Few fighters in history have navigated their MMA careers as deftly as Georges St-Pierre.
So when the former two-division UFC champion looks at how Conor McGregor has handled the latest chapter of his own career, and the decisions McGregor has made, St-Pierre can’t help but hope McGregor changes course from his desire to face Dustin Poirier for a fourth time whenever the Irishman is cleared to return from the leg injury he suffered at UFC 264.
“I think if he comes back, if I’m Conor McGregor — or maybe not Conor because he’s a very proud fighter — if I’m his manager, I don’t want my client to come back to fight the same guy again for the fourth time,” St-Pierre said on Wednesday’s episode of The MMA Hour. “Because now it seems like Dustin has his number.”
McGregor has lost twice to Poirier over the last eight months. He suffered a second-round knockout loss to Poirier in January at UFC 257 before sustaining a grisly broken leg in the opening round of the pair’s rubber match in July at UFC 264. Despite that, McGregor has insisted on challenging Poirier again as soon as he is healthy, likely sometime in 2022.
St-Pierre thinks that’s a terrible idea. The 40-year-old Hall of Famer noted that Poirier was already “getting over” on McGregor in the early going of UFC 264’s main event, and that McGregor would probably be best served to look elsewhere for his comeback bout.
“He needs to perhaps take another fight,” St-Pierre said.
“I think he should come back and maybe fight Nate Diaz or someone else that has a different style than Dustin Poirier, because styles make fights and I have the feeling that now Dustin Poirier probably has his number right now.”
While McGregor’s rise in the UFC from 2013-16 still stands as a magical run, the Irishman has now lost three of his last four fights and hasn’t scored a win over a relevant contender since his 2016 victory over Eddie Alvarez. And St-Pierre wonders if McGregor’s many outside-of-the-cage pursuits have led to the atrophying of his skills as an athlete.
“Conor has been out for a long time,” St-Pierre said. “He needs to get back in there to spend more time in the octagon in order to find his own self, the way he moves and his abilities. It seems like he might have lost some of his ability due to his inactivity.”