Sun 24 January 2021:
Conor McGregor was stunned by Dustin Poirier at UFC 257 as Notorious was knocked out in shocking fashion. McGregor was taken down by his opponent midway through the second round, of their fight in Abu Dhabi
The referee was then forced to call the lightweight bout over as Poirier continued to rain down blows.
Controlling the centre of the octagon, McGregor landed some hard shots with his right hand but he couldn’t find the blow with his left that would have finished the fight, and instead Poirier scored with a hard right to get his back off the fence before landing a flurry of blows to win.
The result is a hammer blow to McGregor’s aspirations of returning the UFC and dominating throughout 2021, after a lack of opportunity in 2020.
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“It’s a tough one to swallow,” McGregor said after his loss.
McGregor was distraught after losing and believes his recent inactivity played a role in his defeat.
He said: “You know, it’s hard to overcome inactivity over long periods of time, the leg kicks were good, the leg was dead.
“I just wasn’t as comfortable as I needed to be. It’s the inactivity and that’s it, Dustin is some fighter.
“I have to dust it off and come back.”
— UFC Europe (@UFCEurope) January 24, 2021
The knockout silenced the thousands in the crowd cheering on McGregor and the arena emptied out quickly once the fight was over.
Poirier, who won the interim lightweight title in 2019 but came up short when Khabib Nurmagomedov beat him for the undisputed crown later the same year.
Nurmagomedov has since retired and if he does not return, Poirier is likely to face Michael Chandler, the former Bellator champion who scored a thunderous first-round knockout victory in his UFC debut over New Zealand’s Dan Hooker in the evening’s co-main event.