Be careful what you wish for.
Conor McGregor handpicked Dustin Poirier to be his next opponent and lived to regret it after being stopped in the second round at UFC 257 held at Etihad Arena, Fight Island Abu Dhabi, yesterday, January 24, 2021.
Poirier barely survived the first round but turned the fight around in the second by brutalizing McGregor’s lead right calf with leg kicks which McGregor could not check.
McGregor dictated the tempo of the fight as he continued to pressure Poirier with a two-fisted attack until Poirier’s leg kicks finally took their toll on McGregor’s right leg late in the second.
Poirier pummeled a hobbled McGregor with left-right combinations and then sent the Irishman staggering back into the cage with a short right hand to the face.
Poirier moved forward to administer ground-and-pound as McGregor fell on his butt but referee Herb Dean mercifully stopped the fight before McGregor could sustain any more damage.
“I’m happy but I’m not surprised. I put in the work. I’m just happy in the place I am. I am happy with the face I see in the mirror when I wake up in the morning. I love my team I love my wife and I love my city,” said the 32-year-old Poirier a native of Lafayette, Louisiana, USA.
“The goal was to be technical and pick my shots and not brawl. I can box I can get my shots. I showed a little bit of that (in this fight). Nothing but respect for him but I felt I was boxing pretty well. I’m just here to win.”
McGregor was in complete control in the first round. Poirier took down McGregor early in the round but after McGregor broke free he started peppering Poirier with shots to the head and face almost at will.
Poirier was lucky to escape a knockout in the first but he came roaring back in the second. He chopped up McGregor’s lead right leg then finished off McGregor with head shots to win the fight by TKO in the second round.
Poirier thus avenged a first round TKO loss to McGregor at UFC 158 held September 27, 2014.
In the co-main event Michael Chandler exploded into the UFC landscape with a first round knockout victory over sixth-ranked UFC Lightweight Dan Hooker.
Chandler stalked Hooker early in the round, sent Hooker down to the canvas with a left hook then rained down blows to the head forcing the referee to stop the bout with 2:30 to go in the first.