ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Dustin Poirier (27-6-0 , 1NC) stopped Conor McGregor (22-5) with a flurry of punches midway through the second round at UFC 257. Poirier avenged his loss to the Irish superstar in 2014 with a knockout victory in their rematch.
The recently turned 32-year-old (Jan. 19) Lafayette native caught McGregor, also 32, with a series of shots to the head before buckling his knees with two left hands.
Poirier then sent McGregor to the canvas with a short right hand and finished it swiftly, setting off stunned excitement among the few thousand screaming fans allowed inside the Etihad Arena on Yas Island.
“We’re 1-1, so maybe we have to do it again,” said Poirier after the fight.
McGregor gave the Louisiana fighter props, conceding Poirier was the better man on the night.
“You know, it’s hard to overcome inactivity over long periods of time,” said McGregor, who hadn’t fought since beating Donald Cerrone in 40 seconds last January. “I just wasn’t as comfortable as I needed to be, but Dustin is some fighter. If you put in the time, you’re going to get cozy in here. I have to dust it off and come back, and that’s what I will do. … I’ll take my licks, but I’m gutted.”
This marks the second straight win since Poirier lost to undefeated UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov (29-0) in September 2019. For McGregor, it’s his second loss in his last three fights, including his own defeat to Nurmagomedov in October 2018.
Nurmagomedov took to Twitter after McGregor’s loss to suggest the former UFC featherweight and lightweight champion was a victim of his training camp choices in regards to sparring and coaching.
McGregor did not take kindly to Nurmagomedov’s comments and hit back with a fiery challenge.
“My team has been the team since day one, I haven’t changed any team,” said McGregor when asked about the tweet at the post-fight presser. “It is what it is. Respect the athletes and that’s the character of the man behind the mask.
“Whatever, what’s he going to do? Does he want to come back or not? Because he’s not throwing no leg kicks, you know what I’m saying? I got up off the ground against Dustin. I turned Dustin. You know what I mean? Look at little pockets of that sequence where he fights.
“But if [Khabib] wants to have his disrespectful comments, come back and let’s go again, my man,” McGregor continued. “I’m here for it. That’s fighting talk, so if you’re coming back, come back. You try and do it. You know what I mean? So that’s that.”