Dustin Poirier has sent social media into meltdown with a stunning TKO victory against Conor McGregor.
The American exacted revenge for his previous defeat against McGregor with a brutal second round stoppage in their lightweight fight at Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi.
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McGregor arguably had the upper hand in a cagey opening round, but Poirier struck back in the second with a vicious combination of striking that left the Irishman on the canvas.
With McGregor slumped over on the canvas at Etihad Arena and unable to defend himself, referee Herb Dean jumped in to stop it at 2:32 of the second round.
Fight fans were understandably gobsmacked by the result.
— CFC (@melcfc_) January 24, 2021
Dustin Poirier WOW
— Robby (@he_bringer) January 24, 2021
— Cub Swanson (@CubSwanson) January 24, 2021
Poirier wow 😱
— Javier (@TooChill_Javi) January 24, 2021
Damn McGregor got KO’d!!
— Mister Wright (@MrWright89) January 24, 2021
Can’t see McGregor coming back from this
— Kaneyy 🏴 (@ShaunKaneyy) January 24, 2021
McGregor is finished!! About time he retires!!
— T. 🇺🇬🇰🇪🇹🇿 (@Terrymusa17) January 24, 2021
— ESPN (@espn) January 24, 2021
“It’s hard to overcome inactivity,” McGregor said after the fight, which was his first in 12 months since beating Donald Cerrone.
“I’m gutted. It’s a tough one to swallow.”
American gains revenge for previous defeat
Poirier fought McGregor for the first time in 2014 when the two were both featherweights on the way up.
Notorious knocked him out in under two minutes that night, but six years later and fighting at lightweight, it was the American that returned the favour in stunning style.
“I’m happy man, but I’m not surprised,” Poirier said. “I put in the work.”
The consensus going in was that Poirier had to avoid McGregor’s power early and make it a long fight. And while McGregor did have a good first round and landed several solid strikes, Poirier was composed and gave as good as he got.
He took a number of hard shots from McGregor, including a shoulder strike to the face while they were clinched, and didn’t buckle. It was the same move McGregor used a year earlier at UFC 246 in Las Vegas to knock out Donald Cerrone.
But Poirier stuck to the plan. He chopped repeatedly at McGregor’s lead leg with the calf kick and it was swollen and bruised by the end of the round.
“The calf kick was very good,” McGregor said.
The final sequence began when Poirier landed a calf kick. He followed with a left hand and came back with a right and dropped McGregor. Poirier walked over and landed a blistering right and then another shot that caused Dean to stop it.
“The goal was to be technical, pick my shots and not brawl at all,” Poirier said.
The win puts Poirier in position to fight for the lightweight title, either against champion Khabib Nurmagomedov if he chooses to resume his career or another top contender.
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