UFC 257 has come and gone and it turns out when “Mystic Mac” Conor McGregor promised us a masterpiece, he meant one from Dustin Poirier.
Okay, in truth it was simply a masterpiece of violence, with McGregor getting the best of Poirier in the first round before “Diamond” turned things around in the second to earn a TKO win (watch the highlights here). Other lightweights will be cribbing notes off Dustin’s performance for years, and it will be very interesting to see if McGregor can adjust his game now that a new blueprint for beating him exists.
And yes, McGregor will be back. He barely took a moment to feel sorry for himself in the cage, blaming inactivity for his loss. Then he showed up at the post-fight press conference fascinated with the calf kicks that hobbled him and eager to match himself up with a number of other UFC lightweights. His final contribution to UFC 257 fight week: this statement on social media channels:
“Thanks for the support everyone!” he wrote. “Was not my night/morning in there but a great contest to improve on. I’m excited at the blockbuster trilogy I now have on my hands. Dustin is a hell of a competitor and I look forward to going again. Elevating the leg and the spirit on my way home! God bless us all, happy Sunday.”
At this point it’s unclear whether McGregor intends to lobby for an immediate rematch with Poirier, who was overheard on a hit mic contemplating retirement following his big win. We imagine it depends on whatever gets him back into the cage soon enough.
“Activity” was the word McGregor kept using, and last year he was already chomping at the bit to fight three times. If UFC is smart, it will throw him back into the cage by June to keep him from wandering back to boxing where the paydays are 10 times higher. With UFC President, Dana White, finally giving up on a Khabib Nurmagomedov superfight, we may finally get Conor McGregor’s grand season this year.
How it goes, after the mystique of “Mystic Mac” has been destroyed, is anyone’s guess.