Dustin Poirier eyeing 'blood and guts war' with Conor McGregor as he predicts 'motivated' Notorious to return at UFC 264July 2, 2021
DUSTIN POIRIER wants a 'blood and guts war' with Conor McGregor in their Las Vegas trilogy fight.
The former interim lightweight champion will renew his rivalry with The Notorious a week on Sunday in the main event of UFC 264.
Poirier, 32, scored a stunning second-round KO of the Irishman in their January rematch in Abu Dhabi but is hoping their Sin City series decider will be a longer affair.
The Diamond told ESPN: "If I was him, I would try to touch me early and keep me out of rhythm.
'Because if this thing starts to blossom into a fight, second, third, fourth, we start hurting in there, we start grinding it out, getting into a rhythm, I win that ten out of ten times.
"I want a blood and guts war, I want to question my will to fight, I want to be uncomfortable from the first second of the first round, I want to find out all this stuff.
"That's the thing about fighting, the only thing that's real is when that bell rings or whenever you show up and you're training, that's the only thing about fighting I love anymore."
Defeat to Poirier has lit a fire under McGregor, who is hellbent on exacting revenge on his old featherweight rival.
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And slick southpaw Poirier is expecting to face a 'dangerous' version of the Dubliner on fight night.
The Louisianan added: "It's all on the line for him now.
"He's not doing this for money, he's doing this for pride, for respect, to prove that he's still an important piece of this 155 lb division.
"That's a dangerous man; somebody who's doing it for themselves to prove something, he's not doing it for anything else but that, he doesn't need to.
"He's motivated, he's not coming out here to dampen his name any more, to get knocked out again or submitted again, he wants to build McGregor Enterprises back to what it was."
McGregor, also 32, hasn't tasted victory at lightweight in over four years and is determined to stop the rot in emphatic fashion.
He recently told Fox Sports: "I'm in great condition already. I beat him in the original bout [in 2014].
"I lost in the rematch. And then we've got trilogy, I've got a few little adjustments to make.
"I feel very, very confident. I'm very focused and driven.
"And I'll go in there and put on one hell of a performance and get it back on July 10."
The UFC's poster boy – who boasts a record of 22 victories and five defeats – has had his desire to compete repeatedly questioned over the last three years.
But the former two-division champion insists his love of competition is just as high as it was before he rose to superstardom in 2015.
He said: "I'm proud of my accomplishments. I'm a veteran now, I've gone through it all.
"I've been on every stage, every situation.
"There's a lot of dedication and a lot of sacrifices that goes into this game.
"But make no mistake, competing inside the octagon is what I love to do the most.
"More than anything, more than any fame. Competing under those bright lights is the true test of your character."
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