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Conor McGregor blames ‘inactivity’ for UFC 257 loss, vows to return in 2021

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UFC 257: Poirier v McGregor Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

Dustin Poirier shocked the world on Saturday night (Jan. 23, 2021), knocking out Conor McGregor in the second round of their rematch on “Fight Island” in UFC 257’s main event.

Things initially didn’t look good for “The Diamond” as McGregor connected with a solid stream of power punches right on the chin. Their battles against the fence featured the same furious shoulder attacks that put Donald Cerrone into a daze last year. But, Poirier landed some key kicks to the calf that immediately began to limit McGregor’s mobility. In the second round McGregor was no longer landing with ease, and the kicks from Poirier kept coming.

Once McGregor got fussed with his legs, Poirier went upstairs and unleashed a combo that dazed him against the cage. Dustin stepped in for the kill and moments later referee Herb Dean was waving the fight off with McGregor senseless on the canvas (watch the highlights here). It’s the first time we’ve seen McGregor get knocked out in his career.

After he was back up on his feet, McGregor stuck around for a post-fight interview where he blamed the loss on inaction and vowed to return sooner rather than later.

“You know, it’s hard to overcome inactivity over long periods of time and that’s just it,” he said. “The leg kicks were good. That low calf kick was good. The leg was dead and then ... I just wasn’t as comfortable as I needed to be. It’s inactivity and that’s it. But Dustin Poirier is some fighter. If you don’t put in the time in here, you’re going to get cold in here. I’ll have to dust it off and come back and that’s it, and that’s what I’m going to do.”

When interviewer Jon Anik asked if we’d be seeing McGregor again in 2021, McGregor’s response almost sounded like a plea to UFC brass, who kept him shelved for the majority of 2020 hoping to put together a Khabib Nurmagomedov rematch.

“Of course, I need activity you guys, come on,” McGregor said. “You don’t get away with being inactive in this business and that’s the way it is. I’ll take my licks. I’m gutted, I’m gutted. I put so much work in. Well done Dustin, good man. It’s a tough one to swallow. I put in a lot of work, I’m proud of my work. I’d like to have represented my team a bit better, but we’ll get to go again and that’s it.

“I’m going to go home to my kids in the hotel and just chill for a bit and regroup and that’s it,” he concluded.

For complete UFC 257 results and coverage click here.