“I think he’s going to try and use them against me now.”
Conor McGregor was quick to acknowledge the impact of Dustin Poirier’s calf kicks in January’s rematch between the rivals.
Poirier became the first man to beat McGregor via TKO in mixed martial arts when they shared the Octagon in the main event of UFC 257, when Poirier earned revenge over the Irishman seven years after their first bout.
Poirier’s calf kicks were the story of the fight and McGregor admitted in the immediate aftermath that he’d never experienced the effects of that technique before.
Conor McGregor calf kicks
With the pair set to compete in a rubber match in July, Poirier revealed that he expects McGregor to have added calf kicks to his arsenal come UFC 264.
“For me, whenever those low calf kicks first started getting more popular, and I’m a southpaw so for these calf kicks to work, it has to be against another southpaw,” Poirier told Teddy Atlas.
“I fought Jim Miller a few years ago back in New York at the Barclays Centre and he was the first guy to use them against me, and after that fight, my leg was so damaged, I had a whole new respect for the calf kick, the low leg kick game, and I’m expecting Conor to do the same now.
“He felt how crippling those kicks and how painful those kicks are and how much it changes the dynamic of a fight that I think he’s going to try and use them against me now. I really do, and that’s what I started doing, I started trying to use them every chance I got after I was hurt with them.”
McGregor and head coach John Kavanagh vowed to address the susceptibility of ‘The Notorious’ to the calf kicks ahead of the trilogy fight and McGregor has since claimed that he has Poirier “sussed.”
July 10th I will do this absolutely flawlessly. We have these clowns sussed and fully! 🤡 🤡 🤡 💣
They wanna play a game of tactics?
No problem, see you in there.
You’ve awoken a beast.
A beast with the backing of a much higher power!
Say your prayers 🙏
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) May 6, 2021
Poirier insisted that there is much more to his game than simply targeting the calves of his opponent, although he will not hesitate to return to the technique that served him so well in January if the opportunity presents itself on July 11.
“I’m working on still landing my offence with my low kicks, but now I’m working on defending a lot more than I used to,” Poirier continued.
“Just like in that fight, if he would have started checking those kicks, or if I would have been getting taken down because I was chasing that leg kick, then I would have called an audible and gone with something else.
“I just used them because they were there, it was damaging him, he wasn’t making the right decisions to start defending them, and I knew how much they hurt, and I knew it was going to change the fight. He wouldn’t be able to plant and throw. That power, his mobility would be taken away.
“The same thing in this one. If the kicks are there, I’m going to use them. If not, I’ve got a tool bag full of tricks that I can’t wait to show you guys.”