The night of combat has almost arrived.
Conor McGregor vs Dustin Poirier has divided a lot of opinions and the pair are now set for their rematch and talkSPORT will be at the Octagon to bring you the results as they come in.
So who will win the main event? That’s what talkSPORT wanted to know when presented with the opportunity to chat with John Kavanaugh on Fight Island.
Here’s what the head of the Straight Blast Gym in Dublin had to say about the main event, along with other notable names.
John Kavanagh: Conor McGregor’s head coach
“I think the biggest attribute of Dustin is that he puts a lot of pressure on,” he said.
“This is definitely something to note. He’s been in some wars lately where he’s been able to take a few shots and build up a whole load of pressure. Are we getting into a whole technical discussion a few days from the end? Probably not [laughs].
“The man is very skilled everywhere. It’s a new fight and it’s a similar fight. I feel that Dustin is good everywhere. He’s got a big guillotine attack, he’s dangerous everywhere. But we are convinced that Conor is a higher level. Conor’s power has increased to an extraordinary level, to be honest. I’m really excited to see him when I don’t yell at him “Take it easy!” Take it easy!’ when he’s wearing 18oz gloves and people are still flying in the ring.
“So seeing him with 4 ounce gloves on and not having to worry about the sparring partner?” it’s exciting. “
Daniel Cormier: former UFC heavyweight champion
“I think it’s a fight with a lot of questions,” he explained to talkSPORT.
“I don’t know if we’ve seen Conor as driven or focused as he seems in a very long time. Dustin Poirier, you wonder if the experiences he has had since that first fight prepared him for this challenge again.
“It’s a very difficult fight to call because there are so many unknowns. Because, as well as we know, has Dustin been able to close the gap? There are some mental things Dustin can count on to make him feel supported. He was stunned, but he was not beaten for a long time.
“It was a very close fight. You can call it like ‘hey, I got caught with a bullet. I don’t know what would have happened in 15 minutes. You get caught again with a blow like that… you just know he’s a guy who can find that blow. So I don’t know, I really don’t know!
Stephen Thompson: current UFC No. 5 welterweight
“I think Dustin Poirier is a different animal. It’s a different animal than the last time they faced, but Conor McGregor can win this fight. I shoot for him.
Colby Covington: currently ranked # 1 welterweight
“It won’t be competitive. I think Conor is just going to trigger it in the first round. Just cook the Kleenex, because Dustin is going to cry a storm at the press conference and make everyone feel bad for him.
Michael Bisping: former middleweight champion
“Poirier has to struggle,” he told talkSPORT. “He has to drag it to the last laps, easier said than done.
“Everyone tries to do it at McGregor, I tried to do it at Vitor Belfort and it didn’t go my way. People say, “Oh, grab him and push him against the fence”. Of course, they have an answer for that.
“But Dustin is good at it, he’s from a good team, he’s got a great coach and it’s a rematch, so he’s been in there and he knows what it feels like physically. So he has a big advantage there and I think he pulls better because he doesn’t cut down to 145 pounds.
“I think it lasts longer than the first one, but if you want a pick I think McGregor gets a knockout at the end of the second round.
Leon Edwards: currently ranked # 3 welterweight
“I think Conor. I think Conor does it. From the last fight, both got better, and Dustin improved by leaps and bounds. But I think Conor, his shots will still be too heavy for him, and I think he’ll probably finish it again. I think of a round later this time, but I think he finishes it again.
Javier Mendez: Head coach of current lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov
“I prefer Conor because he’s the best precision forward and getting Conor to the ground won’t be easy for Dustin. So Dustin is going to have to clean it up, get inside and grind it up if he can.
“Anything is possible, they are both world class athletes, but I definitely prefer Conor because of the vividness. He is the master attacker of the lightweight division. I prefer Conor but I absolutely do not count Dustin.
Justin Gaethje: Current No.1 UFC Lightweight
“I don’t know, man. They are two very high level fighters. Conor is really good. I can probably see him winning. It will be interesting to see if Dustin lives up to the challenge. I do not think so [the weight] is a problem. I think what’s different is their state of mind because of where they are and places they have been since. They’re very different people since that fight, you know, both of them.
Anthony Smith: Currently ranked No.6 in lightweight lightweight
“I love Poirier, I really am. I think he’s just a different guy. It’s going to be exciting. It will be an extremely competitive fight. But I think Dustin made those improvements. He looked really good until he got into a fight against Khabib, he looked unstoppable until this point. He beat Justin Gaethje. I really like Dustin Poirier in this fight.
Paul Felder: Current No.8 UFC lightweight
“It’s always about skill, but I think the mental part of this game is the most important part,” he told talkSPORT.
“At this level, with the main event status, the guys held the belt and you’re good. Your skills are there. What sets you apart at this point, the peak of those divisions, is your mental toughness, your durability and we’ve seen Poirier show his heart recently and really showcase him in his fights.
“With Conor you see how he talks and how he trains, he seems to be in the shape of his life. Can’t wait, I really can’t. If that comes out of round one and we don’t see a Conor KO, we’re going to see a battle between these two guys.
“Conor says it’s going to take 60 seconds – I hope not. I want to see more. But, with that left hand, it could take 20 seconds … “