Dustin Poirier discusses how Conor McGregor's mind games messed with his head
McGregor is a master of psychological warfare.
In many ways, the fight with Dustin 'The Diamond' Poirier was the one which propelled Conor McGregor to stardom in the UFC.
He was already an undoubted star in Ireland at the time following his first round TKO of Diego Brandao in Dublin, but beating Poirier, who was then ranked in the top five featherweights in the world, showed everyone that McGregor was the real deal.
Poirier was a seasoned opponent, with multiple fights under the UFC banner and the star of a very good MMA documentary called Fightville (well worth a watch for any MMA fans).
It was a big win for the Dubliner...
In a recent interview with Flo Combat, Poirier spoke about his fight with Conor McGregor and how The Notorious' mind games really affected him in the build up to the fight.
“I’ve always been an emotional fighter and that emotion fueled a lot of my early performances,” Poirier said. “I would get angry because I’m about to step in there and go toe-to-toe with someone who is trying to hurt me just like I intend to hurt them, and that energy shifts gears into that kill or be killed mindset.
“I always saw it as a plus but the Conor [McGregor] fight was the turning point. I remember I was backstage getting ready to walk out and I saw him and he threw this smile and pointed at me. I don’t know why but it really got to me, man. It really messed with my head. I mean I’m about to go out and fight this dude and he’s back there smiling at me? After that fight I knew I had to find a different way to use my emotion.”
Poirier has since rejuvenated his career with a move up to lightweight where he has looked so impressive in wins over Joe Duffy and most recently Bobby Green.
Green taunted Poirier in the first round but obviously Poirier has learned from his fight with McGregor and viciously finished Green.
— UFC (@ufc) June 5, 2016