Conor McGregor’s Coach Isn’t Impressed With Dustin Poirier’s Boxing

Dustin Poirier's striking has drawn praise, but the boxing coach for Conor McGregor is impressed with his toughness, and not his hands.

The consensus seems to be that one of Dustin Poirier’s key weapons is his stand-up, and in particular, his boxing. But, Conor McGregor’s longtime boxing coach, Phil Sutcliffe, isn’t too impressed with the hands of ‘The Diamond’.

Sutcliffe outlines why he’s not impressed with Poirier’s boxing

Poirier doesn’t have a reputation really as a knockout artist. But, his striking and boxing has drawn praise over the years. After all, the rugged veteran has outscored the likes of notable strikers like Dan Hooker and Max Holloway.

Poirier also stopped Justin Gaethje and Bobby Green.

Well, recently The MacLife spoke with Sutcliffe, who was McGregor’s first boxing coach when he was a kid. More recently, the Irish star and former UFC champ has started training with Sutcliffe and the Crumlin Boxing Club again.

The interview was shot in advance of Conor’s rematch with Poirier, which is going down on January 23rd at UFC 257. In their first clash back in 2014, McGregor quickly stopped Poirier with punches.

So, when Sutcliffe was asked if he’s impressed with Poirier’s boxing, the coach said this (quotes via MMA Junkie).

“Skill-wise, no. Toughness, yes. I know Conor knocked him early, but Conor’s (got) too much boxing ability.

Poirier comes straight at you, his arms are wide open. His arms are like this (opens arms wide).

Conor will be able to get his shots or his kicks or anything in there like he did the last time.

Now hopefully he’s more powerful now than he was – Conor’s more powerful now and so will the other guy be a little more powerful because he’s had to put on a bit of weight.

“But Conor’s skill’s percentage towards Poirier’s skill percentage is much bigger. Not saying it’s going to be an easy fight, but Conor has the skill and the strength now.

He’s stronger now than he was the last time he fought him…

Conor hits very, very hard, but precise with technique. He hits with precision.”


If you’ve followed combat sports for a while, and watch boxing, you’ve likely heard boxing coaches criticize the hands of MMA fighters before.

For example, when McGregor was preparing to box Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2017, more than a few figures from the boxing world took some pokes at his boxing.

At the end of the day, they’re completely different sports.

Some might also wonder if Sutcliffe is being biased here since he’s part of Conor’s camp. But, it’s also certainly possible that even through an MMA lens, he believes McGregor’s hands are superior to Dustin’s.

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