DUSTIN POIRIER reckons Conor McGregor will make a point to utilise calf kicks in their upcoming trilogy fight.
The former interim lightweight champion will face The Notorious in a rubber match on July 10 in the main event of UFC 264 in Las Vegas.
4Dustin Poirier brutalised Conor McGregor’s lead leg with vicious calf kicks at UFC 257Credit: Getty
4Conor McGregor required crutches to get around after his rematch with Dustin Poirier
Poirier, 32, knocked McGregor old cold in the second round of their January rematch after brutalising his lead leg with debilitating calf kicks.
And The Diamond believes the Irishman will look to return the favour in their Sin City series decider.
During an appearance on The Fight with Teddy Atlas, Poirier said: “For me, whenever those low calf kicks first started getting more popular, and I’m a southpaw so for these calf kicks to work, it has to be against another southpaw.
“I fought Jim Miller a few years ago back in New York at the Barclay Center, and he was the first guy to use them against me.
”And after that fight, my leg was so damaged, I had a whole new respect for the calf kick, the low leg kick game, and I’m expecting Conor to do the same now.
“He felt how crippling those kicks and how painful those kicks are and how much it changes the dynamic of a fight that I think he’s going to try and use them against me now.
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4Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor will renew their rivalry UFC 264 on July 10
”I really do, and that’s what I started doing, I started trying to use them every chance I got after I was hurt with them.”
Poirier still intends to make use of the crippling strikes, despite McGregor being better prepared to defend them.
He added: “I’m working on still landing my offense with my low kicks, but now I’m working on defending a lot more than I used to.
“Just like in that fight, if he would have started checking those kicks, or if I would have been getting taken down because I was chasing that leg kick, then I would have called an audible and gone with something else.
”I just used them because they were there, it was damaging him, he wasn’t making the right decisions to start defending them, and I knew how much they hurt, and I knew it was going to change the fight.
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”He wouldn’t be able to plant and throw.
’That power, his mobility would be taken away. The same thing in this one. If the kicks are there, I’m going to use them.”
Should McGregor show a newfound adeptness for defending the strikes, Poirier will draw on his well of other ‘tricks’.
He said: “If not, I’ve got a tool bag full of tricks that I can’t wait to show you guys.”
Defeat to Poirier prolonged McGregor’s winless run at lightweight to over four years.
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The Dubliner is relishing his rubber match with his old featherweight rival and plans to get back in the win column in spectacular fashion.
The 32-year-old said: “July 10th I will do this absolutely flawlessly. We have these clowns sussed and fully!
”They wanna play a game of tactics? No problem, see you in there.
”You’ve awoken a beast. A beast with the backing of a much higher power!
”Say your prayers.”
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