More so than in any other sport, the UFC is completely unpredictable. We’re not saying that we couldn’t possibly have predicted that McGregor would lose to Poirier - Dustin is a monster.
But when two titans of MMA are slugging it out in the octagon, almost anything can happen. What we are saying is that you need all the help you can get when betting on UFC at the moment, and on this note, here’s five things we learned from the Conor McGregor defeat to Dustin Poirier.
1: The division is in chaos
What do you do when the best of the best just retires with the belt? PoirierMcGregor 2 complicated things further - If Conor had won, being probably the most popular fighter on the roster and basically in the same boat as all the other fighters in terms of contender status (who even is the number 1 contender?), he’d have been given the chance to take the belt off of Khabib, almost definitely.
He didn’t, though. Despite winning his last fight in great style McGregor was comprehensively defeated at UFC 257, throwing the whole idea of the best of the rest in the lightweight division right up in the air.
2: ...and Kabib is the GOAT
There’s no possible way that we need to tell you, but UFC 257 cemented even further that Khabib Nurmagomedov is the greatest pound-for-pound fighter in UFC history. The man has never lost an official fight, and if you needed any more proof, look at how hard it is for the rest of the fighters to dominate like he did.
Every number 1 contender is knocked off that perch at some point lately, showing just how competitive the whole division, and the amazing fighters that are in there, are…
This makes it much easier to appreciate just how incredible a feat it was for Khabib to systematically destroy every fighter on there, one after the other - seriously, absolute destruction as well. They didn’t stand a chance.
3: That calf kick decimates strikers
Pretty sure McGregor mentioned it after the fight, but it’s worth stating again - Poirier instituted a technique during UFC 257 that has been growing in popularity lately. It’s a certain type of kick, aimed on the outside-back of the leg (calf), just below the knee.
Poirier’s game plan was obvious - catch the Irishman with these leg kicks time and time again until he’s done enough damage to severely limit Conor’s striking power.
McGregor complained of a dead leg - dead being the operative word - and was spotted leaving the arena on crutches shortly after the event. Obviously, every fighter needs to watch out for this type of kick that’s growing in popularity, but that’s especially true for striking experts, who rely on their lower limbs for balance, power and speed.
4: The Conor we once knew is gone
Remember that rubber-armed crazy Irishman that you’d never bet against and could floor anyone in a single punch? Yeah, well we think it’s fair to say that Conor McGregor is no longer that man.
Obviously he’s still an incredible fighter and can defeat anyone on his day, but we think we can safely say, at 32, he’ll never be Mr Fantastic ever again.
5: Lockdown is seriously affecting these fighter’s physical conditions
It was blatantly obvious during the whole event that these fighters weren’t performing at the level we know they’re capable of. It’s obviously the global pandemic that has done this to them, which is heartbreaking for UFC fans around the globe.
The lack of physical freedom is clearly taking its toll on these elite athletes - and it becomes more and more apparent that the longer this situation continues, the worse it’s going to get.
Conor’s calves seem like just the start of a long list of problems sure to rear its head somewhere along the line.
Michael McKean is an experienced writer with a portfolio that includes work on the subjects of sport, gambling, travel and finance. With a background rooted in journalism, Michael first ventured into the professional writing world based in Switzerland, where he wrote for a number of language and travel sites and magazines before moving into the world of sports writing and gambling sites.
As an avid soccer fan, who follows everything from the Scottish lower leagues to the European elites, he has earned himself a solid reputation as a reliable football betting tipster and predictor. Outside of work, Michael has always gotten involved with grassroutes football everywhere he has worked and lived - UK, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland and Brazil - and still isn’t shy when it comes to pulling the boots on himself. As well as soccer, he has also developed a love of North American sports, particularly ice hockey - a love which began in Switzerland and saw him venture across the pond to follow the NHL. Moving away from dry land, he’s also a keen longboard surfer and is happiest when writing with a view of the ocean.