Conor McGregor is likely one of the greatest at ‘getting beneath your pores and skin,’ says Dustin Poirier


The ‘Notorious’ UFC fighter returns to the Octagon after a 3rd retirement this Saturday the place he’ll face Dustin Poirier at UFC 257. It’s a rematch from 2014 the place McGregor took lower than two minutes to knock out the American.

Having spent over a yr away from the UFC since his final battle, McGregor known as his time a “wild ride.”

“It’s been some ride — I’ve got it done and I’m up here,” McGregor stated throughout his pre-fight press convention.

“Mad as a brush. I’ve been through it all. It’s been a wild ride for me. It’s not been easy at times. What a life and I tell you, I wouldn’t want it to be any other way. I’m very excited to be back here. I’m very excited to have fans in here. I feel invigorated. I’m going to paint a beautiful picture inside this Octagon on Saturday night and I’m very excited to do so.”

However, Poirier says he discovered quite a bit from that defeat and 6 years later, he is a really totally different fighter.

“I’m more prepared now on the mental side,” Poirier advised CNN Sport’s Don Riddell. “Before, when I was younger, I didn’t put a whole lot into the mental side of fighting. I listened to critics. I listened to opinions of people. I listened to Conor.

“I obtained pissed off and caught up in all of the confrontation main as much as the battle. And he is top-of-the-line at that, getting beneath your pores and skin, making you upset. Now, that is simply noise to me.”

Chaotic fighting in silence

There will be very little noise on Fight Island in Abu Dhabi this Saturday with only 2,000 fans allowed to attend due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Having beaten Dan Hooker in front of no fans in Las Vegas last June, Poirier says he prefers the sound of silence.

“I favored combating with no crowd. Yeah, like I do know some fighters feed off the vitality of the gang and need to get pumped up and stuff like that. For the primary time in my profession, I fought with no person in attendance in 2020, final yr. And I assumed it was calm. It was extra peaceable.

“Fighting is chaotic. Your brain is moving a million miles an hour and on a regular fight night you have people hanging over the things trying to grab you when you walk into the octagon and people yelling and stuff like that. It just makes it more chaotic. And it was peaceful.

“It additionally makes the battle extra intimate. When you are standing throughout from that man, you are not listening to hundreds of screams, you are listening to your individual ideas, you are listening to the announcers speaking. It’s actually bizarre, man. It was an ideal expertise to go to that.”

Dustin Poirier defeated Dan Hooker on June 27, 2020 in an empty arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Champion in his own right

A former interim lightweight champion, Poirier has won 26 out of 33 Mixed Martial Arts bouts. He’s the only man to have faced both McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov, losing to both.

McGregor additionally misplaced to the undefeated Russian in 2018. The former two-division champion returned to the cage a yr in the past to beat Donald Cerrone earlier than announcing a third retirement in June.
A change of coronary heart occurred after the Irishman and Poirier exchanged tweets regarding a charity exhibition contest, earlier than the UFC obtained on board.
The refugee following in the footsteps of Khabib Nurmagomedov
Whatever happens on Saturday, Poirier knows there will be winners because of him. He’s been auctioning off his used fight gear to help fund his non-profit — The Good Fight Foundation. He’s changed the lives of people locally in Louisiana and much further afield too.
“When I fought Khabib final yr right here in Abu Dhabi,” explains Poirier, “we raised some huge cash and we have been capable of construct water wells in Africa for the Pygmy people [in Uganda] and likewise purchase them 40 acres of land.

“And I think that is incredible, man. It transcends fighting. And I don’t take that stuff lightly. I’m very thankful for the position I’m in and the platform I have to raise awareness, to be a voice for the voiceless.”

Poirier is particularly pleased with constructing a youngsters’s playground that’s accessible for disabled youngsters in his hometown, that the UFC fighter says was a younger, dying boy’s want to have an area that he and his associates may play on. “That’s a big deal to me,” provides Poirier.

Dustin Poirier became Interim Lightweight Champion at UFC 236 on April 13, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia.

“What I wear to the octagon will all be auctioned off the following week. I keep memories. And I keep piece of that goal with me that the money goes towards in my heart every time. That’s more valuable to me than a pair of bloody gloves.”

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