Now that the second fight has been posted officially by the UFC, we can get a better look back with the better picture quality, etc. Ive posted my comments on this in the 3rd fight thread but rewatching this morning what stook out to me this time was the extended clinching period in R1 for which Connor looks like he could have disengaged on more than one occasion.
Anyhow, here is my quick recap:
Connor comes out quickly to take the centre of the ring and is putting the pressure on Dustin early and lands a few BUT…Dustin also lands a clean right hook counter about 30 seconds in as well and that wins some respect from Connor. It doesnt make him super tentative but def more mindful than out the gate…I think a lot of people missed not only this but in general, it wasnt just the calf kicks, Dustin’s hands were a factor from the beginning…he also mixed in some leg kicks early on as well, nothing landing huge but still mixing it up and establishing some range on the early rangy and dynamic Connor
RE: Connor’s stance - I think it’s worth mentioning that Connor still came out aggressive as he always does and hands were still fluid but noticeably less bounce and movement with this stance…although it has been commented that even as far as back the Alvarez fight, he was less in/out bouncy (although in that fight he didnt really need to do that)
at 35 seconds in, Dustin scores the TD and as DC commented, Connor was not expecting it. Connor worked back up right away against the cage without taking any damage or giving up position HOWEVER…as noted above, this leads to nearly 2 minutes of clinch time against the cage…now you can say that Connor arguably had the edge there (if anyone) but anytime in the clinch is more of a win for Dustin as that will zap some of the snap out of Connor’s arms…why did Connor remain in the clinch when he didnt have to?
they break with 1:39 left in R1…Connor is less aggressive…less snap and engrgy but still lands a clean left hand right away…Connor’s jab also looks better than usual…Dustin attempts another TD kinda half ass more of a fake but still good to mix it up (hands, kicks, tds)…Connor lands with a jab and then with a right uppercut, Connor lands a couple more clean jabs…this is something that is being overlooked as well - Connor’s jab…
With about 0.53 left in R1, Dustin lands his first calf kick…and then Dustin lands another clean left check hook counter and points at Connor to let him know (although the first counter may have been more of straight right)…and another calf kick…Connor goes for a combo against a shelled up Dustin against the cage but Dustin throws a nice punch kick combo on Connor’s way back out…Dustin lands another calf kick with 0.37 left…Connor looks a bit slower now but still lands another left hand with 0.30 left…Connor tries some spinning shit (I forgot about this)…probably not wise as his energy and leg are already compromised (another tactical mistake)…Dustin starts finding the range with his jab with about 0.10 left (again points at Connor)…Dustin lands another calf kick and Connor lands a left hand lightly but its stiffled impact from the kick just before…round ends
IN BETWEEN ROUNDS
- Kavanagh says “great round, great round, back up hand up on the way out, back hand up on the way out…other than that, keep doing what you’re doing…lead hand busy.”
- Poirier’s boxing coach (I think) says "I need you to keep the feints going, I need you to keep him guessing, he’s absolutely looking for that (left) pull counter…so if you’re gonna throw 1, you gotta keep your head off line (i think, cant hear exactly)
Connor takes the centre lands a good jab but Dustin lands a huge leg kick (i think, cant see from this angle) and buckles Connor…Connor lands a jab and beats Dustin to the punch with his right and looks to have stung Dustin a bit…Dustin lands a calf kick…Dustin throws a lead left and misses but weaves his head out of the way for the counter nicely…Connor lands a leg kick of his own…then goes high with his left kick but its blocked…Dustin lands another calf kick…and another one which lands though Connor catches it momentarily and lands a left off it…Connor lands a left counter off a Dustin lead left…Dustin lands another calf kick…Connor lands a body shot…DC comments on Dustin looking more comfortable now knowing he’s taken Connor’s best shots…
Dustin lands nother calf kick, Connor catches it and moves Dustin against the fence with the leg still caught…Connor throws a left kick as he lets Dustin legs go but its blocked and there’s not much on it…another calf kick for Dustin which Connor momentarily catches and lands a light left counter, backs up Dustin to the cage…Dustin throws a right counter on Connor’s way out and doesnt look to land but still points at Connor, Connor has faded significatly by now and Dustin has more pop in his step and as Anik says, looks more comfortable in boxing range at 3:10 left…Connor misses on a couple of lefts, Dustin moves out of range nicely on both, at 2:50 left Connor still lands a good left…Dustin lands another calf kick which and a nice check hook on an extended Connor AND THEN CIRCLES CONNOR AGAINST THE CAGE TO TURN IT UP and the fight is basically done from there with 2:45 left…Dustin unloads and the fight is officially over with 2:29 left