Conor McGregor makes his Las Vegas debut in September against Dustin Poirier
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Featherweight contender Dustin Poirier made no bones about his choice of opponent for his next fight, and at UFC 178 on September 27 in Las Vegas, he will get exactly who he asked for in the form of rising Irish star Conor McGregor.
“I’m excited,” said Poirier. “I’ve been asking for tough fights, and this one’s gonna be a good fight. It’s even more fun because the guy thinks he’s a God.”
“The Diamond” feels he has the solution to such an issue.
“There’s only one thing that’s gonna happen, and that’s gonna be Conor McGregor getting whipped,” he said. “That’s the only thing.”
Not many fighters can produce such a heated reaction from fighters and fans, but Dublin’s McGregor certainly sits near or at the top of the list. Unbeaten in three UFC fights, the “Notorious” one is coming off the biggest win of his career last Saturday at the sold out O2 Arena in his hometown, a stirring first-round TKO of Brazilian veteran Diego Brandao. As soon as it was over, speculation turned to McGregor’s next bout, and as soon as he heard it would be in Vegas, he smiled from ear to ear.
“It’s a dream for any athlete to fight in Las Vegas, and when Lorenzo (Fertitta) and Dana (White) told me they were bringing me to Vegas post-UFC Dublin, that adrenalin went up again," said McGregor. "It was down from the fight, and then it came right back up again. So I barely had time to let that last one settle and I really don’t want to let it settle. I just want to keep that momentum going, get back in the gym, keep preparing, and carry on. Ultimately I want everyone in this division. I want this to be a one-man division, and Dustin Poirier is next in line.”
That mix of bravado, charisma, and obvious talent has made the 26-year-old McGregor one of the sport’s biggest attractions, as well as a target for his fellow 145-pounders. Not surprisingly, McGregor doesn’t mind being in the line of fire, and he welcomes the showdown with Poirier.
“I’m happy with it and it seems like the right way to go,” he said. "Dustin was afraid the last time and kept quiet when Cole (Miller) was injured and until an opponent got replaced, and once that was known, he felt he had to speak up about it. So it’s built up perfectly for it now, and I believe this is another first-round finish for me. Dustin is chinny, he doesn’t take shots well, I don’t believe, so I’m happy with it. It’s perfect.”
Poirier agrees, at least with the perfect timing part.
“This is what I want,” he said. “It brings some light down to the division. People want to see the ‘45ers and they’ll be talking about us now and my name will be up there in the conversation. This is the next step, to be a Pay-Per-View draw and a household name. This is part of my journey.”
The only question is if the fiery Louisiana native can keep his emotions in check.
“I don’t know,” laughs Poirier. “Because right now I want to fly over there and beat him up. I can imagine when we’re face to face. But I have nothing to hide – I dislike the guy.”