Conor McGregor warned to expect Dustin Poirier to repeat tactic in trilogy fight

Conor McGregor has been warned to be wary of Dustin Poirier’s takedowns in their third meeting.

A criticism often levelled at McGregor by his detractors is that he struggles to take control when he finds himself on the ground, with his fights against Khabib Nurmagomedov and Nate Diaz cited as examples.

But former UFC middleweight title contender Chael Sonnen believes that is an unfair critique and claims the Irishman is far more durable on the canvas than he is given credit for.

“To make believe that Poirier isn’t going to go and work on getting better or change things because he won is false,” Sonnen said on his podcast Beyond the Fight.

“Poirier had some major success in one surprising area of the fight which was the takedown, Conor is hard to take down man, he’s a pain in the a**.

Conor McGregor was taken down in the first round of their UFC 257 fight

“Chad Mendes got him down and had a harder time holding him there – and Poirier did both and I don’t think anybody was more surprised than Poirier.

“That takedown attempt was bad, that was not his best takedown, he was trying to offer Conor something to make him think and worry and know a threat existed.

“But when they actually went down to the canvas, nobody looked more surprised than Poirier himself, so I think that’s going to be a part of his plan coming into this third fight.

“He’s going to try and make everyone, including Conor, believe that this is going to be a shoot-out and I think Poirier is going to go for those takedowns, whether he succeeds or not.

“If he can get it and he can keep it there and get some ground work in it’s a very different fight than you’re preparing for if you’re team McGregor.”

Sonnen has previously said that he believes the mental aspect of the game will be vital, and reckons McGregor must return to his trash-talking ways and leave ‘nice Conor’ in the past if he wants to get this massive win.

“I was given this advice when I was a kid,” Sonnen said earlier this week. “One of my coaches told me to write on my mirror every day that I was the champion.

“I never did it, I never one day wrote it down and taped it on the mirror and it’s not because I didn’t have paper or a pen or scotch tape, it’s because I didn’t believe it.

“I would have felt silly, what if somebody saw? I didn’t believe it.

“I only bring that to you because later in my life when I started to do it, I did believe it, and I believe that Conor McGregor went through the same thing.

“When everybody thought he was out there being an entertainer or trying to get in Jose Aldo’s head, I don’t believe that’s what was motivating.

“I believe that Conor was like me, where he started to make these claims and how saying these things out loud effected him inside and also how it effected his training and his discipline and work ethic.”

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