Conor McGregor has been knocked out for the first time in his entire career after being floored by US fighter Dustin Poirier.
The head-to-head between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier was held in Abu Dhabi and kicked off around 5AM Irish time.
Poirier knocked McGregor to the floor in the second round following a series of flurry hits that trapped the Irishman against the cage and left him out cold, marking the first knock-out (even technical knock-out) of McGregors career.
— BroBible (@BroBible) January 24, 2021
This fight marked McGregors first return to the octagon in more than a year, and also was the second time he has fought Dustin Poirier, the first being in 2014.
The 2014 match went considerably differently - in fact, it was in this head-to-head almost seven years ago that McGregor gave Poirier the first knock out of his career. The fact that this record has come full-circle for McGregor has not gone unnoticed.
In 2014, Conor McGregor became the first man to ever knock out Dustin Poirier.
Countdown to 7 years later, Dustin Poirier becomes the first man to ever knock out Conor McGregor.#UFC257 pic.twitter.com/b2LcavZVtA
— Dotun Jubal (@dotunjubal) January 24, 2021
McGregor chalked the defeat up to inactivity during the past year, though had the sportsmanship to give his foe ample credit for the skillful performance Poirier put on.
— UFC (@ufc) January 24, 2021
You dont get away with being inactive in this business and thats just the way it is, McGregor noted in a post-match interview that was considerably more conciliatory and self-effacing than most spectators of The Notorious would be used to.
McGregor expressed admiration for Poiriers kicks, which he said left him with a dead leg, and said Dustin was some fighter.
Ill take my licks Im gutted to be honest, the Dubliner said. McGregor has also pledged to fight again this year, saying he needs the activity. For the moment, though, the MMA star has pledged to head back to the hotel, see his children and re-group.
In a respectable post-match talk between Poirier and McGregor, the latter can be seen visibly limping, demonstrating the damage dealt by some of Poiriers kicks during the fight.
— UFC on BT Sport (@btsportufc) January 24, 2021
Predictably, some of McGregors old foes have come out of the woodwork to give their take on the days events, including Khabib Nurmagomedov, the Russian MMA fighter who defeated McGregor in 2018.
Nurmagomedov commented: This is what happened, when you change your team, leave the sparring partners who made you a champion and sparring with little kids, far away from reality.
This is what happened, when you change your team, leave the sparring partners who made you a champion and sparring with little kids, far away from reality.
— khabib nurmagomedov (@TeamKhabib) January 24, 2021
Meanwhile, YouTuber and boxer Jake Paul did not mince his words, uploading a video where he is visibly cackling with laughter and offering McGregor $10,000 CASH to fight him.
— Jake Paul (@jakepaul) January 24, 2021