Conor McGregor’s team photo has notable absentee ahead of Dustin Poirier fight

Conor McGregor's amateur boxing coach Phil Sutcliffe appears to have been absent from the Irishman's training camp following criticism of his boxing-centric approach to his defeat by Dustin Poirier.

The legendary Irish boxing trainer was reunited with McGregor in 2019 and was in his corner for his comeback fights with Donald Cerrone and Poirier in the last year-and-a-half.

But McGregor was criticised for focusing too much on his boxing game as he was stopped by Poirier in the second round of their January rematch, later admitting he had one eye on a potential clash with ring legend Manny Pacquiao.

McGregor was criticised for his stance in the second instalment which leaned more into his boxing base than his karate-style that had brought him so much success in the cage.

And while Sutcliffe is a respected boxing trainer, he has admitted that he has a limited knowledge of what is necessary to win championship level UFC fights.

McGregor sparred with a number of top boxing prospects, including Dylan Moran and recent Frank Warren signee Willo Hayden, but their lack of MMA credentials made them strange choices for the camp.

And it appears that he has left Sutcliffe and the Crumlin Boxing Club back in Dublin for this one, as he returned to a full martial arts camp, headed by long-time coach John Kavanagh.

The Irishman has also brought back top Bellator lightweight Peter Queally, who has been a mainstay of his championship-winning teams over the years, but was dealing with a severe hand injury at the start of the year.

Queally is currently the No.4 lightweight title contender in MMA's second biggest promotion, and recently defeated No.1 ranked Patricky 'Pitbull' Freire, and could be in line for a shot at the title later this year.

The photo also shows McGregor's long-time striking coach Owen Roddy and conditioning coach Colin Byrne, as well as amateur standout Lee Hammond and ex-Bellator middleweight Ion Pascu, both known sparring partners for the Irishman.

Hammond is an IMMAF champion at the amateur level, while Pascu has fought five times in Bellator, as well as facing a number of Europe's top fighters on the regional scene in his 30-fight pro career.

The photo also features a man known for being behind the camera, amateur fighter and McGregor's personal photographer Dave Fogarty.

Former two-weight world champion McGregor is also joined in the picture by Dr Julian Dalby, the exercise physiologist behind his McGregor FAST training regime, and manager Audie Attar.

The team has now arrived in Las Vegas where McGregor and Poirier will go face-to-face for the first time since their rematch at a press conference tomorrow before their trilogy on Saturday at UFC 264.

There will be a capacity crowd in attendance at the T-Mobile Arena when the fight takes place, the first in Vegas since March 2020.

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