Combat sports star Claressa Shields has advised Conor McGregor to “get his mind off boxing” and “switch that mind back to MMA” ahead of his upcoming bout with Dustin Poirier.
The trilogy bout comes just six months after McGregor was defeated by the Diamond at UFC 257 via second-round knockout.
Poirier’s victory levelled the score between the two men at one apiece, following McGregor’s 2014 victory which came via first-round knockout.
Both men have become dramatically different fighters since then and while McGregor has become one of the highest-earning athletes on the planet, Poirier has become a fan favourite and one of the UFC’s pound-for-pound best.
With the trilogy bout set for just a few days away, Shields, who is a three-weight boxing world champion and MMA competitor, offered some advice to McGregor in a recent interview with Sky Sports.
"I think that Conor McGregor is a force to be reckoned with, but it doesn't matter who you are.
"You can be me, you can be Conor, you can be Floyd, you can be whoever.
Do you think Conor McGregor will defeat Dustin Poirier when they clash this weekend? Let us know in the comments section below.
"He has to switch his mind back to MMA. He has to get his mind off boxing.
"Judging on the last fight, when Dustin Poirier kept kicking that front leg, it's like he's got to know. Even me, I know. Jab, get that leg out of there.
"You can't be in a boxing stance in MMA, you have to make sure you're ready to check that kick, catch that kick, or get it out of the way.
McGregor’s knockout loss earlier this year came after a closely contested first-round. Poirier’s early investment in leg kicks proved crucial as McGregor slowed down mid-way through the second round and was knocked out in brutal fashion.
Shields has claimed that if McGregor can counter Poirier’s leg attacks, he stands a good chance at winning this weekend.
"You can't just be taking kicks and taking kicks for five, five-minute rounds, because your leg can only take so many."
"If he fixes that, and he throws his striking, he gets back to his wrestling and all of that stuff, I think he can beat Dustin Poirier.
"But I feel like Dustin Poirier, right now he has his number, unless Conor McGregor really goes back to the drawing board and just like I said, switch that mind back to MMA."
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UFC 264 takes place on July 10 at the T-Mobile Arena in Nevada and is shaping up to be a brilliant night of fights.
Alongside McGregor vs. Poirier III, a welterweight clash between Gilbert Burns and Stephen Wonderboy Thompson is slated to feature in the co-main event slot.
Sean O’Malley and jiu-jitsu star Ryan Hall are also expected to make their highly anticipated returns, facing Kris Moutinho and Ilia Topuria respectively.
Disgraced former NFL player Greg Hardy will make his ninth walk to the UFC octagon against fan favourite Tai Tuivasa in a heavyweight showdown.
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