Dustin Poirier vs Conor McGregor 3 is locked and loaded, as both parties have signed the dotted line to headline UFC 264 on July 10th.
Poirier and McGregor are tied at 1-1. In their first meeting at UFC 178 in 2014, McGregor TKO’d Poirier in the first round, before ‘The Diamond’ eventually returned the favor at UFC 257 in January by TKO’ing the Irishman in the second round.
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) April 3, 2021
After shocking the world at UFC 257, Poirier solidified himself as the number one contender to fight for the UFC lightweight championship, with or without Khabib Nurmagomedov. Things took a different turn however when Dana White came out the last month and said that Poirier was going after the McGregor trilogy instead of fighting for the title.
Understandably so, Poirier wants another big payday, before he gets his hands on the title. For now, Charles Oliveira and Michael Chandler will fight in the main event at UFC 262 for the vacant lightweight title. With two crucial lightweight matchups already booked, the division is moving in the right direction.
Dustin Poirier vs Conor McGregor 3
Despite coming off a brutal TKO loss at the hands of Poirier, McGregor has opened up as a slight betting favorite. He’s guaranteed to come out of a boxing mindset and fight like a mixed martial artist in his rubber match with the Louisiana native.
This should get McGregor fans pumped up because the combat sports megastar is at his best when he’s moving in and out on the feet. However, calf kicks would still play a crucial role in the third fight, because a karate stance is also very vulnerable to low kicks. Of course, McGregor would do a better job of checking them, but he’ll have one more thing to worry about in the back of his mind. That gives Poirier the advantage again.
— UFC (@ufc) January 24, 2021
Poirier is the better-rounded fighter. He can knock McGregor out, as seen in their last fight, he can take him down, he can slice his legs up, and most important of all, Poirier can take a punch. McGregor doesn’t feel comfortable when his punches don’t faze his opponents. If he can’t knock Poirier out in a trilogy fight early, McGregor is certainly going to face adversity inside the Octagon again sooner or rather than later.
Having said that, the first five minutes of the fight are going to be crucial, with McGregor trying to shut Poirier’s lights out, and Poirier trying to neutralize the threat early on. However the fight plays out, rest assured that it’s going to be a spectacle.
Should Poirier win the rubber match, he’d be fighting for the title next, but does Mcgregor deserve a title shot with only 1 win at lightweight since 2016? From a sporting standpoint, he needs to do more than just beating Poirier to earn a title shot, but from a business standpoint, it’s the next best move.
Charles Oliveira vs Michael Chandler
Michael Chandler has said it loud and clear that after he wins the belt next month at UFC 262, he’s going to make his first title defense against McGregor, who the former Bellator champion predicts to beat Poirier in their trilogy fight.
On the other hand, Charles Oliveira has decided to stay quiet on the matter and is solely focusing on the biggest fight of his career. Either way, the winner of Oliveira vs Chandler will fight the winner of Dustin Poirier vs Conor McGregor 3, although Dana White says Justin Gaethje will get the next title shot, which sounds absurd given the fact that Gaethje is coming off a loss.
Time to write the next chapter at lightweight 🖋
— UFC (@ufc) March 31, 2021
The Oliveira vs Chandler matchup is a super intriguing one. Two well-rounded fighters in their peak, fighting for the biggest prize in the sport, it doesn’t get any more exciting than this. Chandler’s predicting a knockout victory, while Oliveira plans to become the first man in the history of the sport to submit Chandler.
It’s understandable that MMA fans are disappointed that Poirier isn’t fighting for the title, but Oliveira vs Chandler is as exciting a matchup as they come. This one is expected to end within five rounds.
Tony Ferguson vs Beneil Dariush
Tony Ferguson vs Beneil Dariush is an important lightweight contest for two reasons. Firstly, it’s a key fight for Ferguson, who looks to bounce back into title contention, while for Dariush, it’s a massive opportunity to raise his stake. Secondly, the fight takes place at UFC 262 and would serve as the backup in case either Chandler or Oliveira withdraw due to unforeseen circumstances.
In that scenario, Ferguson’s the more likely fighter to get a title shot, even though he’s on a two-fight losing skid. Stylistically, it’s an intriguing matchup as Dariush is one of the best grapplers in the division, and Ferguson is the trickiest off his back. It’ll be interesting to see how each of the two implement their game plan against one another.
Texas is in for a show! Which fight are you looking forward to most? 🍿
— UFC (@ufc) April 1, 2021
Also, with names like Islam Makhachev, Justin Gaethje, and Rafael dos Anjos, the next few months guarantee fireworks in the lightweight division.
Who do you think wins Dustin Poirier vs Conor McGregor 3, Charles Oliveira vs Michael Chandler, and Tony Ferguson vs Beneil Dariush?