Respected Tristar coach Firas Zahabi has given his thoughts on last weekend’s Poirier vs. McGregor fight at UFC 257 and it seems the result has left him with concerns about how ‘The Notorious’ reacts when things aren’t going his way in the Octagon.
“I think in the second round when McGregor was getting hit along the fence, I found it strange that he wasn’t – it seemed that he already gave up on the fight before he hit the canvas,” Zahabi said on YouTube.
“I felt that he had given up on the fight because things were getting tough. The fight was getting tough, his left hand didn’t work, and he’s not used to that.
“He’s not used to hitting guys with the big left and then keep fighting. He’s used to hitting guys with the big left and then dropping down to the floor.
“They drop to the floor and they’re frantic and they don’t know what to do and they don’t know how to deal with it.
“McGregor, in the second round, dropped his best card. He landed that perfect left hand, the one he’s relied on his entire career and for one reason or another it didn’t work.
“Poirier did not go down. And it seemed that McGregor got emotional about it.
“He started covering up, he was getting hit, he didn’t look he was trying to circle out and survive.
“He looked like a guy who was like, look, this is the end, I better do something. He kind of threw a few punches, but they were almost desperate.
“He seemed to get very emotional, where as you contrast that with Poirier. When Poirier got hit, he looked cool, he kind of shrugged it off, he kind of kept boxing.
“He was playing a game. He was cool and he was looking for his next move.”
Zahabi, who is best known for having been Georges St-Pierre’s long-time head coach, continued to question McGregor’s heart, while praising Poirier’s fighting spirit.
“[McGregor’s] a better boxer, he’s a better counter puncher, he’s got a longer reach, he’s faced Mayweather in boxing.
“He has so many advantages. But one thing I said, Poirier has the biggest heart.
“You can’t deny that. Watch his Hooker fight, watch his fight with Eddie Alvarez, watch both of them.
“The man has tremendous, tremendous heart and a will to win. And we saw the will to win overcome skill and technique.