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Owen Roddy: Dustin Poirier ‘gets rocked in every fight,’ past opponents ‘don’t punch like Conor McGregor’

Esther Lin, Showtime

Dustin Poirier’s run to the top of the lightweight division has come with numerous high profile wins over opponents such as Eddie Alvarez, Justin Gaethje, and Max Holloway.

But ahead of his rematch with Conor McGregor in the UFC 257 main event, the Irishman’s striking coach Owen Roddy sees Poirier’s defense as his biggest liability ahead of their clash on Jan. 23.

“He’s technically good,” Roddy said about Poirier when speaking to the MacLife. “He’s [got] good hands, he’s tough, he’s durable and he sets a pace. I think it’s a combination of those things that’s allowed him to have that success. But he always gets rocked in every fight.

“People don’t punch like Conor. His opponents don’t punch like Conor. All Conor needs is a split second. A half an inch to see the shot, and once he bangs the shot, you’re going to be out. You’re going to be on wobbly legs, and if you’re on wobbly legs, it will be the next one that finishes you.”

There are statistics to back up Roddy’s claims when looking at Poirier’s recent fights.

In his most recent win over Dan Hooker in June, Poirier absorbed 155 significant strikes over five rounds, eating two more strikes than he dished out. There were similar numbers in Poirier’s win over Holloway in 2019 after the former featherweight champion connected with 181 significant strikes, which was three more landed than he absorbed.

Of course, numbers don’t tell the whole story for a fight, and Poirier won beat Hooker and Holloway by unanimous decision after five hard-fought rounds.

With that said, Roddy believes the kind of punishment Poirier typically takes in his fights can’t measure up to the sheer amount of damage that McGregor will inflict.

“Poirier gets hit an awful lot, so I believe it’s just a matter of time,” Roddy said. “When Conor hits him, how long can he last after that. Whether he goes to sleep straight or he toughs it out a little bit, but Conor has 25 minutes in there to land on the chin. For me, there’s serious odds.”

Of course, McGregor also has the odds on his side because he dispatched Poirier in less than two minutes in their previous meeting. But that fight also took place at featherweight six years ago.

While Roddy can’t be sure the rematch will play out exactly the same way, he definitely expects a similar result in the end.

“I always say this, it’s going to take Conor maybe a minute or so, two minutes and Conor could see the shot in 10 seconds, you never know,” Roddy said. “But it might take Conor a couple of minutes to find a shot and land a shot. Once he lands the shot, Poirier’s either asleep or he’s out on his feet and then it’s only a matter of time before the second one lands. Whether it takes a couple of minutes or a round or two, Conor will find the shots.

“Conor has the best ability in the world to get the read of his opponents. You could bring somebody in that Conor has never seen before, never watched and you just watch Conor. He throws his shots out there, he feels it out, he records the reactions and then he finds the killer blow and then he lands. 99-percent of people don’t recover after that first shot so I see it going the exact same way.”

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