On Saturday night at UFC 264, the world finally got to see the highly-anticipated trilogy fight between bitter rivals Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor.
The two were 1-1 all-time in their two-fight series heading into UFC 264, meaning the winner of the third fight would get all the marbles and earn eternal bragging rights for life. That ended up being Poirier, who was able to stop McGregor at the end of the first round.
But due to the bizarre fashion in which the fight ended, there are suggestions that we might need a fourth fight between these two in the future.
The fight was stopped at the end of a dominant first round when McGregor broke his ankle and was unable to stand back up. Officially, the fight was ruled a TKO win for Poirier due to doctor stoppage. Because of the strange way the fight ended, there is still a level of doubt in the mind of some fans as to whether or not Poirier would have won had McGregor not broken his ankle. Because the fight ended with McGregor losing due to an injury and not directly from being outstruck and out-grappled is the reason why there are so many people talking about a fourth fight now.
However, I disagree with that sentiment.
As far as I’m concerned, the fourth fight between these two is—in the words of Poirier’s teammate at American Top Team, Jorge Masvidal—super unnecessary.
The reason I don’t think we need the fourth fight is that it doesn’t give Poirier any respect for what he’s done in the last two fights these two have had. While it’s true that McGregor won the first fight in dominant fashion, Poirier has won the last two fights even more impressively. By even talking about a potential fourth fight between these two, you are giving McGregor a reward for losing twice in a row to the same fighter, and you aren’t giving Poirier any credit for beating him twice.
At this point, we have seen these two fighters inside the Octagon three different times, and now we know who the better mixed martial artist is. That’s why they fight the fights, right? To prove who the better fighter is. By going 2-1 in the trilogy and winning his last two fights, we know now that Poirier is the superior MMA fighter. He beat McGregor standing, he beat him on the ground, and he beat him in the mental warfare game. We know that Poirier is the better MMA fighter, so even though the trilogy didn’t have a definitive ending, a fourth meeting seems pointless.
From a promotional point of view, I can see why the UFC would want to run back Poirier and McGregor again, just because the last two fights did so well on pay-per-view. But at the same time, there are plenty of other fights for both men, and it’s time not that they both go their separate ways. For Poirier, he deserves to fight the new UFC lightweight champion, Charles Oliveira, for the belt. For McGregor, he will be out for a minute due to the ankle injury, but when he comes back there will be no shortage of MMA fighters and boxers who will want to fight him next. There’s no reason to talk about a fourth Poirier fight when he could easily fight Nate Diaz in a trilogy, for example.
If you are a hardcore fan of the sport, I can’t see why you would want to see Poirier and McGregor fight again when there are so many fresh matchups for both guys out there. We don’t need to see Poirier and McGregor fight again. We’ve seen them fight three times now, and Poirier won two of those fights by TKO. The three fights were a lot of fun to watch, no doubt, but it’s time we move on now. It might be hard for McGregor’s fans to accept that Poirier turned out to be the better MMA fighter, but it’s been proven at this point that Poirier is superior at the sport of mixed martial arts compared to McGregor.
He’s the better striker, he’s the better grappler, and despite the third fight ending in a strange fashion, there’s nothing to make anyone think a fourth fight would go any differently.