On July 10, McGregor will fight Dustin Poirier in the main event of UFC 264, the third installment of his trilogy. They fought again in January, with “The Diamond” winning by TKO in the second round. Poirier has stated that he will finish McGregor again in the build-up to the trilogy, but St-Pierre believes the Irishman will win early by KO.
“I think McGregor is very good in rematches, and I think he’s going to have the victory,” St-Pierre said on the Tristar Gym YouTube channel (h/t MMAJunkie). “I think he’s probably going to win in the second round. A knockout.”
There’s a good chance that happens, given McGregor has won some critical battles in the past. He knocked out Jose Aldo in 13 seconds then TKO’d Eddie Alvarez in the second round to claim the lightweight title. St-coach, Pierre’s Firas Zahabi, believes it’s a 50-50 fight, but believes Poirier can win with his leg kicks once more.
“My official pick was 50-50 odds,” Zahabi said after St-Pierre gave his prediction. “I think it could go either way, but because GSP picked McGregor, I’ve got to pick Poirier. I’m gonna make a case for Poirier right now. At 155, McGregor’s power is maybe not exactly what it used to be, and he’s got to do five rounds. I think Poirier showed in fight No. 2 (that) he’s smart enough to take McGregor in the later rounds. In Round 1, he took a big left, and he took it well.
“I think psychologically Poirier’s a bit more ready to take that left hand. He’s more aware about it. I think this is an incredibly difficult fight,” Zahabi continued, and said he made the case for Poirier because St-Pierre went with McGregor. “Fifty-fifty, but if Georges picked McGregor, I gotta pick Poirier. I think Poirier’s going to take him into Round 3, and he’s going to do the same thing he did before. He’s gonna kick the leg, he’s gonna injure McGregor a little bit in the leg, and then he’s gonna put the hands on him. It’s going to be a trench war, and Poirier’s gonna put him away.”
The fight is currently a pure pick’em for the oddsmakers. Both McGregor and Poirier have routes to victory mapped out by St-Pierre and Zahabi. In the trilogy, we’ll soon find out who gets their hand raised.