Dustin Poirier expects Conor McGregor to use the calf kicks that set the American on his way to victory in their January rematch against him in their trilogy.
The pair, who have traded wins in their two fights thus far, will face off for a third time on July 10 at UFC 264, and Poirier believes he’ll have to change his game plan once again for the Vegas showdown.
The winner of the bout is likely to face newly-crowned lightweight champion Charles Oliveira later in the year, with Poirier currently holding the No.1 contender spot.
And speaking with renowned boxing coach Teddy Atlas on his podcast The Fight , the Louisiana native said that he is expecting McGregor to use the devastating move.
“I’m a southpaw so for these calf kicks to work, it has to be against another southpaw,” said Poirier.
“I fought Jim Miller a few years ago back in New York at the Barclays Centre and he was the first guy to use them against me, and after that fight, my leg was so damaged, I had a whole new respect for the calf kick, the low leg kick game.
“I’m expecting Conor to do the same now – he felt how crippling those kicks and how painful those kicks are and how much it changes the dynamic of a fight that I think he’s going to try and use them against me now.
“I really do, because that’s what I started doing, I started trying to use them every chance I got after I was hurt with them.
“I’m working on still landing my offence with my low kicks, but now I’m working on defending a lot more than I used to.
“In that fight, if he would have started checking those kicks, or if I would have been getting taken down because I was chasing that leg kick, then I would have called an audible and gone with something else.”
McGregor has claimed that the issue with calf kicks, which many fans have theorised is down to his change in stance from a wide karate style to a more standard boxing defence, has been rectified and promised a ‘flawless’ performance in July.
He said in a tweet earlier this month: “July 10 I will do this absolutely flawlessly.
“We have these clowns sussed and fully! They wanna play a game of tactics? No problem, see you in there. You’ve awoken a beast.. A beast with the backing of a much higher power! Say your prayers”