Poirier says that being beat by McGregor in UFC 178 taught him a valuable lesson that has contributed to his run of success.
I’ve always been an emotional fighter and that emotion fueled a lot of my early performances. I would get angry because I’m about to step in there and go toe-to-toe with someone who is trying to hurt me just like I intend to hurt them, and that energy shifts gears into that kill or be killed mindset. I remember I was backstage getting ready to walk out and I saw him and he threw this smile and pointed at me. I don’t know why but it really got to me, man. It really messed with my head. I mean I’m about to go out and fight this dude and he’s back there smiling at me? After that fight I knew I had to find a different way to use my emotion.
He also talks about McGregor’s punching power:
He hit me with a good shot and then I tried to circle, I planted my feet and he hit me with another good shot and I went down. I have 33 fights and…unless it was just the spot, but the track record speaks for itself – he’s the champ right now. But I think his are the hardest hands I have ever felt.