still ended up losing to the Irishman.
“I see this fight going exactly the same way,” Lobov told MMA Junkie Radio. “The reason being is everybody’s trying to make it out like Poirier wasn’t good before he fought Conor or something like that, like he’s changed so much.
“No, remember what Poirier was. He was the No. 5 featherweight in the world. He was destroying guys. You remember his fight with (Erik) Koch, who was a top 10 featherweight at the time. He stopped him. Brandao, this guy was an absolute killer. It’s just people don’t want to give Conor credit for destroying these guys.”
Lobov: McGregor Will Stop Poirier Again
Ultimately, Lobov believes even if Poirier has improved, McGregor will always have the stylistic edge that will see him come out on top.
“Poirier was a killer back then, but just stylistically, his style matches up so well (for) Conor, that Conor will stop him again in the first round, and it’ll be no different than their first meeting,” Lobov added.
“So Poirier was good before they fought the first time, just Conor was so good that he destroyed Poirier like that and then after that, Poirier went back to doing what he was doing before he fought Conor, dominating and being a very good fighter, so I don’t see anything changing this time around.”
While one could argue Poirier is not a stylistic nightmare for McGregor, most observers would find it hard to agree with Lobov’s assessment that “The Diamond” hasn’t improved significantly since his first meeting with McGregor.
Whether he’s improved enough to stop McGregor will have to wait until January 23.