After playing nice back in January, Conor McGregor returned to launching insults like he once did soda cans and a moving dolly. But despite his best efforts, Dustin Poirier didn’t seem rattled by his words.
Ahead of their third fight scheduled for the UFC 264 main event, McGregor and Poirier came face-to-face for the first time at the pre-fight press conference with a raucous crowd filling the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
In the days leading up to their previous meeting — a fight Poirier finished with a second-round knockout — McGregor was all smiles and had nothing but compliments for the Lafayette, La., native. This time around, McGregor dumped Poirier’s hot sauce out on stage, tried to charge at Poirier after his walkout and then took aim with personal insults.
“You’re getting walked like a dog in that octagon on Saturday night!” McGregor shouted. “You’re only a little b*tch. Your wife is your husband. You’re only a little b*tch of a thing, a silly little hillbilly. Jolie’s wife! You little b*tch of a thing.”
On the other side of the stage, Poirier was all smiles as he answered back at McGregor’s taunts.
“You used to be a lot better than that,” Poirier said. “The trash talk was a lot better than that. F*cking weak.”
Several versions of the same inquiry came at McGregor about the obvious difference in his demeanor between the last fight and the event this weekend, and when that switch actually happened.
One particular reporter posed that exact question to McGregor, and it was Poirier who first answered back. The response seemingly silenced the Irish superstar for a moment.
“Cause he got knocked the f*ck out,” Poirier said about the timing of McGregor’s attitude change. “Not McGregor fast … McGregor sleep.”
McGregor wasn’t quiet for long. As the press conference continued, he kept taking shots at Poirier with every statement decorated by expletives and insults as he attempted to get under his opponent’s skin.
That strategy worked perfectly when the combatants first met seven years ago, and McGregor earned a first-round knockout over an emotionally charged Poirier. McGregor apparently was looking to duplicate that performance both inside and outside the cage.
“I’m going to go through his head,” McGregor shouted. “Put holes in him and take it off his shoulders. That’s the goal here. He’s done. This is it for him. This is the end of the road. Even after that last fight, ‘Oh I don’t love this anymore, I don’t love doing this.’ He knew what was coming. He knew the smacks he took.
“So it’s on now. Saturday night, he’s getting walked around that octagon like a dog and put to sleep.”
The verbal abuse didn’t slow down either with McGregor calling Poirier everything from “a corpse” to “a little fake c*nt” as he attempted to discount what happened in their rematch earlier this year.
“I don’t give a f*ck about him to be honest,” he said. “I don’t give a rat’s ass about him. He’s Buster Douglas. He’s Buster Douglas is what he is and that’s the way he’s going to go down.
“He’s going to be known for that. It was a fluke win, and I’m going to correct it on Saturday night.”
The subject of preparation did come up during the question and answer session, with Poirier accusing McGregor of contacting boxers and fighters who have known him or worked with him over the years to help during the training camp.
Of course, McGregor denied asking anybody for assistance, especially when it came to his boxing skills.
“I sparked Paulie Malignaggi in sparring in the lead up to fight Floyd [Mayweather], one of the better boxers on this f*cking planet, you stupid toss pot,” McGregor said. “We never rang anyone to ask anyone for any bleeding info on you, you dope.”
Invoking Mayweather’s name led to another fiery response from Poirier as he reminded McGregor what happened in their boxing match in 2017, which somewhat mirrored the result in the UFC 257 main event as well.
“We both did the same to you,” Poirier said about sharing knockout wins with Mayweather over McGregor.
Before the chaotic press conference came to an end, McGregor’s own words were used against him after he stated this week that he overlooked Poirier in their last meeting while anticipating an eventual showdown with Manny Pacquiao in boxing.
Whether McGregor was taking him seriously or not, Poirier was happy to remind the former two-division UFC champion that the result was still a second-round knockout and he expects to do the same thing on Saturday night in the trilogy.
“I beat him,” Poirier said. “It’s a fight. It’s up to you to get prepared. I beat him. What’s his excuse going to be on Saturday is what I want to know.”
Calm, cool and collected until the end, Poirier ultimately promised that nothing McGregor said had gotten to him.
“I don’t hate anybody,” Poirier said. “I’m in a different place mentally. Respect to him and everything he’s done. I just don’t care about this stuff anymore. I don’t care about this.”