Conor McGregor won’t be fighting in the UFC for the next six months after being medically suspended.
The Irish superstar suffered the first knockout loss of his career on Saturday at UFC 257, defeated by Dustin Poirier in a second round shocker.
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The KO was the first in McGregor’s storied career and came after the Irishman had dominated the fight from the opening bell.
McGregor will now be forced to wait six months to bounce back after copping a medical suspension from the UFC - standard protocol for fighters who have been knocked out.
According to MMA.tv, the official record keepers for the Association of Boxing Commissions, the UFC confirmed the medical suspension on Tuesday.
McGregor is banned from all contact for 30 days, but can return after 45 days if X-rays on his right tibia/fibula are negative.
The 32-year-old’s quest to win back the UFC’s lightweight title will now have to wait until July.
When asked if he plans on fighting again in 2021, McGregor said: “Of course. I need activity, guys, come on.
“You don’t get away with being inactive and that’s the way it is.
“I’ll take my licks. I’m gutted, to be honest. I’m gutted. I put so much work in.
“Well done, Dustin. We’re one and one. Good man. It’s a tough one to swallow.
“I put in a lot of work, I’m proud of my work. I would’ve liked to have represented my team a little bit better. But we’ll get to go again and that’s it.”
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Controlling the centre of the octagon on Fight Island in Abu Dhabi, McGregor landed some hard shots with his right hand but couldn’t find the blow with his left that would have finished the fight.
Instead Poirier scored with a hard right to get his back off the fence before landing a flurry of blows to beat the overwhelming favourite.
The knockout also silenced the thousands in the crowd cheering on McGregor and the arena emptied out quickly once the fight was over.
“We had a big fight and unfortunately we came up short but here’s the secret; you will live with it, we are all disappointed but we’re OK,” McGregor’s coach John Kavanagh said.
“In Conor’s case, the last six months have been amazing.
“The discipline and effort he put in … when you’ve done that, when you’ve left no stone unturned, you’ve made every training session, you’ve made weight the right way, you’ve make the walk, competed as hard as you could.
“Competition has two sides to the coin, winning and losing, and sometimes it’s going to fall on the losing side.
“That’s something you have to get used to; the quicker you get used to losing, the quicker you are going to have success.”
Poirier, who won the interim lightweight title in 2019 but came up short when Khabib Nurmagomedov beat him for the undisputed crown later the same year,
Nurmagomedov has since retired and if he does not return, Poirier is likely to face Michael Chandler, the former Bellator champion who scored a thunderous first-round knockout victory in his UFC debut over New Zealand's Dan Hooker in the evening's co-main event.
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