Many people would agree that a different approach is needed. Five months ago, Conor McGregor fought Dustin Poirier at UFC 257. We watched a fighter who was brazen on the mic and loose inside the cage during his early years in the UFC.
In January, though, we saw a more subdued ‘The Notorious’ who adopted a more boxing-heavy approach. McGregor was defeated by TKO in the second round, a first in his early but already illustrious career.
Now that he’ll fight ‘The Diamond’ for the third time at UFC 264, he’ll need to make some alterations in order to recover. And, in the case of Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson, McGregor may begin by returning to his roots.
“I think the person that has to do more changing of the fighters is definitely Conor,” Thompson said recently on Submission Radio. “I mean, Dustin Poirier has been fighting pretty much the same way for the longest time. He’s got great boxing, good timing, he’s tough as nails, he likes to sit in the pocket and he’s intelligent.
“I believe [Conor] lost something in his most recent bout. I believe it was due to all of his boxing. He’s no longer moving in the way you’re used to seeing him move. When he faced Jose Aldo, for example. He won the fight because of the movement. And he was kind of standing there in front of Dustin Poirier, taking a bunch of low calf kicks, and it was the final nail in the coffin.
Wonderboy further explains…
“So, he’s got to get back into moving like a Karate guy. He’s got to get back into getting on his bike, using that in and out movement, switching sides, playing that game, if he’s going to go out there and beat him again. Cause he can draw out Dustin Poirier’s strikes with his movement.
“And him being such a good counter puncher, can counter off of that. So out of the two, Conor’s got to get back to that. So, don’t know how hard that is and how long he’s been doing the boxing stuff, but he’s got to get out of that and get back to his movement.
“If he can do that, Conor can win.”
On July 10, UFC 264 will take place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, the first event there since UFC 248 in March. Wonderboy will face previous championship challenger Gilbert Burns in a co-headlining match.