What’s next for McGregor after shock loss in UFC 257

Tara McGahan

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - JANUARY 24: in their lightweight fight during the UFC 257 event inside Etihad Arena on UFC Fight Island on January 24, 2021 in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

‘The Notorious’ Conor McGregor was stopped in the second round of his UFC 257 showdown against Dustin Poirier last month, suffering a shocking first-ever KO loss in the UFC.

The fight took place on ‘Fight Island’ in Abu Dhabi in January, seeing McGregor caught with several hard punches and leg kicks.

A stellar performance from Poirier showed him finishing McGregor off with head strikes in the second round and he took the win after 2 minutes and 34 seconds.

McGregor faced a hard first fight back with Poirier since easily beating Donald Cerrone within 40 seconds at UFC 246 in January 2020.

In an interview after the fight, McGregor praised Poirier for his skill and hard kicks. “You broke my leg, you b******. Great going, brilliant,” he said.

McGregor and lightweight rival Poirier came head to head before at UFC 178 in September 2014, with McGregor taking the win in the first round by technical knockout.

Both fighters have arguably changed in their fighting styles and personas since then, as noted by UFC commentator Joe Rogan.

”[Dustin is] a different person than he was when they first fought and Conor is a different person too. But I don’t think he’s the same animal that he was back then”, Rogan said on his podcast, The Joe Rogan Podcast Experience.

Although there has been no confirmation of a third fight, McGregor’s head coach, John Kavanagh of SBG Ireland has publicly pushed for a trilogy match to take place as soon as the early summer.

It’s expected that McGregor will fight again, after tweeting that he is ‘excited at the blockbuster trilogy’ he now has on his hands.

He added that “Dustin is a hell of a competitor and I look forward to going again.”  However, Poirier told MMA Junkie that there has been no movement on the third fight.

“I haven’t been reached out yet by the UFC or by Conor’s management about the trilogy fight. So, I’m not sure what’s going to happen,” he said.

Despite suffering his first knock-out loss, McGregor is likely to have raked in a healthy reward for his time in the octagon, with estimates of over €20 million for the Poirier fight.

His estimated net worth stands at around €120 million, according to The Irish Mirror. This comes at no surprise, with Forbes ranking McGregor 16th in their World’s Highest-Paid Athletes 2020 category in May.

McGregor has been seen enjoying some family time in Dubai since the fight, uploading fishing pictures from Moon Island.

However, if the trilogy match takes place as early as May or June, like his head coach, John Kavanagh, has suggested, McGregor will need to make changes in order for a different outcome in the third fight.

Tara McGahan

Image Credit: Getty Images