Dustin Poirier knocks out Conor McGregor at UFC 257

Jude Papillion, Sports Editor

In the second round of their bout at UFC 257, Dustin Poirier sent Conor McGregor to the canvas after a barrage of punches, knocking McGregor out and giving Poirier another victory. 

The fight, a rematch of their previous meeting at UFC 178 in 2014, was held on Sunday at Yas Island, dubbed Fight Island, in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Only about 1,800 fans were allowed to attend UFC 257 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, but this was the first time fans were allowed to attend a UFC event since March 2020. McGregor won the 2014 fight against Poirier in just 106 seconds, winning by knockout and establishing himself as a superstar. 

Dustin Poirier, a native of Lafayette, Louisiana, entered the fight with a record of 26-6. The Irishman, McGregor, entered with a record of 22-4. 

The first round of the lightweight battle between the two 32-year olds began with Poirier wrestling McGregor to the ground, but less than 50 seconds later McGregor was back up and landed several strong shoulder strikes on Poirier. After a bit of grappling, McGregor was able to pin Poirier on the fence and immediately foot stomped and punched him twice. As time expired in the first round, McGregor held strong over the tired Poirier, landing several more punches, making Poirier miss, and starting to kick him. 

The second round opened with Poirier bombarding McGregor with calf kicks. McGregor responded by catching Poirier’s left leg twice, causing Poirier to have less control of his balance. Poirier then reset his stance and hit McGregor with a calf kick and a powerful left-hand blow that left McGregor stunned. Poirier unleashed on McGregor, landing punch after punch until McGregor was dazed. Finally, Poirier connected with McGregor on a left hook, sending him to the floor, and after two more punches referee Herb Dean ended the fight at the 2:32 mark, declaring Poirier the victor by knockout/TKO.

Poirier claimed his revenge over McGregor six years after being defeated, to the surprise of many, and launched himself as a top fighter in the lightweight division, while McGregor now looks to pick up the pieces in an attempt to become the UFC’s biggest star again. Poirier now has a far easier path to winning a belt after defending champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov, retired in October. According to UFC president Dana White, the 29-0 Nurmagomedov potentially would have come out of retirement to fight McGregor for the lightweight title had he defeated Poirier at UFC 257.