'The Thought Is In The Back Of His Head' Says Conor McGregor's Coach
John Kavanagh has claimed that Conor McGregor's win over Dustin Poirier in their first meeting will be 'in the back of Poirier's head.'
The two men fought at UFC 178, over six years ago, at featherweight, in what was just the fourth fight in the UFC for McGregor.
It took the Irishman just one minute and 45 seconds to earn the win over the American, forcing a stoppage by the referee in a 'Performance of the Night' showing.
Both fighters have come a long way since that fight, moving up weight, with McGregor holding titles at two weights and Poirier winning the lightweight title, but the Notorious' coach Kavanagh believes that the 2014 meeting will still make a difference.
Talking to the Daily Mail about whether the stoppage would play on the Diamond's mind, Kavanagh said, "I don't fancy the job of whoever it is trying to convince Poirier otherwise, to not be thinking about that all the time.
"The thought is in the back of his head all the time and then on fight night Conor's fist will be in the back of his head.
UFC 178: Conor McGregor rocked Dustin Poirier to get a first round win...:boom:- PointsBet Sportsbook (@PointsBetUSA) January 23, 2021
UFC 257: McGregor to win by 1st Round KO/TKO: +200pic.twitter.com/hAPK0PdL7V
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"With Conor it is not that its just one punch to avoid, it can be any weapon, it could be his shoulder, his knee, his hip, it could be his foot, the shin, you're just fighting a completely different level of skill.
"So even if Poirier is going in having had a lot of tough fights since the first, and absorbed a lot of punishment, I still believe on fight night when the first heavy shot lands, he'll be reminded that Conor hits like nobody else."
Speaking exclusively to SPORTbible earlier this week, Kavanagh did admit he was impressed by Poirier, although credited the 32-year-old's improvement to his own fighter.
"Fantastic fighter. I call it the school of McGregor that some of these guys like Holloway, even [Jose] Aldo, the guys that came through getting fairly one-sided beating from him have gone onto great things and Dustin certainly has gone on a great tear. I'm sure he learned a lot from the first fight. I'm sure he's mentally prepared.
"But it still is different on fight night when he's standing in front of you. He's just got such an intimidating presence. When that first shot lands and he's reminded of the power, It's going to be very hard for him not to panic a little bit even with all his experience. I don't think this fight is going to be hugely different from the first fight."
On how McGregor is feeling, Kavanagh added, "I liked [Max] Holloway's quote that this is shaved-head Conor. It's all business!
"I don't remember the last time seeing him like this and he's very excited about it. A busy year. Let's focus on this one, we're not looking past Dustin, but I'm anticipating a busy year."
Featured Image Credit: PA
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