One-time Conor McGregor adversary, Dustin Poirier, is familiar with trash talk and what the promotion for a fight with the boisterous Irishman entails.
Now a surging lightweight, "The Diamond" was tasked with taking down the new No. 1 featherweight contender last Sept. at UFC 178 in Las Vegas and implores McGregor's next opponent at UFC 189, two-time title challenger Chad Mendes, to not get caught up in the pre-fight banter.
"Don't fight the person in your mental," Poirier told MMAFighting. "I'm a thinker and I always go through the fight in my head, over and over again. A lot of times, I would find myself being angry at him. I'm not fighting him, who he is, I'm fighting his style and what he does in the cage. You're not fighting the talk."
Poirier also didn't rule out a potential rematch with McGregor if "Notorious" was to make the trip up north to lightweight in the future. He also voiced his opinion on who he thinks will take the interim featherweight title fight on Sat. night (July 11, 2015).
"Conor has great reflexes, reaction and timing, but he's open a lot. He really is," Poirier said. "Mendes has a good right hand. If I can touch him and so can [Dennis] Siver, so can Mendes. He's going to close the distance and stay on him, hit him with that overhand [and] put him on his back. You don't know how hard it is to fight a wrestler like that until you do it and I don't think Conor ever has."
Mendes is one of the best wrestlers, if not the best, in the featherweight division. The 30-year-old averages four takedowns per fight, though he's recently made a living knocking foes out.
Aside from walloping fellow power wrestler Ricardo Lamas back in April, Mendes took out four-straight opponents with strikes over a 13-month span between 2012-2013.
Despite his well-rounded credentials, Mendes remains the underdog in the lead-up to his interim title bout with the Dublinator, which is surprising to many, including Poirier.
"It's crazy. I'm going to parlay him and [welterweight champion] [Robbie] Lawler and laugh all the way to the bank," said Poirier.
Had McGregor been pitted against injured 145-pound titleholder Jose Aldo, like the plan was all along, Poirier would expect the fight to go a bit different.
"I would've bet on Conor in that fight. I'm not betting on Conor this fight," remarked Poirier.
He sounds confident, but before you wager any money Dustin, make sure you check out the latest odds and betting lines!
UFC 189 is almost upon us Maniacs, which means you should stick with MMAmania for live round-by-round, blow-for-blow coverage of the entire fight card. You can also expect post-fight recaps and analysis, plus much, much more!