Heavyweight boxer Tyson Fury is in agreeance that Conor McGregor looked a little off in his recent TKO loss to Dustin Poirier at UFC 257 (see it again here). While Poirier can’t receive enough credit for is efforts in a rematch six years in the making Fury believes “Notorious” ultimately lost due to inactivity.
McGregor, who had previously beaten Poirier via knockout in a featherweight bout back in 2014, was making just his second Octagon appearance since a 2018 loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov. It was also his first bout at 155 pounds since his clash with “Eagle” and only his third overall lightweight fight under the UFC banner. He was expected to make a huge return to the division against a fighter he already defeated and make his push towards the undisputed lightweight title.
Unfortunately for McGregor, Poirier met him with damaging leg kicks early on and things only unraveled from there. McGregor didn’t seem to sting Poirier with his punches like he did in their first meeting and his movement was severely hampered after just a few minutes. Needless to say, “Notorious” didn’t look exactly the same, despite putting in one of his best camps ever.
Fury, along with most fight fans, recognized the dip in McGregor’s effectiveness inside of the cage. At 32 years of age and with a UFC career that has seen very little damage it’s difficult to imagine McGregor’s skills dipping due to natural regression. Instead, most believe McGregor suffered some sort of cage rust due to his overall inactivity over the past few years.
“Notorious” provided a similar outlook following his UFC 257 loss and now Fury is backing the former UFC champion up.
“He’s bang on right,” Fury said. “Conor McGregor fought in 2016, then he had two years out of the ring, and then he fought Khabib. And then he had another two years out of the ring, and then he fought Cerrone. And then he had another year out of the ring, and then he fought this guy, Poirier.
“Inactivity kills the cat. No doubt about it. When one man’s been active in fighting and sparring and in camps, and one man’s been on the couch, it’s no good. You lose your timing, you lose your distance, you lose it all. It’s all got to be gained back within camps and within fighting.
“If you had three fights on the bounce and you’ve never been in the ring for three years, the third one you’d be better, ten times better than you were the first time around.”
McGregor, who helped UFC 257 bring in 1.6 million PPV buys, doesn’t have many things to fight for these days. As a millionaire multiple times over with countless business ventures to tend to many believed McGregor’s focus would be skewed upon his return to the cage. Those pundits were proven wrong about the Irishman’s all-in preparation, but the final results did not match McGregor’s overall investment in his rematch with Poirier.
“I’ve always known it because I’m a boxing historian. I’ve always known about the inactivity,” Fury said. “Gerry Cooney when he fought Larry Holmes (in 1982), he was out of the ring for 18 months. And the timing wasn’t there, just wasn’t the same fighter as he should’ve been.”
While McGregor and Poirier have both expressed interest in a trilogy bout it’s unknown at this time if UFC is looking to put that together. Either way, we should see “Notorious” fight at least one more time this year, allowing the former UFC champion to right the ship.