Ahead of his UFC 257 rematch with one-time opponent, Dustin ‘The Diamond’ Poirier, former two-weight world champion, ‘The Notorious’ Conor McGregor has predicted another knockout victory over the Lafayette native, this time within the opening sixty-seconds.
Six years after their initial battle, Poirier and McGregor re-run their UFC 178 pairing, in a lightweight matchup with potential title implications at stake for the victor.
Battling at the featherweight limit back in September of 2014, McGregor overtook Poirier in the featherweight title picture via an opening-round knockout, besting the American Top Team mainstay in less than two minutes. Off the back of the win, McGregor who stop Dennis Siver with second-round strikes, before taking an interim and then undisputed championship win over Chad Mendes, and Jose Aldo, respectively.
Since Poirier’s loss to the Dubliner, he’s tested 155-pound waters with aplomb. Scoring a 10-2-(1) divisional record since his move back in April 2015, the Louisiana native has beaten a whopping four former world champions, stopping Anthony Pettis, Eddie Alvarez, Justin Gaethje, and taking an interim lightweight title with a second career win over former featherweight kingpin, Max Holloway.
Speaking during a brief snippet of the promotion’s upcoming UFC 257: Countdown show ahead of the matchup, McGregor complimented Poirier’s fighting ability, labelling him a “great” fighter, however, still a number of rungs below him on the ladder — before predicting a timely stoppage victory.
“I like Dustin (Poirier), I think he’s a good fighter,” McGregor said. “He’s even a great fighter, you know? But still levels below me. I’ll knock Dustin out inside sixty seconds.“
A stoppage win for McGregor inside the opening minute would mark the second straight occasion he’s stopped an opponent inside sixty seconds. Headlining UFC 247 in January of last year, McGregor snapped a fifteen-month hiatus, matching with veteran former lightweight title challenger, Donald Cerrone — scoring a forty-second knockout win in a welterweight main event.
Himself rebounding from a submission loss to current undisputed champion, Khabib ‘The Eagle’ Nurmagomedov, Poirier successfully returned from hip surgery to headline UFC Vegas 4 in June, taking home a unanimous decision victory over Dan ‘The Hangman’ Hooker in a five-round barnburner.