Dan Hardy is backing Conor McGregor to rebound from his January defeat to Dustin Poirier when the pair share the Octagon for a third time this summer.
McGregor vs. Poirier III is scheduled to headline UFC 264 on July 10 and it promises to be one of the most interesting fights of the year, with both fighters enjoying a stoppage victory over the other.
McGregor knocked Poirier out in the first round when they first fought at featherweight in 2014.
Seven years later and 10lbs heavier, Poirier earned revenge by becoming the first man to TKO McGregor in MMA in the pair’s rematch at UFC 257.
Poirier turned down the opportunity to fight for the newly-vacant UFC lightweight title in favour of the lucrative trilogy fight against ‘The Notorious’, which will take place in front of a full crowd at Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena in two months’ time.
Former UFC welterweight challenger Dan Hardy is an expert at breaking down fights and he believes that McGregor will have the beating of Poirier in the rubber match.
“I think it’s a very competitive fight. And the only reason that I’d lean slightly in McGregor’s direction is that we’ve seen him regroup and change,” Hardy told Submission Radio.
“The changes, the shifts, the regrouping in Poirier’s career has always been down to will and determination and ‘I’m just gonna double my work rate and be twice as conditioned and be more aggressive.’
“Whereas McGregor, he’s found technical solutions to problems. So, I can see him [adapting]. And you know that’s burning in the back of his mind.
“He can be sitting in his fancy shorts on his sun bed, drinking Proper 12 all he likes, but every morning he wakes up and looks at himself in the mirror, he remembers that moment where he’s lying up against the fence on the floor with Poirier walking away.
“That’s the kind of thing that eats away at him. And I can only imagine McGregor’s got a thousand and one different ways to deal with Poirier.
“I still think it’s very, very competitive but I’m leaning slightly towards McGregor, just based on how he approaches the game.”