WATCH: Daniel Cormier Compares Dustin Poirier’s Tactics to That of NBA Hall of Famer Kevin Garnett

Published 02/06/2021, 1:09 PM EST
NEW YORK, NY – NOVEMBER 03: Daniel Cormier of the United States celebrates his win by submission over Derrick Lewis of the United States in their heavyweight title bout during the UFC 230 event at Madison Square Garden on November 3, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images)


Triumph in the UFC Octagon involves winning the psychological battle as much as winning the physical battle. Fans worldwide have witnessed Dustin Poirier battering Conor McGregor at UFC 257. While Poirier’s physical dominance was visible in real-time, his mental warfare may have gone unnoticed.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

As Daniel Cormier took up the job of breaking down every single detail of the fight, he compared Poirier’s mentality to that of NBA legend Kevin Garnett.

Despite losing the fight, Conor McGregor won the first round of the UFC 257 headliner on the judge’s scorecard. However, after the bell signaled the end of the round, Poirier gave a slight punch to the body of his opponent.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Most fans would dismiss the punch as simply a case of a misplaced fist bump. However, Cormier saw it as a part of the mental game which his fellow Lafayette native was playing.

We always talk about the game within the game, @DustinPoirier came to play the game @ufc 257. I get all the way into both fight on my next episode of detail. Streaming live Monday only on @espn plus pic.twitter.com/WZBc9prdEM

— Daniel Cormier (@dc_mma) February 6, 2021

The punch from Poirier following the bell reminded Cormier of what Kevin Garnett used to do in his NBA career. The one-time NBA MVP had a penchant for not giving his opponents an inch on the court. After a non-shooting foul, the players on offense often put up a shot just so that they can get a basket to get in the rhythm and boost their morale.

However, if Garnett was present on the defensive board, he would never allow such free baskets, blocking them or catching them in mid-air. This showed the ferocity that Garnett brought with him day in and day out. When Cormier witnessed Poirier’s punch, it brought back the memories of Garnett on an NBA court.

Daniel Cormier surprised how Conor McGregor lagged in the mental game

During his run at featherweight, Conor McGregor was often ten steps ahead of his opponents in the psychological warfare. It was because of such tactics that he got inside the head of Dustin Poirier during their first encounter.

Daniel Cormier, upon breaking down the tape for an episode of Detail on ESPN+, seemed surprised how McGregor conceded defeat in the psychological warfare. Part of it might have been because of Poirier fending off the attacks of the Irishman. The former interim champ also neutralized McGregor’s striking by taking him down.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

While Cormier presented an expert perspective into the matter, some fans were quick to dismiss it as overanalysis. They preferred the theory that Poirier was simply going for a fist bump.

As he was staring at the Irishman, he ended up slightly punching him instead. This makes a bit of sense if you consider that McGregor also tried to fist-bump Poirier, but his fist landed on his opponent’s arm instead.

Irrespective of what went in Poirier’s mind during the fight, the story of the fight remains the same. Poirier exacted his revenge by executing a perfect plan and handed McGregor his first knockout defeat.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

DIVE DEEPER

Conor McGregor’s Diet and Eating Routines Revealed

9 months ago

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

Rishabh Singh

655 articles

Rishabh Singh is an MMA author at EssentiallySports since 2020. An engineer in the making, his love for combat sports began by watching Anderson Silva light people up inside the Octagon. When he isn't busy in his technical pursuits, he is an avid reader with a love for sports in general and sporting history in particular.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT