Dustin Poirier on Conor McGregor: He’s definitely the real deal

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Reinvigorated lightweight contender Dustin Poirier has spoken out about his former challenger Conor McGregor, and he is leaning towards the Irishman in the long awaited showdown with champion Jose Aldo at UFC 194.

Poirier entered the Octagon with ‘The Notorious’ in September last year following a prolonged taunting from McGregor. The fight was quick, fluid and lethal: just how McGregor had predicted. He knocked out ‘The Diamond’ in the very first round in front of a full house at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

Since the fight, Poirier has reinvented himself as a lightweight contender, crushing Carlos Diego Ferreria and Yancy Medeiros, but the sting of the McGregor loss still torments ‘The Diamond’

“I was very emotional, just because of everything that had gone on between me and Conor,” Poirier told Sky Sports yesterday.

“I’ve had 22 fights and I’ve never been put out like that. Conor is definitely the real deal. It was a well-placed, well thought-out punch that he threw. It hit me and I went down early. I also didn’t expect so much of the crowd to be rooting against me. That was actually shocking. But I wouldn’t say it affected the way I fought.”

The 26-year-old picked Chad Mendes to silence Conor McGregor at UFC 189, but the Irishman TKO’d ‘Money’ in the second round to seize the interim featherweight title. After shutting out Mendes, Poirier believes McGregor will dethrone Aldo at the forthcoming PPV in December.

“It’s a really competitive fight and hard to call but I think Conor will win using footwork and striking.”

Poirier will face the man the last man to defeat McGregor, Joseph Duffy, at UFC Fight Night 76 next month in Dublin, Ireland. Duffy beat McGregor back in 2010 via submission in the first round at Cage Warriors 39.

The American is excited for the bout, and looks forward to taking on “Irish Joe” in front of his native Irish supporters.

“I’ve moved forwards since then and fighting in front of the Irish crowd is nothing to do with getting revenge for that fight. Joe Duffy has a lot of people looking at him because he’s the last person to beat Conor, so I thought ‘let me check this guy out’.”

Poirier vs. Duffy is the main event at UFC Dublin which takes place on 24th October at the 3Arena. Conor McGregor will take on Jose Aldo in the main event at UFC 194 on 12th December at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. The fight will serve as a title unification.

Endless UFC and MMA obsessive, Chris adores the intense world of this sport - both inside and outside the Octagon. He is also a cinema devotee and has carved an elongated career in film criticism across both online and print media. He hopes you all read this bio in your best Bruce Buffer voice...