Louisiana native Dustin Poirier proved all doubters wrong when he knocked out arguably one of UFC’s best fighters, Irish superstar and former two-division champ, Conor McGregor, at UFC 257 in Abu Dhabi.
Poirier defeated McGregor in the second round by TKO after landing a combination of punches that ended with a right-hook that put McGregor down, causing the referee to stop the fight.
Poirier had set up the combination prior by landing multiple calf-kicks early on in the fight, which ultimately took away his opponents mobility and ability to defend himself properly.
Despite Poirier coming in as the higher ranked lightweight in the division at no. 2, McGregor, no. 4, closed as the -315 favorite.
Prior to their fight at UFC 257, the two fought each other in a nasty grudge match back in 2014, where McGregor ultimately won by first round knockout.
McGregor was still considered somewhat new to the UFC then, while Poirier had been with the promotion for almost four years. Still unsure of how his career would go, Poirier was devastated with the loss to say the least.
Since their first meeting in 2014, both fighters went on to achieve great things in their respected UFC careers. McGregor went on become the UFC’s first-ever simultaneous two-division champion, while Poirier went on to become interim lightweight champ. Despite ultimately coming up short in his title unification bout against the champ, Khabib Nurmagomedov, Poirier has gone on to defeat some of the biggest names the sport currently has to offer.
After coming up short in his title fight against Nurmagomedov, Poirier was still missing that one achievement to set his name in stone in the record books. At UFC 257, he finally got what he’s been looking for in recognition as one of the best fighters in the world today.
“First off I want to say that Conor took this result very professionally over here,” Poirier said in his post-fight octagon interview. “He’s a professional man, and nothing but respect. We’re one to one. Maybe we have to do it again.”
Poirier said he was “happy” with the place he’s in and is “happy with the man in the mirror.” Ultimately, his win over McGregor was what he set out to achieve.
“The goal was to be technical, and to pick my shots, not brawl at all,” Poirier said. “You know I have a big tendency, and you saw at the end of this one, but I had him hurt so I went a little crazy.”
With the divisions champ, Nurmagomedov having announced his retirement following his victory over Justin Gaethje last October, Poirier’s underdog story continues.
Poirier told media after his fight that he expects the UFC to crown him as champ if Nurmagomedov truly decides to go through with his alleged retirement.
“I felt like this was the title fight. If Khabib’s not coming back then I’m the champion,” Poirier said in the post-fight press conference.