Irish fighter Conor McGregor has told his fans that Dustin Poirier is “a hell of a competitor” after the American defeated him overnight on Saturday.
Poirier threw a series of quickfire punches to secure a technical knockout 2 minutes and 32 seconds into round two at UFC 257 at Fight Island in Abu Dhabi.
Despite the defeat, McGregor suggested he wants two more fights with Poirier.
Hours after the fight finished, McGregor wrote on twitter: “Thanks for the support everyone! Was not my night/morning in there but a great contest to improve on. I’m excited at the blockbuster trilogy I now have on my hands. Dustin is a hell of a competitor and I look forward to going again. God bless us all, happy Sunday.”
Victory for Poirier came almost seven years after McGregor won their first clash via a first-round knockout. McGregor retired from UFC three times since that fight.
But the 32-year-old once again returned to the octagon to challenge the American.
In the immediate aftermath of the contest, McGregor admitted he was “gutted” and that defeat had been a “tough one to swallow,” but did not announce another retirement.
“I felt stronger than him, but his leg kicks were good. I didn’t adjust,” he said. “My leg was badly compromised, I’ve never experienced those low calf kicks, and I wasn’t as comfortable as I needed to be.
“I have no excuses. It was a phenomenal performance by Dustin. I have to dust it off and come back. I need activity, you don’t get away with being inactive in this business.”
Defeat delivers a blow to any hopes McGregor had of setting up a fight with hs rival, Khabib Nurmagomedov.
McGregor had the Russian “the world knows this war is not over” in relation to their rivalry, despite Nurmagomedov retiring in October.
Following Poirier’s victory, Nurmagomedov said on Twitter: “This is what happened, when you change your team, leave the sparring partners who made you a champion and sparring with little kids, far away from reality.”
Meanwhile, YouTuber Jake Paul continues to taunt McGregor.
Paul said he wanted to fight McGregor after he knocked out ex-NBA star Nate Robinson in November. The YouTube star had reportedly offered McGregor $50 million for the contest.
But, after Poirier defeated McGregor, Paul appeared to drop the offer to $10,000.