Former two-weight world champion Conor McGregor was left surprised on his return to the UFC as Dustin Poirier claimed victory of their rematch at UFC 257.
McGregor got here out of retirement for a 3rd time to face fellow 32-year-old Poirier at Abu Dhabi’s Struggle Island.
And though the Irishman edged the primary spherical, Poirier unleashed a flurry of punches to safe a TKO victory 2:32 minutes into the second.
“I am gutted, it is a robust one to swallow,” stated McGregor.
“His leg kicks had been good, my leg was lifeless and I wasn’t as comfy as I wanted to be. I’ve to mud it off and are available again.”
Poirier admitted McGregor had received the thoughts video games earlier than they stepped into the octagon for his or her first conflict – a featherweight bout in September 2014 – and McGregor stopped the American inside 106 seconds.
That set “the Infamous” on target for world stardom, changing into the UFC’s first simultaneous two-weight champion earlier than facing Floyd Mayweather in one of many richest bouts in boxing historical past in 2017.
He survived an early takedown in entrance of about 2,000 followers on the 18,000-capacity Etihad Area, opened earlier than the UFC’s third stint on Struggle Island, and pinned Poirier towards the fence for many of the first spherical, landed just a few shoulder strikes like those who did a lot harm towards Cerrone.
McGregor stated earlier than the combat that, though he has achieved fame and fortune, he’s nonetheless motivated to construct a “highlights reel like a film” within the UFC, and he tagged Poirier with a few proper hand pictures.
However “the Diamond” replied with a collection of leg kicks earlier than pouncing on McGregor halfway by the second spherical to take his document to 27-6.
“We’re 1-1 – possibly we’ve to do it once more,” stated Poirier. “The objective was to be technical, choose my pictures, not brawl in any respect. Then I had him damage so I went somewhat loopy.”
What now for McGregor?
Since beating McGregor in 2018, Nurmagomedov received unification bouts with Poirier and Justin Gaethje to keep up his unbeaten document, asserting his retirement instantly after beating Gaethje in October.
Nurmagomedov’s light-weight title is but to be vacated and UFC president Dana White stated within the week that the Russian could take into account returning for a rematch with McGregor or Poirier if he “noticed one thing spectacular”.
However talking after UFC 257, White stated: “He stated to me ‘be sincere with your self, I am so many ranges above these guys. I’ve overwhelmed these guys’. I do not know, nevertheless it would not sound very optimistic.”