John Locher / Associated Press
Conor McGregor showed up for the box. Dustin Poirier appeared on cue near the post, and steered it past the goalie. The result was one of the most memorable knockouts in recent UFC history, one that will send Poirier to MMA superstardom.
McGregor spoke to reporters after his second round of TKO losses against Poirier and said his leg was “completely dead”
“My leg is completely dead and even though I felt like I was checking them out [Poirier’s leg kicks]”It was just sinking into the muscles on the front of my leg,” McGregor said. Dustin fought a hell of a fight. I thought I was better than him in the clinic, but too little, too late. My leg was compromised and I did not adjust and that is it. Fair play for Dustin. “
Poirier cleverly targeted McGregor’s front legs from the start with a series of kicks. McGregor, apparently determined to knock Poirier out with boxing-style punches, never adapted to kicks and noticeably lost his mobility as the second round step forward, so Poiries to take advantage and land blows to the head that eventually led to a halt.
“I’m happy, but I’m not surprised,” Poirier said said. “I went into work. We’re now 1-1. Maybe we should do it again. The goal was to be technical and pick my shots, not fights at all. I tend to get a little crazy and I did a little bit of that. the end, but I hurt him. “
McGregor had not fought since his 40-second TKO victory over Donald Cerrone last January. He cited his prolonged inactivity as a reason for his loss, but McGregor’s failures in big fights have become a pattern. Since taking a break in 2017 to be embarrassed by Floyd Mayweather Jr. in a boxing match, McGregor has been overmatched by better all-round fighters in Khabib Nurmagomedov and Pear tree.
While McGregor quickly committed to returning to the Octagon after the match, he probably cost an expected match with Nurmagomedov, who may now be retiring instead of returning. Poirier has now won six of his last seven matches and hopes his own rematch with Khabib is in offing.