Conor McGregor will knock out Dustin Poirier in the first round of his trilogy fight with Dustin Poirier this summer, believes his teammate Artem Lobov.
Former UFC featherweight Lobov has known the Irishman for years and has been a frequent member of his training team.
And he is convinced McGregor can rectify his mistakes from his rematch defeat by Poirier and move himself closer to a lightweight title shot.
“Conor is a very, very smart fighter," Lobov told the Bareknuckle Uncensored podcast. "I just feel the last fight he maybe took it a little bit lightly and thought, ‘I’ll just show up and do what I do and destroy him.’
"Not only that, he was already mentally and physically getting ready for a boxing fight so he wasn’t thinking leg kicks… No MMA. He just thought it was going to be the same way as the first fight.
“We have to give credit to Dustin. He’s done his homework. He’s improved a lot since the first fight and he did a good job. But I think now when Conor is switched on, he knows what’s up and his full focus is on this fight.
"He’s studied him, he looked at what the issues were in the second fight and honestly when Conor shows up like that? There’s no stopping him.
"So I see him stopping Dustin early, first, maybe second round. I want to say first. My prediction is first round but it could go into the second.”
McGregor will face Poirier for a third time on July 10 at UFC 264 in front of a capacity crowd at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, with the pair having shared stoppage victories in their first two encounters.
The Irishman won the first meeting, a featherweight bout at UFC 179 in 2014, by first round TKO, before Poirier earned his revenge in January at UFC 257 in his favoured lightweight division.
The two former champions are still chasing gold, with the winner of this fight expected to face newly crowned champion Charles Oliveira later this year.
The pair were bitter rivals before their first fight, but a mutual respect developed over the years between the pair and by the time the rematch rolled around, they were exchanging gifts at the weigh-ins.
And despite footage that emerged immediately after the bout showing the pair hugging and showing love to one another after the January fight, the relationship has since gone sour.
The pair have traded barbs on social media, with Poirier accusing McGregor of going back on his commitment to donate to his 'Good Fight Foundation' charity, which led to a donation to a different charity in Louisiana.
Bookies can't split the pair for the trilogy, especially after Poirier upset the odds by finishing McGregor with punches for the first time in his career last time out.
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