Conor McGregor will inevitably land on Dustin Poirier this weekend. It’s up to the latter to show that those strikes aren’t affecting him.
That’s according to former UFC heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier who will be calling UFC 257 which takes place Saturday night in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi.
Poirier, of course, was knocked out by McGregor during their featherweight bout back in 2014. This upcoming meeting will now be contested at lightweight where Poirier has not only significantly improved since, but has shown to be much more durable.
However, there is a narrative that Poirier will still be affected psychologically given that he is facing a man in McGregor who has already turned his lights off before.
And with McGregor predicting an early knockout, Cormier feels Poirier needs to be on high alert in the first few seconds of the fight.
“He has felt it [McGregor’s power], he understands what the consequences are to get hit with it,” Cormier told reporters. “I think he needs to be on high alert when the fight starts because Conor fresh can put just about anybody out.”
Cormier: Poirier Needs To Earn McGregor’s Respect
In addition to that, Cormier feels Poirier needs to earn McGregor’s respect by landing some power shots of his own. It might not put the Irishman away, but it will definitely keep him at bay from landing his own power shots on Poirier.
However, whenever McGregor does connect, Cormier feels it’s imperative Poirier has a good poker face and show he’s not hurt.
“He’s got to earn respect in the fight,” Cormier added. “If a guy fears nothing, you’re in trouble. … Khabib went at Justin Gaethje like there was just no fear. Then I saw something yesterday where he said he’s never been kicked or punched harder in his life. Could you tell? In the fight with McGregor, he [Nurmagomedov] didn’t look afraid either. And I think it’s something to be said about posturing. Because even if those are affecting you, you never let it show.
“And I think Dustin needs to earn some respect and he’s got to have a good poker face because he’s going to get hit. There have been times where we’ve seen him get hit and you can almost tell that he got hit. He cannot put on this weekend, he has to hide it. He has to show Conor he’s not affecting him when he is landing those shots.”
Whether Poirier can do just that remains to be seen. Luckily, there’s only a few days left to find out.