Can Conor McGregor return to his best? Dustin Poirier gives his opinion

Dustin Poirier has given his honest opinion over whether Conor McGregor can return to his absolute best in UFC.

‘Notorious’ hasn’t fought since being defeated to Poirier in their trilogy fight at UFC 264 back in July. The Irishman suffered a broken leg in round one, and ‘The Diamond’ was declared the winner via technical knockout after a doctor stoppage.

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McGregor was given a six-month suspension after the fight. That suspension has not yet passed. We will have to wait a while longer before the Irishman returns to the Octagon.

Read: Conor McGregor next fight: John Kavanagh reveals ‘legacy’ plan

His coach, John Kavanagh, has stated that McGregor’s next fight is likely to be against a ‘legacy’ opponent, such as Nate Diaz or Tony Ferguson.

But whilst ‘Notorious’ may have some dates in the calendar soon, UFC fans are asking the same question: will he be able to get back to his best upon returning to the sport?

Poirier gears up for title showdown

Whilst McGregor’s MMA career has had few highs in recent years, Poirier is currently getting ready for possibly the biggest fight of his career. The differences between the pair’s recent fortunes are remarkable.

‘The Diamond’ is looking to fulfil a lifelong dream by becoming a UFC world champion. If he defeats Charles Oliveira at UFC 269 on Sunday, he will have achieved that ambition.

Speaking on the UFC 269 Countdown video ahead of the Oliveira showdown, he said: “At the end of the round, I’m the undisputed world champion, and I don’t think this fight is going five rounds.”

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He has won each of his last three fights and last suffered defeat to Khabib Nurmagomedov in the Russian’s penultimate fight in 2019. Khabib ended his career with a perfect 29-0 record in UFC.

Poirier is currently odds-on favourite with the bookies to secure the lightweight title at UFC 269. It promises to be a cracker.

Poirier on McGregor future

Speaking in an interview with Morning Kombat‘s Brian Campbell, Poirier gave his honest view on whether McGregor can get back to the top. Furthermore, he refused to rule out a third rematch between the pair – but not in the immediate future.

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He said: “I’m looking at the next challenge – the lightweight title.”

“But if anybody can pull it back together and get back on top, [McGregor] is definitely one of those guys that could. It’s up to him. He’s in control of his destiny, of whatever he’s going to do.”

“I don’t think the chapter will ever be closed,” he added in response to a question about whether he would ever fight McGregor again.

How is the relationship between Poirier and McGregor?

Based on the scenes we witnessed at UFC 264, the answer to that question is a simple one.

After his first-round defeat, McGregor could be seen sitting on the floor of the Octagon. He shouted insults in the direction of his opponent and his wife, Jolie.

He claimed (quotes via The Independent): “Your wife is in my DMs, hey baby. Hit me back up – I’ll chat to you later on. I’ll be at the after-party at the Wynn nightclub. You look in bits, you little h**!”

McGregor then brought the claims up again a month later in response to a tweet from Poirier.

Earlier in the year, Poirier accused McGregor of “ghosting” him and claimed the Irishman refused to fulfil a promised donation of $500,000 to his ‘Good Fight Foundation’.

McGregor later responded (quotes via Daily Mirror): “A donation. Not a debt. We’ve been awaiting the plans for the money that never came. I do with all my donations… know where it’s going dot for dot, otherwise it goes walking.”

Poirier later said he made a mistake in publicising what he said was a private matter. He told ESPN that he “didn’t say anything untrue”.

It perhaps says a lot that despite their feud, ‘The Diamond’ is still backing his rival to get back to his best. However, he has said that McGregor controls his own destiny.

UFC fans will be watching McGregor’s progress with undoubtedly keen interest.

Featured Image Credit: Getty