Aussie UFC champion Robert Whittaker says mentality, not skill, will decide whether or not famous person Conor McGregor can bounce again in Sunday’s (AEST) trilogy combat towards Dustin Poirier.
Irishman McGregor is bidding to avenge January’s second-round TKO defeat to Poirier when the pair meet once more at UFC 264 in a bout that looms as pivotal in relation to his profession and legacy. The duo have gained one match-up apiece with McGregor needing lower than two minutes to KO the American once they first met in 2014.
Former middleweight champion Whittaker believes McGregor nonetheless possesses the hanging precision and energy current in that win however has bluntly questioned whether or not the 32-year-old nonetheless has the identical starvation.
“He (McGregor) is aware of how one can strike with the best possible of them, he’s so good at what he does, at his craft,” Whittaker mentioned of McGregor on Fox Sports activities’ Struggle Week.
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“Actually I believed within the second combat he displayed that (hanging skill) as nicely. However I feel … there’s a distinction in mentality. That hungry McGregor won’t be the identical. Whether or not the newest loss towards Poirier modifications that up, we’ll have to attend and see.
“McGregor’s made some huge cash. Again then (the primary combat) he hadn’t executed that. He’s achieved numerous issues now. He’s achieved titles, double titles, massive cash. He’s not the identical McGregor”
Whittaker mentioned talent-wise and skill-wise, McGregor was “nonetheless there with one of the best of them”.
“You might see that in that (second) combat however I feel actually it’s mentality, and I feel that’s going to be the largest factor shifting ahead and on this subsequent combat — which McGregor, head-wise, comes into this combat?”
Australian UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski agreed McGregor nonetheless introduced a serious menace to Poirier together with his hanging skill.
“Going into this subsequent combat, that’s going to be one thing that has to play an element once more — the truth that (within the second combat) he (Poirier) obtained hit just a few occasions and it made him suppose, ‘I’ve obtained to play a little bit of technique right here — search for the calves, take-downs, get him considering and sluggish him down,” Volkanovski mentioned.
“I really feel he wants to try this once more. He can’t get caught up within the strikes particularly early as a result of Conor remains to be very harmful and really artful on the ft.”