Dustin Poirier responds to Conor McGregor kicking out during … Fri, 09 Jul 2021 10:00:00 +0100-Conor McGregor says his trilogy fight with Dustin Poirier at UFC 264 will be "the end of the road" for the American.
|Venue: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas Date: Saturday, 10 July Time: Main card 03:00 BST Sunday, 11 July|
|Coverage: Follow live text commentary and listen to live radio commentary of McGregor's fight on BBC Radio 5 Live, BBC Sounds, BBC Sport website and app from 03:00 BST.|
Conor McGregor said his trilogy fight with Dustin Poirier at UFC 264 will be “the end of the road” for the American.
After reverting to trash talking at the press conference for Saturday's lightweight bout in Las Vegas, the Irishman aimed a kick at Poirier, 32.
Poirier said McGregor's “aura's not there anymore” after beating the former two-weight world champion in January to avenge his 2014 loss.
“He's done here, this is it for him,” said McGregor, also 32.
The pair showed mutual respect before and after their rematch at UFC 257, but back was the bravado and name-calling from 'the Notorious'.
It took two members of UFC security to help president Dana White keep the fighters apart at the T-Mobile Arena, with McGregor throwing bottles of Poirier's Louisiana hot sauce off the stage.
McGregor briefly held the lightweight title after beating Eddie Alvarez in November 2016 to become the first UFC fighter to be world champion in two weight divisions simultaneously.
After that fight, he infamously said “I'd like to take this chance to apologise… to absolutely nobody”.
“I'm an evolution of that guy,” he added on Thursday. “I'm better than that man. I feel like I've come full circle and I look forward to showing it.
“That night was widely regarded as the single greatest performance in UFC history. This performance on Saturday night, I'm going to top it.”
'He's Buster Douglas, he'll be known for that'
Poirier has admitted McGregor “got into my head” in a heated build-up to their first fight in 2014 at featherweight, which McGregor won in under two minutes.
When they met again before UFC 257, McGregor seemed a changed man after rising to superstar status and returning to the octagon following his boxing match with Floyd Mayweather and a brief retirement.
McGregor pledged to donate $500,000 (£367,000) to the Good Fight Foundation, a charity Poirier runs with his wife Jolie.
Poirier also has his own brand of Louisiana hot sauce and McGregor said he was “delighted” to receive a bottle from Poirier at the weigh-in.
This time round, McGregor said he “didn't touch” that bottle yet called the sauce “garbage”. He said “your wife is your husband” and chanted “Jolie's wife, Jolie's wife”.
He also said Poirier was James 'Buster' Douglas, the 42-1 underdog who pulled off one of sport's greatest upsets by beating Mike Tyson in 1990.
“He's going to be known for that,” said McGregor. “It was a fluke win and I'm going to correct it on Saturday night.”
Poirier responded by saying “I don't hate anybody up here. I'm in a different place mentally. Respect to him and everything that he's done.”
And when one reporter pointed out to McGregor that he had won one fight since Barack Obama was US president (January 2017), he said “shut your mouth, I'll smash your nose in, you little rat”.
Asked why fans should expect anything different after being knocked out in the second round in January, McGregor ignored the question.
Winner hopes to face lightweight champion Oliveira
Although McGregor's win over Alvarez made him a UFC legend, he's stepped into the octagon just three times since, losing to Poirier and Khabib Nurmagomedov to take his MMA record to 22-5.
Poirier's win in January cemented his status as the number one ranked lightweight contender. He now has a 27-6 record after losing just one of his last nine, a unification bout with Nurmagomedov.
But with the unbeaten Russian now retired, Poirier turned down the opportunity to fight for the vacant lightweight belt in favour of a lucrative 'rubber match' with McGregor.
He could then have a chance to become a UFC world champion for the first time, while McGregor hopes to regain the title he was stripped off due to inactivity.
The winner of Saturday's fight is expected to face new lightweight champion Charles Oliveira before the end of 2021, after he beat Michael Chandler in May to succeed Nurmagomedov.
The Brazilian will be at the T-Mobile Arena on Saturday, which is the first UFC event in Vegas to accept fans since the pandemic and is a 20,800 sell-out.
UFC 264 'the end' for Poirier – McGregor Fri, 09 Jul 2021 10:00:00 +0100-The Irishman threw a leg kick at Poirier during their press conference ahead of Saturday's trilogy fight last night, and Poirier believes he'll reciprocate on …
Dustin Poirier has dismissed Conor McGregor's efforts to get under his skin at last night's press conference – including a kick during their staredown – as “cute”.
The American will face his Irish rival one more time in a trilogy bout on Saturday night, with a shot at the lightweight title up for grabs for the winner.
And he seemed to handle himself well last night, despite relentless and occasionally below-the-belt jabs from McGregor throughout.
“Dana [White] said he got kneed in the stomach, the shot hit him,” Poirier joked when asked by ESPN what happened in the staredown.
“It's cute man, have fun, I'm going to be doing the real kicking on Saturday night.
“He's doing himself a disservice by not reassessing everything and figuring out what really went wrong, that's what losers do, they scramble to find something to stand on.
“That's what he's doing, but it doesn't matter – I got my hand raised and it's a fight.”
The lightweight rivals had exchanged trash talk in front of thousands of fans in Las Vegas before they were brought together and had already been separated by security before the event even started.
Poirier said that McGregor's antics made him “feel good”, and said he doesn't believe that the Irishman is the same fighter who beat him in their first bout.
“I knew he was going to be acting crazy but to see him in the flesh made me feel good,” Poirier explained. “Because he is just that little guy; not the guy he used to be through my eyes anyway.”
McGregor took jabs at Poirier's wife throughout and after the press conference, and claimed that his rival was struggling with the weight cut.
But the American held his own, and a number of fans and fighters on Twitter actually deemed him the more impressive performer on the stage.
And going into the bout, Poirier has said that he plans to 'wring McGregor's neck' when they fight, after earlier in the week predicting a submission victory.
“I feel good, I have a good spring when I'm training and stuff, we'll see on Saturday night when I'm warming up – when my feet hit the canvas it's go time.
“I think I'm going to wring his little neck, it's looking skinny out there, man.”
McGregor appears to see it the opposite way, telling Poirier he was planning to end his career.
“I'm going to go through his head,” McGregor said. “I'm going to put holes in it and take it off his shoulders.
“He's done here, this is it for him, it's the end of the road – Saturday night he's getting walked around that octagon like a dog and put to sleep.
“This will be beautiful, it will be another feather in the cap, it's what I love to do. I love to come in here, defy the odds, do the unthinkable and put on a show.”
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– July 9, 2021
Conor McGregor UFC 264 the end39; for Poirier McGregor