McGregor was planning on doing the bout as a non-competitive spar that would be made free-to-air, but the UFC ended up making the rematch at UFC 257
Conor McGregor has claimed he felt pity for Dustin Poirier before agreeing to fight him for a second time earlier this year.
The Irishman was lining up a bout with Manny Pacquiao and was initially planning to take on Poirier in a charity spar that would not be competitive and would be free-to-air.
McGregor was even considering hosting the event in Dublin, and wanted to do it away from the UFC due to the non-competitive nature of the exhibition.
But the promotion stepped in and insisted any bout be sanctioned under their umbrella – and Poirier went on to stop McGregor in the second round.
And speaking with The Mac Life, McGregor said that he only chose Poirier as his first opponent back because he felt sorry for him.
“It was going to be a charity event, not even under the UFC banner,” McGregor explained of the initial plans for the rematch.
“It was just because he was a southpaw and I felt a bit of pity for him and whatnot, so I’d help him out.
“And that’s it, it went the way it went and I got a setback in there, but setbacks are a beautiful thing.
“Defeat is the secret ingredient to success, I say, and it’s put me right where I need to be.”
The pair are now back at loggerheads, having shown a lot of respect for one another going into the rematch earlier this year.
And while Poirier is taking a more tactful approach, McGregor has taken to intense trash talking similar to the type of mental warfare in their first fight.
He has vowed to “kill” Poirier when they fight on Saturday night, calling the American a ‘scared kid’ ahead of their expectedly record-breaking trilogy.
“Every shot I have thrown in this camp is a kill shot, so that’s it. I’m going to kill this man,” he added.
“[It’s going to be] just a slaughter and a play with a scared little boy – he’s fighting scared like he always does, like they always do against me.
“So now I’m going to play with the little boy, play with me food, and then just devour it.”
McGregor has opted to be quieter in the build-up, with his Mac Life interview his first in months before the event, but he has been taking shots at Poirier on social media.
The Irishman recently used Twitter to send Poirier a warning by way of a creepy voice message posted to his 8.7million followers.
McGregor blasted the Louisiana native as a “silly hillbilly” in the note, and revived the infamous ‘pea head’ nickname he used to rile up his opponent heading into their first fight in 2014.
And asked by a fan during an Instagram Live stream, McGregor promised to “give him a proper head kick,” when they step into the octagon on Saturday.
“There will be a lot of weapons produced on the night, that’s for sure. He wants mixed martial arts? He’s going to get it.
“I’ve been busy putting in the work – full focus, fully immersed in mixed martial arts, it’s been nothing but mixed martial arts, so I’m ready to put on a show.”