KEY POINTS

  • Conor McGregor blames his inactivity for his loss and vows to return to the cage
  • Dustin Poirier proves he is a good boxer after his UFC 257 win
  • Khabib Nurmagomedov may consider a return to face Poirier

Conor McGregor’s future plans may have been dealt a big blow after he lost via technical knockout to Dustin Poirier in the second round at UFC 257 Sunday at the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi.

Poirier handed McGregor his fifth MMA loss following a flurry of punches, something that was well set up following leg kicks to the calf. It was that kick that appeared to weaken “The Notorious,” who was already red and beaten up. From there, Poirier knew he had the upper hand and started to connect with some left hands before unloading on the Irishman with 2:32 left in the second round, DAZN reported.

The win avenged Poirier’s loss to McGregor at UFC 178, a first-round TKO loss in Las Vegas, Nevada. The 32-year-old catapults himself atop the lightweight division, and it will be interesting to see who he will face next.

“First off, I want to thank Conor who took this result very professionally. We 1 and 1, we have to do it again. But I am just happy man. I’m happy with the man I see in the mirror,” Poirier stated.

However, “The Diamond” admitted that he needed to take control of himself against McGregor. Throughout the fight, it appeared that way before he went all-out crazy when he saw the Irishman shaken from his attacks.

“The goal was to be technical and pick my shots and not brawl at all. I have big tendency and you saw at the end of this one. I could box, I can kickbox very technically but I just have a tendency getting crazy and trying to hurt guys, getting me out of position which I shouldn’t be,” Poirier explained.

As for McGregor, he admitted the long inactivity was pretty tough to overcome. He added that he was just comfortable in the cage, as he wanted to be, and gave credit to Poirier for his leg kicks, which he described as pretty good.

“The leg was there. It wasn’t just as comfortable as I needed it to be. It’s inactivity. I just have to dust it off and get back in here,” McGregor said.

After saying he needed to be back, McGregor was asked if that meant seeing more of him in the UFC.

He replied, “Of course, I need activity guys. You don’t get away by being inactive in this business and that’s the way it is.”

McGregor admitted that it is a hard pill to swallow. A potential next fight could be a rematch with Poirier with bigger stakes on the line—like perhaps the UFC regular lightweight title currently held by Khabib Nurmagomedov.

The Russian is retired but remains the champion. He did mention that it would take something special for him to consider coming out of retirement. Poirier’s performance could be worth considering, although nothing is set for now.

As for McGregor, a rematch would make sense to break their deadlock, and Poirier is open to that. However, it raises questions about his planned boxing match with Manny Pacquiao.

It is something that reportedly will be held this year, and the Irishman does not have the luxury of time. Pacquiao is 42 and could stage his last fights before focusing on his political career. The next couple of months should reveal what the future holds for Poirier, McGregor, Nurmagomedov and Pacquiao.

McGregor vs. Poirier In this handout image provided by the UFC, Dustin Poirier reacts after his knockout victory over Conor McGregor of Ireland in a lightweight fight during the UFC 257 event inside Etihad Arena on UFC Fight Island Photo: Getty Images | Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC