McGregor: People are going to call Poirier a bum after I put him away

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Conor McGregor believes he has already made ground on his UFC 178 opponent Dustin Poirier, claiming that it only took seeing the man in the flesh to establish his dominance over him.

As videos of his taunts at Poirier from the event’s media tour have gone viral, McGregor spoke about the impression that he got of ‘The Diamond’ when the future opponents stood face to face.

“We just nodded, he looked timid,” the Irish featherweight said. “He came towards me with his hands up and I walked straight up to him and looked him dead in the eyes. He can talk all the shit he wants online, but when we were face to face it was a different story.

“That’s what happened, he talked all that shit on Twitter as if he wanted it but when we were face to face, man to man, I knew he didn’t want it. There were no words spoken, we both know what happened, he was afraid.”

Poirier has been adamant that he will have no fear in standing with the Irish knockout artist. However, ‘The Notorious’ is confident that once the American feels the power in his hands it might be too late for him to switch up his game plan.

He said: “I know he won’t stand with me. He’s going to get caught with a couple of punches and then he’s going to come charging in with his head down. I’ll land a couple more and that will be it.”

Despite his quick dispatch of decorated wrestler Marcus Brimage, his disposal of Brazilian jiu jitsu black belt Diego Brandao, who failed to initiate a threatening submission attempt when he had the Dubliner in his guard, and his victory over Max Holloway in which he fought half the bout with a heavily injured knee, people continue to doubt McGregor.

The SBG product outlined his understanding of how attitudes towards his opponents can change before and after they meet him.

“Before I fought Brandao everybody was saying ‘this is the guy that will test him, this guy will do it, he’s dangerous, he’s going to knock McGregor out, he’s too experienced, he’s a black belt in Brazilian jiu jitsu’. Then I beat the guy and all of a sudden the same people start saying ‘he’s a bum, he is a nobody’.

“It just seems to happen after I fight these people. It is what it is, I’m sure it will happen again. The same people are going to call Poirier a bum after I put him away. It’s just the way some fans are, the way the sport is portrayed and it will always be the same.

“I don’t care about any of that shit, I just annihilate everyone that they put in front of me,” he said.

Questioned as to whether the infamous brawl between Jones and Cormier, who originally were due to headline UFC 178 before an injury to Jones postponed the bout, put extra pressure on him to steal the show, McGregor claimed that he would wait until he meets Poirier in the Octagon to grab the headlines.

He also insisted that Poirier already “bows down” to him and if he was to take his jibes at the American any further it would be considered bullying.

“I will steal the show in the cage, I don’t care about what happens before it. There is no need for me to start a brawl with Poirier, he’s too timid. When a man bows down to me, I won’t bully him. It’s cool, we both know what happened.

“With Jones and Cormier there was real beef there, someone grabbed a man’s throat. It’s not a competition when we’re up there promoting a show. The fight is where the competition is. I don’t care about their thing, it has nothing to do with me but it will build up the show more.”

The night of July 19th will always be remembered as one of the crowning moments in Irish MMA history, but the protagonist of the night maintained that nothing much has changed with him since the faithful night, apart from his bank account:

“UFC Dublin has given me a big huge bank account with loads and loads of money, that’s the main thing that’s changed since then.”

McGregor also gave a play-by-play of what way he thinks he will finish his bout on September 27.

“I’ll crack him early, he’ll probably shoot for a takedown and as he’s looking for it I’m going to sprawl on him and crack him a couple more. He’ll go down and I’ll finish him – that will be that. It won’t leave the first round,” he forecasted.

Finally, the Dubliner shared his thought on what it means for him to finally compete in the fight capital of the world, Las Vegas, Nevada.

“This event matches my aspirations 100%,” he smiled. “My aspirations are all geared towards money and Las Vegas means money. Here I am, the big time – the big show. People can hate me, hate what I’m doing, hate the way I’m doing it but I do it right and that is that.”

@PetesyCarroll

Peter Carroll is Severe MMA's lead feature writer. He has been featured in many top publications and some rubbish ones too. He also writes for the Irish Daily Mirror and Vice's Fightland.