Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) featherweights Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier went to war in a grudge match last night (Sat., Sept. 27, 2014) at UFC 178 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
McGregor may have gained quite a bit of attention with his mouth, but his fighting ability had thus far held up as well. Still, this was his first fight against a top 10 opponent, and it was vital that he prove himself worthy of the challenge.
On the other hand, Poirier violently worked his way up the ladder. An established veteran, Poirier was an excellent test for the "Notorious" one. Plus, he personally had a lot on the line, as Poirier seemed offended by McGregor's bravado.
Unfortunately for the Louisiana native, there's some truth to McGregor's words.
As usual, McGregor began the fight with a long kick. This time, he attacked with a hook kick. Poirier -- who seemed fairly calm despite the heated nature of the bout -- landed a leg kick in response.
The two traded punches as the crowd roared. McGregor continued to push forward with kicks and mixed spinning attacks into his assault. McGregor continued to pressure and landed a left hand, before taunting "The Diamond."
When Poirier ducked down, the Irishman punched over the top with a left hand. The punch clipped Poirier's temple, sending him tumbling to the mat. From there, McGregor finished Poirier off with a series of ground strikes.
This was a perfect performance by McGregor. He was aggressive, boastful, and violently effective. Poirier may have been a good match up for him, but he put away "Diamond" faster than anyone else has.
For his next bout, McGregor really should face a wrestler. Though the UFC would love to fast track him to the strap, it really wouldn't be fair. Instead, McGregor should face the winner of Dennis Bermudez vs. Ricardo Lamas.
Poirier cannot be happy with his performance. He didn't land many effective strikes or even threaten with his superior ground game. Instead, he was picked apart at range and then blasted for a finish when he attempted to move closer.
It would be a good idea for Poirier to take a bit of time off and work on his flaws. He's a young fighter who makes a pretty decent payday, so he can afford to work on his overall game. Frankly, Poirier's striking defense needs work if he's ever going to defeat the division's elite.
At UFC 178, Conor McGregor proved the hype was real as he disposed of Dustin Poirier. How far in the division can McGregor go?
For complete UFC 178: "Johnson vs Cariaso" results, including blow-by-blow coverage of the entire pay-per-view event, click here.