Dustin Poirier has explained how he took advantage of Conor McGregor’s struggle with checking kicks to set up the second-round knockout victory over his Irish rival.
A betting underdog going into UFC 257, Dustin Poirier sprung the upset after weathering an early Conor McGregor storm before taking control of the lightweight rematch in the second round.
Poirier invested early in a very precise leg kick, aimed at the calf of McGregor’s lead leg, and it didn’t take long for the damage to take its toll on ‘The Notorious’.
— UFC (@ufc) January 24, 2021
When asked why the gameplan focused so heavily on leg kicks, Poirier’s head coach Mike Brown had a straightforward response.
“Dustin kicks hard as fuck,” Brown said.
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) January 24, 2021
Poirier went on to explain how McGregor’s attempts at checking the calf kicks lacked the proper technique to protect himself correctly.
“I kick hard and with Conor’s wide stance, we felt it would be hard to check,” Poirier told ESPN.
“And I started kicking through his check because he wasn’t checking correctly. It was still the muscle part of his calf and he wasn’t turning his shin all the way outward so it wasn’t shin to shin.
“Even when he checked, he was getting the bad part of the kicks and I know from experience – I’ve been crippled by those kicks from Jim Miller. I’ve been hurt with them a few times.
“With the swelling in your calf, it has nowhere to go. It’s not like the thigh where it can spread out all over. That’s where you get compartment syndrome and the swelling gets stuck in pockets. It’s really painful.”