McGregor admits focusing on Pacquiao too much ahead of Poirier bout
Jan 23, 2021; Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; Conor McGregor of Ireland punches Dustin Poirier in a lightweight fight during the UFC 257 event inside Etihad Arena on UFC Fight Island. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Bottari/Handout Photo via USA TODAY Sports
MANILA, Philippines—After his shock loss, Conor McGregor admitted that he was at fault for not focusing thoroughly on his UFC return and was instead thinking of his potential boxing match against Manny Pacquiao.
His one-year layoff ended in a disappointing finish when he suffered a second round knockout finish at the hands of Dustin Poirier last month.
Usually a brash and sometimes arrogant fighter, McGregor showed an all too different side during the buildup for the Poirier fight showing his opponent with the utmost respect and kindness that extended to his post-fight musing.
McGregor, whose previous fight was a knockout win over Donald Cerrone in January 2020, fell flat against Poirier and he said that he fully deserved to lose in UFC 257.
McGregor and Pacquiao’s teams had been in communication for a possible boxing fight with the mixed martial arts superstar hinting that the match would happen some time in 2021.
However, MP Promotions president Sean Gibbons said that demand for the fight “not there presently” after McGregor’s setback.
“ A little single disciplined in my approach and stance with mostly boxing. It’s what I get for picking this bout and opponent as a precursor to a boxing match against Pacman,” wrote McGregor. “I deserved to get the legs kicked off me going in with this thinking. This is not the game to play around with.”
“First time to experience it. Then a tremendous finishing flurry by my opponent. Hats off! A well fought fight by The Diamond.”
Poirier, who lost in the first fight against McGregor, pinned the Irishman against the cage midway through the second round and it was there that he ultimately got his retribution landing several punches before referee Herb Dean stopped the affair 2:32 into the frame.
With his loss in the rearview mirror, McGregor said he’s looking forward to a trilogy with Poirier.
“What a trilogy I now have on my hands. Exciting! With a handle on the leg kicks I will get back to having fun in there. I was in second gear cruising this fight. Best condition I’ve ever been in,” wrote McGregor.
“I enjoyed racking up some more time inside the famed UFC Octagon. 40 seconds in 3 years is all I’d had up to this bout. I was savoring every second and enjoying my work.”
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