CONOR McGREGOR warned Dustin Poirier is heading to an 'early grave' after accepting a third fight with him.
The Irishman knocked out Poirier in the first round of their 2014 featherweight clash on the early stages of his meteoric rise.
But the score was levelled in January when McGregor himself was beaten in round two of their rematch.
It has set the 32-year-old pair up with a blockbuster trilogy bout to headline UFC 264 on July 10.
McGregor tweeted: "3 fights against me for any man is an early grave. God bless."
The Irishman has locked himself away in training camp over the summer months, starting out in Dubai before relocating to California.
It was a stark contrast to the preparation for his last UFC return, having had one eye on a boxing match with Manny Pacquiao.
McGregor admitted to focusing too heavily on boxing and even using southpaw Poirier as a means to prepare for Pacquaio, 42, afterwards.
His long-time team-mate Artem Lobov, 34, said the former two-weight champion overlooked Poirier, but will not make the same mistake twice.
Lobov told BJPenn.com: “To be honest, it’s not even that he wasn’t fully focused or anything, he just probably didn’t give Dustin the respect that he deserve.
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“He was more thinking about boxing Manny straight after the fight and was already getting ready for that because he saw that as the challenge, and Dustin was just going to be a warm-up fight.
"Obviously it didn’t work out that way. Dustin did his homework, and he’s improved a lot."
Lobov continued: “You will check the way Conor was checking, which is not lifting the check, but actually going into the kick, and that works perfectly normally.
"Especially with shin pads you won’t even realise there’s anything doing damage.
"But once you take them off, that little muscle that’s right beside your shin bone, it’s an issue.
"Now that Conor is aware of that, I see the fight going the way it was already going to go, the way the first fight went.
"I see Conor stopping Dustin early in this fight. I see Conor stopping him in the first round.”
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