Dustin Poirier CAN beat Conor McGregor in their rematch at UFC 257, says Chael Sonnen – as he warns the American is ‘MUCH better’ than when he was knocked out in their first fight
- Former UFC champion Conor McGregor is back in January against Dustin Poirier
- ‘Notorious’ will take on his former victim at UFC 257 on Fight Island in Abu Dhabi
- McGregor knocked out Poirier inside a round when they met at UFC 178 in 2014
- Ex-UFC contender Chael Sonnen has warned that Poirier is a better fighter now
Conor McGregor will face a much tougher test than he did in his lightning 2014 win over Dustin Poirier when the pair meet again at UFC 257, former contender Chael Sonnen has insisted.
Ex-featherweight and lightweight king McGregor will return to the octagon for the first time in more than a year when he faces previous victim Poirier on Fight Island in Abu Dhabi on January 23.
Despite McGregor knocking Poirier out in under two minutes when they clashed at UFC 178, Sonnen says ‘The Diamond’ could avenge that dismal defeat this time.
Conor McGregor (right) will fight Dustin Poirier (left) in a rematch of their one-round 2014 bout
‘Notorious’ has been warned he faces a tougher test when the pair clash at UFC 257 in January
UFC favourite Sonnen told Podcast One: ‘If you go back and look at it the pure boxing of that night versus today, Dustin today would get rid of that Dustin faster than Conor did. So I think it is a very different match.
‘Conor does have a speed advantage on opponents, so it might behoove Dustin to mix it up a little bit, particularly early, and get his hands on him… not just trade with him.
‘But even if we are left with the trade-in, I will at least maintain for you that Dustin is much better today than he was then.’
Poirier won his next four fights after his defeat to McGregor and clinched the lightweight crown last year before being dethroned by unbeaten Russian Khabib Nurmagomedov, who also beat McGregor.
UFC fighter-turned-analyst Chael Sonnen thinks Poirier is a better fighter than he was in 2014
McGregor remains a considerable favourite to beat Poirier again on Fight Island in Abu Dhabi
That was the 31-year-old’s only loss in his last eight fights, and he responded by beating Dan Hooker in a Fight of the Night in Las Vegas in June.
McGregor beat Donald Cerrone in 40 seconds at UFC 246 in January but has not competed since then, announcing his retirement from the sport for the third time in June.
His rematch with Poirier was confirmed by the UFC last month after strong rumours that he would face Manny Pacquiao in a boxing match next year.
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