Dana White has a message for Dustin Poirier: Expect a different Conor McGregor this time around.
The UFC president told The Mac Life that McGregor looks far more focused coming into Saturday's bout than he did in his loss to Poirier in January.
“Conor looked damn good in that first round [against Poirier]. I don’t know how well he prepared for that fight,” White said. “I don’t know what he did. I don’t know the difference between his training camp for that fight or this fight.
“I can tell you this: From what I can see, he’s taking this fight a lot more serious than he did the last fight. He’s basically shut down. He’s in his own little world doing his thing. He feels like the old Conor McGregor.”
Poirier defeated McGregor via TKO in the second round of their fight in January. A heavy underdog coming into the bout, Poirier took advantage of McGregor's seeming disregard of his legs and peppered him with a series of leg kicks to slow him down before decking him with a pair of right-handed punches to get a stoppage.
McGregor has leaned heavily on a boxing-oriented style since his 2017 boxing match against Floyd Mayweather. While the strategy worked against Donald Cerrone, Khabib Nurmagomedov and Poirier were essentially able to pick McGregor apart.
A motivated McGregor could be dangerous. It's fair to point out that the 33-year-old is fighting or his relevance in the sport. A second straight loss to Poirier would be his third in four fights since returning to UFC in 2018 and send him plummeting in the championship rankings.
There's no question McGregor is the most famous face UFC has ever produced. On Saturday, we'll find out whether he still has the skills to be considered among the best in the promotion.