Who would’ve thought that when these two powerhouses first stepped into the Octagon together, it would be the beginning of one of the biggest rivalries in the UFC in the last decade.
Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor. The two names side by side have been a regular to our screens across the past year, and a battle that we’ve loved watching unfold in front of us. It had to end sometime, and Mr. White has officially called it, the trilogy will come to an end, this Sunday.
While we’re sad we won’t be seeing these two battling it out any longer (that KO on Poirier courtesy of McGregor will forever live in our memory), what a ride it’s been. Huddled in front of a screen with mates, watching Notorious strut out and then two of the best go at it, excuse us while we take a walk down memory lane.
The two first met in 2014 (can you believe it’s been that long?), at UFC 178. At the time, McGregor was in his ultimate prime, the Notorious brand had never been bigger and the relatively unknown battler from Dublin had all of a sudden become one of the most well-known celebrities in the world. As expected, McGregor took the win with a huge first round knock out, and Poirier was stopped in his tracks.
A bit of a ‘where were you’ moment in UFC history, the pubs around the world went wild and we loved it. After the first bout, and Poirier received that gentle nudge of tough love, he knuckled down in the gym and in training, and used it as momentum to push him up a weight class and into a highly competitive division.
Fast forward to 2018 (just a bit of time has passed), we’re a few years older (but let’s not focus on this one for too long), and Dustin Poirier is a new fighter. The kick in the backside came at the right time, and he’s since gone on to record wins against some of the big wigs, Bobby Green, Joseph Duffy, Justin Gaethje and Eddie Alvarez, to name a few. But the big ticket item, Poirier claimed his first championship in the featherweight category, taking the belt from Max Holloway, breaking the 13 fight win streak held by the former champ.
In our minds, we imagine McGregor getting wind of this and immediately calling Dana White to lock in a fight. But that wasn’t the case, in fact it wasn’t until January 2021 that the two would meet again.
Fast forward (chime music plays), and we’ve landed in 2021. Picture this, we’ve survived bushfires, a global pandemic, extensive lockdowns, social unrest and just about everything else 2020 decided to throw our way (plus McGregor technically retired but that didn’t last too long). We’re looking at a very different world to what we were living in 2018, but the rivalry between these two remains the same.
Spoiler, Poirier took the win (you could’ve seen this coming), becoming the very first person to defeat McGregor by knockout and redeeming himself from the first time the two met. Which leaves the standings as one each, a perfect segway into the final bout.
So here we are, heading into the final bout this Sunday. With no belt on the line, it’s all about pride, and settling the score for once and for all – who is the better fighter?
Who do you think will take the chocolates? Will McGregor prove that the hype around him isn’t just for show. That the snazzy suits and the trash talk all contributes to the performance. Or will Poirier become a history maker, and prove himself against what many thought was too tough of an opponent.
We cannot wait to see it all go down and you’ll know exactly where to find us. With a beer in hand, watching it live at our local.