Conor McGregor failed to take Dustin Poirier's threat seriously in their rematch, according to the Irishman's long-time friend and training partner Artem Lobov.
The former two-weight world champion was preparing to organise a return to the boxing ring against Manny Pacquiao and admitted to using his second fight with Poirier as a 'warm-up'.
But the American tore up the script when he knocked out the much-favoured McGregor in the second round after landing a series of brutal leg-kicks to create an opening for a finishing blow.
And Lobov believes the loss was due to a general lack of respect shown to Poirier in light of his teammate having stopped him within seconds in their 2014 meeting
“Absolutely," Lobov told BJPenn.com when asked if McGregor had viewed the fight as a tune-up. "To be honest, it wasn’t like he wasn’t fully focused or anything, he just didn’t give Dustin the respect he deserved.
"He was more thinking about boxing Manny after the fight and was getting ready for that as Conor saw that as the challenge and Dustin was just going to be a warmup fight.
"Obviously, it didn’t work out that way – Dustin did his homework and improved a lot.
“To be honest with you, if you look at the second fight, it was developing how the first fight went, that is what I expected.
“The only things that made a difference were the leg kicks, it wasn’t like he wasn’t training to defend leg kicks, but those kicks are very unique.
"When you spar in training and you wear shin pads you don’t feel those kicks and you lift your leg to check, but in the fight, that doesn’t work anymore."
But Lobov believes that with some changes made in preparation, McGregor will have enough in his arsenal to avenge his defeat in the trilogy.
And he even believes that the Irishman will earn an early victory, similar to their meeting at UFC 178.
"Conor is now aware of that and I see the fight going how it already was going and the way the first fight went and I see Conor stopping Dustin early in this fight.
"I see Conor stopping Dustin in the first round.”
Poirier v McGregor 3 will take place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on July 10, and will be the first fight in Vegas with a capacity crowd since March 2020.
The pair appeared to be friendly ahead of their UFC 257 bout earlier this year, with both men sharing gifts at the weigh-ins and McGregor pledging to donate $500,000 to Poirier's charity 'The Good Fight Foundation'.
But their relationship has dissolved in recent months, and it is expected that McGregor will return to his trash talking ways when they finally go face-to-face again during fight week media events.
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