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Midnight Mania! Firas Zahabi: Conor McGregor ‘gave up’ in Dustin Poirier loss

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

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There is a definite belief that Conor McGregor struggles with long, difficult fights. Though there are some examples to the contrary — his second-round rally opposite Chad Mendes and victory over Nate Diaz, for example — it’s a strong enough narrative that McGregor himself spoke out to label his cardio woes a “myth.”

McGregor’s main event loss to Dustin Poirier did not go deep into the second round, but even so, the Irishman is under scrutiny in how he handles adversity. Veteran MMA coach Firas Zahabi broke down the bout on his YouTube channel, and in his view, McGregor gave up when faced with adversity.

“In the second round, when McGregor was getting hit along the fence. I found it strange that he wasn’t — it seemed like he had already gave up on the fight,” Zahabi said (transcription via BloodyElbow). “Before he hit the canvas, I felt like he had given up on the fight, because things were getting tough.

“The fight was getting tough. His left hand didn’t work, and he’s not used to that. He’s not used to hitting guys with the big left, and then (they) keep fighting. McGregor, in the second round, dropped his best card. He landed that perfect left hand, the one he’s relied on his entire career. But for one reason or another, it didn’t work.

“Poirier did not go down, and it seemed that McGregor got emotional about it. He started covering up, he was getting hit, but it didn’t look like he was trying to circle out and survive,” he explained. “He looked like a guy who was like ‘this is the end, I better do something.’ He threw a few punches, but they were like — almost desperate.”

While Zahabi did praise McGregor’s boxing and skill advantages, Zahabi also believes that Poirier’s experience in bloody battles is what help make the difference. Zahabi later summed up his view on the fight, “When McGregor gets into a heated battle, it seems like he folds. It seems like he will fold faster than Poirier by far.”


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