John Kavanagh: Dustin Poirier facing uphill battle, knows Conor McGregor ‘can shut off his lights very, very rapidly’

As seen by John Kavanagh, boss of Straight Blast Gym Ireland, Dustin Poirier faces a very strong mental challenge in his upcoming rematch with Conor McGregor.
Although it's been more than six years since the two first met, Kavanagh believes the first pairing McGregor won via TKO in the first round will weigh heavily on Poirier at UFC 257.
“I think you can go to sports psychologists and talk to this or that person for a lifetime. That won't be gone from his mind, ”Kavanagh recently told TheMacLife. "He knows he is facing someone who can turn his lights off very, very quickly and is much more powerful and experienced now than it was then, so it's an uphill, uphill battle for Dustin."
McGregor's longtime head coach, Kavanagh, was responsible for preparing for Poirier in 2014. Before his pay-per-view headlining on January 23rd in Abu Dhabi, he was tasked with the challenge again. Of course, a lot has changed for both fighters in the meantime, which is what makes the rematch so fascinating.
Kavanagh knows that they cannot simply prepare for the same fighter they faced before, but believes that it will be difficult to overcome mental problems.
"I think (Poirier) has definitely gotten better," said Kavanagh. "There are a few more shutdown attempts in his fights now. I'd never seen it - he has a good guillotine. We can see that. Then his volume and conditioning is on point. You can see in his fights that he has the ability to take a lot of punishment and still move forward. Pick one of the recent fights to see this quality. However, he fights a different animal than any of these guys: someone with real one-punch -Knockout force he's already felt. "
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Of course, there are arguments for things that might fall in Poirier's favor. After all, it is generally accepted that he was physically exhausted when he first met featherweight, and that "The Diamond" at 155 pounds can handle McGregor's strength a little better.
Poirier has also added a little more cage time to his arsenal and has taken 13 walks to the Octagon since then, as opposed to McGregor's Eight.
Kavanagh acknowledges these factors too, but believes McGregor's initial dominance speaks volumes about how the rematch will play out as well.
"It was a bad night for Dustin," said Kavanagh. “It was very one-sided, and if you look at some of the shots he absorbed he's a bigger man now, and you can say that there may be an argument that he can now absorb more shots, but he's fighting against a taller man. Even if you remember the fight, the opening hook kick, he was just whistling at his head. A few centimeters lower, that might even have surpassed the Aldo fight.
"So look, they've both matured physically. In terms of age they're in their thirties and (have) families. Dustin has had a few more competitions since then as Conor in the Octagon. Conor never stopped training and obviously has one Had a boxing match and other stuff so it's interesting to see how the styles meet this time. "
In this article
Dustin Poirier
Conor McGregor

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