Despite talking up a win in less than 60 seconds, Conor McGregor has lasted less than two rounds as Dustin Poirier stunned the world with an incredible KO of the UFCs biggest name.Taking the centre stage at Fight Island, McGregor’s second fight in two years — and third fight in four years — after a 40 second KO of Donald Cerrone had the world expecting the Irishman to fall right back into old habits.
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With 19 KOs in his 22 wins, McGregor is a renowned knockout artist and few gave Poirier much of a chance to win, let alone beat McGregor at his own game.
Poirier took McGregor down early and then clinched with McGregor early as the pair fought up close and personal.
It’s not McGregor’s style as Poirier came to the fight with a clear plan and it paid off.
He kept McGregor down until late in the first round when they got some space and the Irishman could throw some punches.
Poirier’s kick troubled McGregor as he complained post-fight about his calf.
By early in the second, McGregor’s leg was dead and he said as much post-fight.
While they fought with space, Poirier was clearly ready to go toe-to-toe with The Notorious and beat him at his own game as the pair threw fists until Poirier threw in a kick and followed up with punches, leaving McGregor dazed, before he went in for the kill with McGregor up against the cage.
After announcing his retirement for the third time in between fights last year, the internet erupted with speculation that this might be the real end.
Poirier’s wife Jolie yelled: “We told you, that’s the last time you’re going to doubt my husband. Swear to god.”
Poirier even offered an olive branch to McGregor, saying they could go for the trilogy fight now it’s 1-all.
“Conor took this result very professionally, he’s a pro, nothing but respect, we’re one and one, maybe we’ll have to do this again,” he said.
Commentator Jon Arik told McGregor he was “the epitome of class” to stick around and speak post-fight but the 32-year-old was clearly devastated by the loss.
“It’s hard to overcome long periods of inactivity. The leg kicks were good, the leg was dead. I just wasn’t as comfortable as I need to be,” McGregor said.
“It’s the inactivity and that’s it. Dustin is some fighter. I have to dust it off and come back and that’s what I’ll do.
Asked if he’s coming back, McGregor unequivocally said: “I need activity.”
“You don’t get away with being inactive in this business and that’s it,” he said.
“I’ll take me licks. I’m gutted man, I put a lot of work in.
“Well done, Dustin, one-on-one, good man. It’s a tough one to swallow. We’ll get to go again, I’ll go home to my kids and chill for a bit and regroup.”
As bitter a pill as it would be for McGregor, Khabib twisted the knife even further with a brutal message post fight.
Despite being vanquished, McGregor was not going to let that go past without comment.
“My team has been the team since day one. I’ve not changed any team,” McGregor said. “It is what it is. Respect the athletes!
“That’s the character of the man, for sure, behind the mask.
“What does he want to do? Does he want to come back or no because he’s not throwing any leg kicks!
“I got up off the ground against Dustin, I turned Dustin. Look at little pockets of that sequence in his fights! Like I say, styles make fights.
“Every fight is a different fight. That’s why all this prestige and all that that people try to hold on to, I don’t hold on to that – whether someone has multiple wins or multiple losses – every fight between every man is different and Dustin’s style just played into it today and he has the durability, experience and that leg kick in his arsenal now.
“I’ll adjust and keep going but if Khabib wants to have his disrespectful comments, come back and let’s go again, my man! I’m here for it.
“That’s fighting talk! So if you’re coming back, come back. You try and do it!”
The sporting world was floored by the result.
ESPN radio host Brad Gilmore was floored by the result, writing: “Once Dustin started landing those leg kicks, Conor’s right leg looked dead out there. His evasiveness went out the window and got caught with a great series from The Diamond. This ends the reign of McGregor for good in my mind.”
Sports Illustrated’s Fernando Ramirez praised Poirier’s work tweeting: “Dustin Poirier with great strategy tonight. Leg kicks and finishes it off with boxing. Great victory for him.”
Is this the end of McGregor? Time will tell, but clearly the Irish star’s humanity is showing after his past few fights.
It leaves two clear paths for the former UFC double champ — come back for a Rocky Balboa style return to the top, or stay down on the canvas.

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