Simple statistics can never tell you the absolute winner of any upcoming UFC fight, but the numbers behind each fighter heading into their last showdown did at least try to warn us that a massive upset might be brewing. As noted by Heavy before UFC 257 in January, Dustin Poirier compared favorably to Conor McGregor heading into the second fight, and the American appears to be on the same track before the third fight at UFC 264.
Poirier lost to McGregor by first-round stoppage back in 2014 in a featherweight contest, but the American won the rematch by second-round knockout at UFC 257.
UFC 264: Poirier vs. McGregor 3 is set for July 10 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. It’s the next big UFC pay-per-view event of the year, and it’s sure to be one of the most-watched fights of the year.
Poirier enters his next fight with an overall record of 27-6, while McGregor does the same at 22-5.
But there’s much more to it than just wins and losses and Heavy has all that information ready for you to consider below.
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‘The Diamond’ Shines Across the Board in Key Stats
According to UFC Stats, many of Poirier’s overall numbers in key statistical categories still compare quite favorably to McGregor.
Both southpaws remain the same height (5’9″), but Poirier lands more strikes per minute than McGregor, 5.59 to 5.32.
Moreover, Poirier absorbs fewer strikes per minute in return from his opponents, 4.17 to 4.54.
On the ground, Poirier beats McGregor in both the number of takedowns he averages per 15 minutes, 1.47 to 0.70, as well as the number of submissions he attempts over that same timeframe, 1.3 to 0.
At UFC 257, those pre-fight stats played out. Poirier outlanded McGregor 48 to 29 in significant strikes. He grabbed the only takedown of the fight and scored the most important stat of the fight, too: the knockout.
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Poirier’s All-Around Excellence Gives Him More Ways to Win
While Poirier beat McGregor at this own game in the last fight, the truth of the matter is that he would seem to be a more complete MMA fighter than his opponent, too.
If you’re looking for even more reasons to believe the American is on his way to defeating McGregor again, consider that the salient point.
While both fighters tend to rely on their impressive striking skills, Poirier has won 13 fights by knockout, 7 by submission, and 7 by decision. That’s a solid split among different methods and something that indicates he’ll be ready for whatever happens on fight night.
It also shows why McGregor has seemed so intent on trying to goad Poirier into a striking battle.
Meanwhile, McGregor has only scored one win by submission and that came well before his time in the UFC.
It’s no wonder he doesn’t want to grapple with “The Diamond”.
Finally, when taking a deep dive into numbers before the last fight for Bleacher Reports’ Head-To-Toe Breakdown of UFC 257, it struck me back then that when splitting the categories into three major areas: striking, grappling, and submissions, Poirier had the clear edge in two of the three and that he might tie McGregor in the third, striking.
Poirier will have the same thing going for him at UFC 264, and he’ll also carry with him the confidence of knowing he just knocked out McGregor six months ago in Abu Dhabi.
Notorious Power Could Win Fight for McGregor at UFC 264
Of course, not all the stats favored Poirier last time around, and they don’t this time either.
Particularly, McGregor remains a little more accurate at striking 50% to 49%, and the Irishman enjoys a better takedown defense, 67% to 61%, and higher takedown accuracy, 55% to 36%.
But the biggest difference in McGregor’s favor, at least statistically speaking, is probably his knockout power.
Of McGregor’s 22 total wins, 19 of them, or 86%, were knockouts or stoppages.
On the other hand, Poirier’s 13 stoppages account for nearly half of his 27 total wins. That’s a good number, but McGregor’s is excellent.
Look, both UFC stars have knockout power, but McGregor is as dangerous as they come in the sport when it comes to one-punch destruction.
According to MMA Numbers, McGregor is as powerful as they come on his feet. The average UFC star records one knockdown just about every 48 minutes inside the UFC’s Octagon. But McGregor records one knockdown around every eight minutes or so. He’s the best the sport has to offer at it.
The stats favored Poirier before UFC 257, and they might also favor him going into UFC 264.
But McGregor’s absurd power and unparalleled ability to use it in UFC fights makes him an incredibly dangerous fighter no matter what the other stats say.
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