Where to start with this trilogy fight in the early hours of July 11? A rubber match following two fights which had pretty conclusive endings – albeit a chunk of time in between. The prices for this fight look much more accurate to me. I found it very hard to justify Conor McGregor going in to the octagon as such a heavy favourite last time out.
There’s just so many questions about McGregor and where he’s at, as well as his camp’s ability to formulate a winning gameplan. There just wasn’t the relevant compensation in the price to account for this in fight two. His last standout performance was in 2016 against Eddie Alvarez, and while it was a damn good one, it will have been over four and half years ago by the time this fight comes around.
With regards the abilities of McGregor’s coach John Kavanagh and putting together a winning formula; in the aftermath of the Khabib fight we heard about how they focused too much on the takedown threat. Fair enough, they’re probably not the first to do that against Khabib.
Following on from the Poirier rematch we heard about how they focused too much on boxing. That doesn’t wash anymore, it’s a mixed martial arts fight. Kavanagh has mentioned a couple of times in the media that it’s McGregor who oversees the camp and I’m not sure this is conducive to a winning environment. Contrast this with Dustin Poirier and his team of Mike Brown and American Top Team, who put together an excellent gameplan involving kicks, boxing and grappling. Again, it’s supposed to be mixed martial arts folks.
With all of the above in mind, once again I would find it hard to justify backing Conor McGregor at his current odds. Dustin Poirier still looks very backable, and El Diamante is who I want to have onside here.
Having a look at some of the other markets currently on offer, there’s some value in the fight to go the distance. There are potentially some parallels to be taken from McGregor’s rematch with Nate Diaz despite the obvious difference of that fight taking place at the welterweight limit.
However, The Notorious one had to totally switch up his gameplan for that rematch and implement a style that, ironically enough, incorporated leg kicks but also allowed him to conserve energy and go the 25-minute distance. That’s a sentence that could easily apply to this upcoming fight.
While there’s certainly no doubt about Poirier’s ability to go five rounds, that will likely never be the case for McGregor. Despite this, there’s enough juice in the price to have a bet. The leg kicks from Poirier were McGregor’s downfall last time around and if he were to implement a style and a stance that allowed him to evade those, it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that this fight goes the distance.
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