Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier meet again in the early hours of Sunday and our UFC betting expert Sean Taylor is hoping to see a slugfest...
Poirier is who I want to have on side here. I’d feel a lot more comfortable backing him than McGregor at their current prices on the Exchange.
Exactly 169 days will have passed since Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor last fought by the time their bout comes around in the early hours of Sunday. That's a relatively short turnaround. However, both fighters will have had back-to-back camps preparing for each other. They are well versed in what each other brings, and doesn't bring, to the octagon.
Looking at the fight winner odds first, it's interesting to note the difference in prices between the Sportsbook and Exchange with Exchange punters feeling more pessimistic about McGregor's chance this time around.
If you want to back McGregor, do so early as the money will likely start to come for him closer to fight night.
That said, Poirier is who I want to have on side here. Given that the fight is essentially priced as a pick 'em, I'd feel a lot more comfortable backing Poirier at his current price on the Exchange.
Questions marks over McGregor
There are question marks lingering over McGregor and I don't feel we're being compensated accordingly with his price. With Poirier, you know he has an excellent team behind him who have proven themselves excellent at putting together winning gameplans. We also learned in the last fight that Poirier can take those power shots from McGregor and that will be a huge source of confidence for him going into this trilogy bout.
There's no real doubt that McGregor's best is better than Poirier's, but I think that's the level he will need to be at to win this fight and nobody can really be sure that's what we're going to get. By the time fight night rolls around it will have been over four-and-a-half years since his last great performance against Eddie Alvarez. In the meantime, Poirier has been continuously performing to a high level in what is perennially a stacked division.
Fight to go deeper than last bout
Having a look at some of the other markets available, I really like the look of over 2.5 rounds. I expect McGregor to start quick like he always does but as I mentioned earlier, we know Poirier can take those shots and so unless McGregor can catch him off balance, I wouldn't be at all shocked to see this fight go deeper than last time.
McGregor will be prepared for the leg kicks - don't be surprised to see him fire off some of his own either - and, with that path to victory not being as readily available as last time, I think we will see quite a technical stand-up bout.
If you look at McGregor's only other rematch against Nate Diaz, he was much more measured in how he expended his energy and I think that's something we could see here given how durable Poirier is. I would expect Poirier to employ similar first round tactics to the last fight in an attempt to nullify the fast start.
It's a mixed martial arts fight, so one discipline won't win you fights at this level as we saw in January. Ultimately, Poirier has more tools to win this fight and as a fan I'd love this one to turn into a slugfest. The longer the fight goes, the more likely that becomes.
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