Dustin Poirer got his revenge in the UFC 257 main-event, knocking out Conor McGregor in the second round.
The six years that had passed between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier’s first meeting, a featherweight affair back in 2014, were crucial as the duo entered their rematch. The biggest question to be answered on Saturday in Abu Dhabi was really who had grown more.
Poirier had by far been the more active fighter, while McGregor had seen years of his career slip away thanks to his dalliance in boxing, not to mention suspension, idleness, and controversy. Yet when he did compete, he’d shown signs of improvement as well: better cardio in the second Nate Diaz fight. A few new tricks in his UFC 246 bout against Donald Cerrone last year, including shoulder strikes.
Saturday would answer many questions, including, potentially, who would fight for lightweight gold next. But the improvement question was arguably the most important of all.
McGregor opened up with immediate pressure, looking for the straight left and landing it quickly. Poirier then turned the tables and landed a takedown. McGregor was able to get back to his feet while in the clinch and landed a hard shoulder strike. Conor began landing the big left hand and began backing Poirer up to the cage. Poirer ended the round pumping out the jab and trying to survive after surviving an early onslaught.
McGregor was aggressive to start round two as well. Poirer began landing hard leg kicks to limit his movement. Thanks to those kicks, McGregor began losing his quickness over the course of the round, and Poirer cracked McGregor hard with a huge left hand. Poirer then jumped in with a huge flurry and dropped McGregor. A couple more hard shots and Poirier had put Conor McGregor out cold.
— UFC (@ufc) January 24, 2021
Just like that, Dustin Poirer shocked the world, not that the idea of him defeating McGregor at this point in their careers was ever that shocking. Still, he’s back at the top of the lightweight division, alongside fellow UFC 257 winner Michael Chandler. Getting his revenge and knocking out the biggest UFC star of all-time inside the second round, Poirier looked good. The only problem is, if Khabib does return, will he want a second fight with Poirier, who he handily defeated in their first encounter?
McGregor had his moments as well, and post-fight suggested inactivity may have been a factor, indicating he intended to fight more in 2021.
Official Result: Dustin Poirer def. Conor McGregor by TKO, Round 2, 2:32