Conor McGregor vows to go back to his roots to train for third Dustin Poirier fight

Irishman marks eight years since his first UFC weigh-in with promise to use same approach that made him a double UFC champion

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Eight years to the day from his UFC debut, Conor McGregor has vowed to go back to the approach that eventually made him the promotion's double champion, as he prepares for his trilogy bout with Dustin Poirier.

The Irishman, the first athlete to hold two UFC belts simultaneously, stepped into the octagon for the first time on April 6, 2013 at UFC on Fuel TV, where he defeated fellow featherweight Marcus Brimage in little more than a minute to spark a superstar career.

McGregor went on to capture titles at both featherweight and lightweight, in the process becoming the biggest draw in mixed martial arts history.

However, the 32-year-old star is coming off an emphatic second-round TKO defeat in his rematch against Poirier at UFC 257 in Abu Dhabi in January. Last week, the pair confirmed they had agreed to a third encounter - McGregor won the first, in 2014, by first-round TKO - with UFC 264 on July 10 the scheduled slot.

McGregor, whose MMA record stands at 22-5, is currently in Dubai ahead of his return. Taking to social media to the mark the anniversary of his UFC bow, the former two-division champion posted: “Today in 2013 I weighed in for my UFC debut. What a journey! It would become my 12th KO in MMA competition. Dustin Poirier would then become my 12th first round KO in MMA competition. This next fight will be my 12th UFC main event. Rare company!

“My ufc debut I found out 9 weeks out. I took a week to get right from not training/partying, and then 8 weeks out I moved to my sisters apt which was close to the gym. I woke up, trained, walked back to apartment, ate my meals and rested, trained again, back to apt, sleep, repeat.

“Double skills work. I also didn’t take rest days unless I absolutely had to. Not one. Not even a Sunday. I will take this approach again for my comeback fight. I didn’t become ufc champ champ with this method but I did become ufc 145 champion. Also the cage warrior champ champ.”

As of yet, no location has been set for the trilogy clash with Poirier, although UFC president Dana White has spoken of his desire to stage UFC 264 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The UFC’s next pay-per-view event, UFC 261 on April 24, will take place at a sold-out VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida - the first time the promotion has held an event at full capacity since March last year.

The trio of events at Fight Island in Abu Dhabi in January, all hosted by Etihad Arena, were open to a limited amount of spectators.