Thursday, December 1, 2022

McGregor Says Poirier Loss Came After 85% Preparation For Pacquiao

Conor McGregor says that 85% of his preparation leading up to his loss against Dustin Poirier at UFC 257 was for a Manny Pacquiao fight.

Having beaten Poirier back in 2014, McGregor failed to repeat that result when the pair met in their rematch earlier this year. Despite some early success on the feet, the Irishman sustained heavy damage to his lead leg, an attack from Poirier that set up a devastating second-round finish.

In the pay-per-view’s headliner, which was held on Fight Island in Abu Dhabi, Poirier became the first man to knock out McGregor in MMA. When the pair meet for a third time at UFC 264 this Saturday, the former double champion will look to return to the style that brought him two UFC titles.

Despite facing a dangerous opponent like Poirier, McGregor has admitted that his preparation wasn’t actually engineered towards the Louisianan ahead of their January fight. In fact, he’s suggested he was training for a bout inside the squared circle with boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao.

The Irishman had been rumored to take on the Filipino for some time, and it was seemingly a matchup McGregor was expecting this year. In an interview with TheMacLife, the Irish superstar revealed how much the talk of another boxing crossover had hindered him and assured fans that his entire focus is on mixed martial arts heading into UFC 264.

“Just focus on mixed martial arts, first of all. It was an 85% camp for boxing, for Manny Pacquiao. That’s how the fight came about. It was gonna be a charity event, not even under the UFC banner. It was just because he was a southpaw and I felt a bit of pity for him and what not, said I’d help him out. And that’s it,” said McGregor.

But despite suffering his first knockout loss at the hands of “The Diamond,” McGregor says the defeat will only make him stronger.

“It went the way it went and got a setback in there, but setbacks are a beautiful thing. Defeat is the secret ingredient to success, I say, and it’s put me right where I need to be.”

While McGregor himself predicts a KO victory over Poirier, many have suggested that he hasn’t had sufficient time to rectify the holes in his game. But with a title shot at stake and an arena full with fans, McGregor will certainly be desperate to get back to winning ways.

Along with watching the blockbuster trilogy fight unfold, a sold out Las Vegas crowd will also witness the likes of Stephen Thompson, Gilbert Burns, Sean O’Malley, Carlos Condit and Michel Pereira in action.

Do you think Conor McGregor will beat Dustin Poirier at UFC 264?