Poirer stopped McGregor with a flurry of punches that flattened the Notorious One. McGregor ultimately ended up in a sleepytime position that led to some pretty hilarious memes, including some that incorporated a photo that went viral earlier in the week of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders wearing cozy mittens and a workmanlike winter coat at the inauguration ceremony for President Joe Biden.
McGregor, with a 22-5 record, had been off for a year. His first round was solid and seemed to back up the oddsmakers who predicted he would win. But Poirier came out in round 2 clearly ready to put a strategy in play and that culminated in McGregor's first-ever loss from punches.
Though the Irishman is the most gifted verbal flamethrower in combat sports, he was surprisingly frank about the loss. "You know," he said, "it's hard to overcome inactivity over long periods of time."
McGregor, whose last fight was an almost immediate first-round victory over Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone in 2020, said he "just wasn't as comfortable" as he wanted to be, "but Dustin is some fighter. If you put in the time, you're going to get cozy in here. I have to dust it off and come back, and that's what I will do."
"I'll take my licks," McGregor concluded, "but I'm gutted."
Poirier took McGregor down in a calculated approach that involved hobbling his opponent with a targeted attack on the lower body before he really went in with his fists for the knockdown. He did his work well enough that McGregor added a crutch to his ensemble when he suited up to meet the press afterward.
Following the fight, Poirier flashed two fingers and said, "We’re 1-1, maybe we have to do it again."
Regarding his victory, Poirier said he wanted to take a "technical" approach and that worked out well.
Despite McGregor's loss, UFC president Dana White said UFC 257 was likely to end up the most-watched pay-per-view event in the promotion's history.
Poirier entered the match as the number 2 lightweight contender. Currently, Justin Gaethje is the most likely to pick up the belt left following Khabib Nurmagomedov’s retirement.
UFC 258 is scheduled for Saturday, February 13 2021 in Las Vegas, and features a welterweight title bout between Kamaru Usman and Gilbert Burns.