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UFC in UAE: Poirier blasts McGregor to plot new title shot

Abu Dhabi - The KO was the first in McGregor's storied career.


Ashwani Kumar

Published: Sun 24 Jan 2021, 10:03 AM

Last updated: Sun 24 Jan 2021, 11:31 AM

Dustin Poirier scored a sensational knockout victory over Conor McGregor at UFC 257, decking him in the second round, to put himself in pole position for another crack at the lightweight title, in Abu Dhabi’s Fight Island on Sunday morning.

In the much-anticipated headline event of UFC 257, Poirier survived the early barrage of blows from McGregor. He scored a takedown over McGregor and was lethal with his leg kicks. Both the 32-year-old's traded hooks, jabs, strikes and words inside the steel cage. In the second round, Poirier landed solid calf kicks to hurt McGregor and finished him with a series of punches and big left knockout.

Poirier ‘The Diamond’ is on a 12-2 run since his loss to McGregor in 2014. Apart from a title fight for Poirier, the result also sets the stage for an enticing trilogy in the lightweight class.

“I’m happy. I put in the work. I want to say Conor took this result very professionally. He’s a pro, nothing but respect, we’re 1-1, maybe we have to do it again,” Poirier, the American, said after the bout.

And with champion Khabib Nurmagomedov yet to make a final decision on his return to the ring, No.2 Poirier underlined: “I felt like this was a title fight. If Khabib is not coming back, me and Conor are the two best guys. I think this is a title fight, I’m the champion.”

McGregor ‘The Notorious’ just had a 40-second TKO against Donald Cerrone in January last year and felt that lack of action for the past one year led to his downfall.

“It’s hard to overcome inactivity and that’s just it. The leg kicks were good, that low calf kick was very good, the leg was dead and I just wasn’t as comfortable as I needed to be, but Dustin’s some fighter.”

Following a defeat in his first Middle East outing, No.4 McGregor vows a quick return to the octagon: “I need activity. You don’t get away with being inactive in this business. I’ll take my licks. 1-1 Dustin, good man. It’s a tough one to swallow.”

In the co-main event, former Bellator MMA lightweight champ Michael Chandler made a stunning debut by knocking out No.6 Dan Hooker.

If Khabib doesn’t return, UFC boss Dana White may set Poirier-Chandler clash for the vacant title.

Main card

Lightweight: Dustin Poirier defeats Conor McGregor (KO)

Lightweight: Michael Chandler defeats Dan Hooker (TKO)

Women's Flyweight: Joanne Calderwood defeats Jessica Eye (Unanimous decision 30–27, 30–27, 29–28)

Middleweight: Makhmud Muradov defeats Andrew Sanchez (TKO)

Women's Strawweight: Marina Rodriguez defeat Amanda Ribas (TKO)

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