3 keys to victory for Dustin Poirier against Conor McGregor at UFC 257

Three keys for Dustin Poirier versus Conor McGregor at UFC 257.

Dustin Poirier is an absolute veteran when it comes to the sport of MMA. With an impressive 26-6 record, Poirier’s decade-long tenure with the UFC has produced some massive wins over names such as Max Holloway, Justin Gaethje, Eddie Alvarez, and more. Although Poirier is no stranger to being a name on the main events of big cards, He is facing possibly his most high-profile fight on Jan. 23 in a rematch against UFC superstar Conor McGregor. With Poirier being on the receiving end of a first-round knockout in their last meeting, there is no doubt that Poirier will need to re-think his approach against McGregor in order to pull out the win at UFC 257.

These are the three keys to Victory for Dustin Poirier at UFC 257

1. Don’t hesitate to grapple early

If we have learned anything about McGregor during his time in the UFC, it is that he is a versatile and lethal striker. McGregor’s punches and kicks are some of the quickest and most powerful in the game, and it is almost impossible to defeat him without implementing some sort of ground game. Although Poirier is known for his phenomenal boxing and rock-solid chin, he should still vary his gameplan in an effort to avoid being on the receiving end of a knockout blow.  Being a black belt in Brazillian Jiu-Jitsu, Poirier should look to try and implement some sort of takedown threat early in the fight. If Poirier can find takedowns early, he can chip away at McGregor’s stamina and create openings for his striking through feints as well. As McGregor’s stamina fades, there may even be submission attempts available when the fight hits the floor, and Poirier should remain offensive on the ground whenever possible.

2. Look to take the fight into the championship rounds

Although McGregor’s striking is stunning, it is a proven fact that he has a tendency to fade as the fight goes into the later rounds. In fact, the vast majority of McGregor’s UFC wins take place in the first or second round. Poirier should be wary of trying to finish the fight early, as unnecessary excitement could be very dangerous for him in the first 10 minutes. Instead, Poirier should tire McGregor out with clinch work and body shots, waiting to deliver head strikes often until McGregor’s gas tank has had a chance to be tested. If Poirier can last in the Octagon and get McGregor tired, his chances of winning increase exponentially.

3. Stay defensive-minded

Although Poirier is by far the best he has ever been right now, even in his most recent fights, he has a tendency to brawl. In Poirier’s last fight with contender Dan Hooker, he was caught with many hard shots in the midst of brawling, and he would be wise to not repeat that in his fight with McGregor due to his shocking power. Poirier should stay alert on defense and actively try to avoid being caught with his hands down as he did in his last time out. If Poirier can stay honest on the defensive side, he’ll be able to more effectively unleash offense and remain in the fight for as long as he needs to win.

UFC 257 takes place on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021, live from Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Follow along with FanSided for all your live news and highlights.

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