‘It’s not going to be like the first fight.’
Former UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis has predicted that Conor McGregor’s rematch with Dustin Poirier will be a “war”.
McGregor and Poirier will face off for the second time at UFC 257 on 23 January, just over a year since the Irishman last stepped into the octagon.
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The Dubliner scored a decisive victory in his first encounter with Poirier, knocking him out in the first round, but Pettis is predicting a much closer fight this time around.
“It’s definitely going to be a different fight. It’s not going to be like the first fight. Dustin’s not going to be as emotional as he was in the first fight, where he came into the cage and just tried to knock Conor out.
“He’s definitely developed over his career,” Pettis told Pundit Arena.
‘You have that mental edge over them already’
Poirier has been in fine form in recent years, having lost only one of his last eight fights, with that one defeat coming against Khabib Nurmagomedov.
However, Pettis, who fought Poirier in 2017, couldn’t see past McGregor notching his second win against ‘The Diamond’.
“When you do have a win over somebody – and I have two rematches in my career with Ben Henderson and Cowboy – I just feel that when you beat somebody you have that confidence and you have that mental edge over them already.
“So if I had to pick somebody I’d have to say Conor McGregor but I don’t think it’s going to be a first-round knockout. I think it’s going to be more of a war,” Pettis explained.
While a win against Poirier could set up McGregor for a shot at the lightweight title, the Irishman has indicated that he will pursue a boxing bout with Manny Pacquiao later this year.
Originally published on January 15, 2022.