Dustin Poirier has been warned by UFC boss Dana White that Conor McGregor is taking their upcoming trilogy bout more seriously than he took their rematch.
The American knocked out McGregor in the second round at UFC 257, having been stopped within two minutes of their initial 2014 bout.
And they will face off for a third time on Saturday night at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas in the main event of UFC 264, with a capacity crowd watching on.
White believes that the third bout is almost more intriguing than their initial two, and says that the Irishman is "in his own world" going into the contest.
"Conor looked damn good in the first round of that last fight," White told The Mac Life. "I don't know how well he prepared for that fight.
"I don't know what he did, I don't know the difference between his training camp for that fight or this fight, but what I do know is that from what I can see, he's taking this fight a lot more serious than the last fight.
"He's basically shut down, he's in his own little world doing his thing, he feels like the old Conor McGregor.
"Only Conor knows what Conor needs to tweak and fix and do, but I can tell you this, Poirier is training down in Florida with savages every day.
"He wants this fight worse than anything, you look at being hungry, and there's no doubt that Poirier has to be more hungry than McGregor."
It appears that the winner of the third bout will be next in line for new lightweight champion Charles Oliveira later this year, with White all but confirming the plan.
"Dustin wants all the things McGregor has," White continued. "He was criticised for taking this fight instead of the title fight, he absolutely did the right thing, this was the fight to take.
"All the people criticising him, if they were in his position they would have taken the Conor fight, it was the right thing to do, because if he can win on Saturday night he wins the trilogy against McGregor and goes to fight for the title anyway.
"A lot more people are going to know who he is after this fight."
The plans aren't quite set in stone, although White is confident that the title is next for the winner.
"I think so," he said when asked if the winner would definitely be facing Oliveira for the belt. "Nothing is set in stone because anything can happen after the fight, who knows, but it makes sense."
Both men would be favoured to beat Oliveira if they were to fight for the belt, although it remains to be seen if McGregor would use a big win to catapult himself into another massive money boxing match instead of immediately going for gold.
He was already two-weight undisputed world champion, while Poirier was the interim title holder for a brief spell in 2019 before losing his unification bout with Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Source: Read Full Article