Artem Lobov believes his teammate Conor McGregor will finish Dustin Poirier in the first round again at UFC 257.
McGregor and Poirier fought at featherweight at UFC 178 in 2014, with the Irishman winning via TKO in under two minutes in the first round. Both men have grown tremendously since the first time they fought, but Lobov believes that his teammate still has the upper hand over ‘The Diamond’.
First Round Finish
Speaking to MMA Junkie, Lobov explained why McGregor beats Poirier the same way he did when the first time, when they face each other for the second time next month.
“I see this fight going exactly the same way,” Lobov said. “The reason being is everybody’s trying to make it out like Poirier wasn’t good before he fought Conor or something like that, like he’s changed so much. No, remember what Poirier was. He was the number five featherweight in the world. He was destroying guys. You remember his fight with [Erik] Koch, who was a top ten featherweight at the time. He stopped him. Brandao, this guy was an absolute killer. It’s just people don’t want to give Conor credit for destroying these guys.
“Poirier was a killer back then, but just stylistically, his style matches up so well [for] Conor, that Conor will stop him again in the first round, and it’ll be no different than their first meeting. So Poirier was good before they fought the first time, just Conor was so good that he destroyed Poirier like that and then after that, Poirier went back to doing what he was doing before he fought Conor, dominating and being a very good fighter, so I don’t see anything changing this time around.”
Not Training With McGregor
Lobov is preparing for a fight against Ylies Djiroun in France on December 12, and therefore, has not had a chance to train with McGregor recently. But once he is done with his bout, he might fly back to Ireland to help his longtime friend.
“Yeah, to be honest, we actually didn’t get to train in this camp, mainly because of this whole COVID s***,” Lobov said. “It just made moving around very hard, like anytime you left Ireland, you had to quarantine for two weeks whenever you came back. We didn’t really get to train together much, but who knows, perhaps after this fight, I will fly out to Conor and help him with some of his sparring and some of his preparation for his own fight. I will definitely be going out there to watch the fight, not even sure where the fight is going to be yet, but I will be there to support one hundred percent.”
McGregor is coming off a first round TKO win over ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone at UFC 246 in January, but has not fought at lightweight since losing to Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229.
Can Conor McGregor repeat his 2014 performance against Dustin Poirier in the UFC 257 main event?