The notorious knock on Conor McGregor on Sunday at Fight Island shows that he can run out of steam after seven or eight minutes of fighting.
The Irishman gave that belief more fuel as Dustin Poirier weathered the early storm from McGregor’s punches to secure a TKO at 2:32 of the second round in the UFC 257 pay-per-view headliner, revenge to a 2014 loss to the Irishman at Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
After the victory, Poirier said, “I’m happy, man, but I’m not surprised. I put in the work.”
Poirier victory (27-6, 20 finishes) follows uncertainty for the UFC lightweight division. Unbeaten champion Khabib Nurmagomedov ostensibly retired after his latest title defence in October.
After beating McGregor (22-5, 20 finishes), he will linky fight against either Nurmagomedov or, more likely, a different opponent to crown a new champion. “I felt like this was a title fight,” Poirier said, as he declared himself the champion.
Poirier felt the wrath of McGregor’s left hand early in the fight. After the pair exchanged heavy clinch strikes against the fence, the southpaw McGregor stung Poirier with his jab and won the round.
In the second round, Conor McGregor appeared strong again, but his lead right leg was reddened by the kicks of Poirier. “That low calf kick was very good. My leg was dead,” McGregor said after the fight.
At the middle of the second round, Poirier caught up to McGregor with a flurry of punches, finally putting down the former two-division champion with a heavy right hook to the face that forced the referee to call a halt to the bout.
— UFC (@ufc) January 24, 2021