Khabib is not a submission machine & Poirier‘s defeat is not guaranteed.
Out of Khabib‘s last five fights, two have gone the distance, two were submissions with one TKO.
The media hype makes it sound like everyone gets submitted to Khabib, they don’t.
If we look at the laquinta fight, this fight went the distance, Khabib won by decision.
A lot of stand up in that fight. A lot of jabs from Khabib, Laquinta’s face was messed up but with regards to power, Khabib did not appear to worry laquinta.
Rogan highlighted some very amateurish striking techniques from Khabib, Khabib was winning the fight with the jab but by no means was he dominating the fight.
Laquinta for whatever reason was constantly getting tapped by Khabibs jab, no effort to avoid it, Porier is not going to make his face a target in the same way.
Khabibs’ take down attempts were 46% successful vs laquinta. Again, going to the ground is not a forgone conclusion.
Al laquinta is not a boxer, his main areas, according to Wikipedia are kickboxing, wrestling & BJJ. This showed with the success Khabib had with his jabs and it showed with the success Al laquinta had in stopping the take down attempts from Khabib and it showed in the success he had getting back to his feet.
Ultimately the fight came down to two fighters with similar skill sets, Al laquinta was simply not at the same level.
Khabib vs McGregor
A mismatched fight. A boxer versus a grappler.
Khabib showed some good punches but too often he left himself exposed to punches from McGregor. That night, Khabib was able to take the punishment.
McGregor showed good take down defense but when the fight did go to the ground, there was no comparison, McGregor was at his mercy. No surprises here.
If the fight stays on the feet McGregor is going to cause problems to most people but his ground game was simply too weak.
Poirier vs Holloway
Poirier is simply the superior boxer. Holloway was completely outclassed on the feet in the early rounds and made a comeback in the latter but ultimately, Holloway’s toughness got him through to the end.
There was no comparison between Holloway’s face and Poirier’s.
The big worry for Poirier from the Holloway fight is the ground game. Poirier could get absolutely NOTHING going. Holloway had him completely under control.
How tough is Poirier?
How tough is Poirier and how does he perform against a knock out machine?
Gaethje. A beast. Leg kicks and punches. Inflicted damage, face and legs. Plus an eye poke. A big test of Poirier. He came through.
Even when Poirier is tired and hurt he can still muster strong punches and accuracy when he needs to. One big chink for Poirier in this fight was his complete inability to take Gaethje down.
If the Poirier Khabib fight stays on the feet, Khabib does not stand a chance. Poirier simply has a bigger repertoire of boxing skills.
Poirier tested on the ground
Eddie Alvarez caused Poirier no end of problems on the ground
Poirier did not look comfortable on the ground against Alvarez. Not the face of a man that was managing the situation, more like a man that was drowning. You have to assume that was Alvarez’s plan from the get go.
Alvarez is good boxer, he knew Poirier is a good boxer, he believed his ground game was better than Poirier and you have to say he was right.
Khabib is going to take this fight to the ground at every opportunity. If he succeeds its going to be a long night for Poirier.
Poirier has to look at the McGregor fight in detail. Khabib is going to use the same game plan again. Khabib’s take down attempts in the McGregor fight were full commitment, rugby tackles, all or nothing.
Khabb Poirier is McGregor Khabib all over again.
Can Poirier succeed where McGregor failed?
Is Poirier a better boxer than McGregor?
Possibly. Poirier is volume and power, McGregor is precision. Diaz has shown it is possible to take McGregor’s punches, you have to assume Poirier could also. Khabib’s team is going to commit to the ground game just as much, if not more than they did with McGregor. Poirier has to hope he has more success resisting the take down than McGregor did.
Poirier needs to focus on striking opportunities when Khabib is going for the take downs. Khabib leaves himslef open when he strikes, Poirier needs to take these opportunities.
Is Poirier better on the ground than McGregor?
On the evidence of Poirier’s fight with Alvarez, no.
Poirier Khabib – Who will win
Poirier needs a some luck with Khabib. The right punch in the right place with the right power.
If Poirier doesn’t get an opportunity, then Khabib will slowly but surely grind Poirier down, there will be no comparison on the ground.
Will Poirier get the super punch?
Will Khabib get Poirier on the ground?
If you had to bet on one of those two things, you’d have to say the second is much more likely than the first.
But the first is a definite possibility, there are many weaknesses in Khabib’s striking. McGregor was not able to rock Khabib.
Khabib has got a strong jaw, it will need a combo to truly rock him.
The smart money on Khabib
Paddy Power has Khabib a 2/9 favourite. Not a lot of return for something that is far from a cert.
Poirier is the 3/1 underdog.
I believe Poirier has a chance but 3/1 is a little optimistic.
4/1 would be something I would be interested in.
3/1 smacks of the bookies cover their asses, they know this could go either way.
I like an underdog, I would prefer Poirier to win
For Khabib to win he needs to have his wits about him 100% of the time, no mistakes with his striking
For Poirier to win he needs to keep the fight on the feet.
Against the same opponents
Kahbib and Poirier have both fought McGregor and Michael Johnson.
Khabib won both fights convincingly. Poirier lost both fights
Granted the fights were a long time ago but the fact remains.
If Poirier wins this fight it will be with fireworks.
If Khabib wins it will be with an irresistible force
A big upset is possible but unlikely. Khabib for the win, I’ll be rooting for the underdog, but it could be a useless, futile exercise