The same psychological warfare led to Poirier’s demise 7 years ago at UFC 178. The trash talk, antics and all of the craziness built up in the lead-up would affect a young Poirier negatively. A first-round KO handed by McGregor would be found on the receipt of the event.
Fast forward to present day and it’s a completely different story.
Poirier has evolved in many ways since that first fight. Having left the featherweight division shortly after the defeat, Poirier leveled up in terms of skill and mental capability. It’s a totally different ball game for “The Diamond” now.
“Be calm, move with strategy, not emotion.” Poirier told BT Sport what he needed to do. “Stay in the zone, stay in my own moment and let him have his antics. Let him be crazy and do what he’s going to do and capitalize when the opportunity is there.”
“I’ve done a good job of coming into this fight and just growing over the past years with that type of stuff. I see a guy trying to hype himself up, trying to make that person, make himself believe he’s that person. You can’t go from mean to nice, get knocked out, back to mean. It’s just too much. It’s flip flopping.”
“Tomorrow night’s a fight, with or without the antics.”
The former UFC interim lightweight champion looks to have his head intact mentally. The question is: will Poirier keep his head intact physically when faced against Irish powerhouse Conor McGregor.