Conor McGregor sorts through emotions of UFC 257 knockout loss: ‘It’s hard to take’
Conor McGregor was on stage in front of reporters on Saturday, a situation he's gotten well used to at this point in his career. Unlike every other post-fight MMA press conference he attended, something was different.
McGregor (22-5 MMA, 10-3 UFC) was familiar with discussing knockout wins and reported his first knockout loss - a second round TKO due to strikes Dustin Poirier suffered in the UFC 257 main event .
Using a mix of emotions that ranged from disappointment to numbness to happiness, McGregor sifted through his feelings and what had gone wrong in the fight.
"It breaks my heart, John," said McGregor as he answered John Morgan of the MMA Junkie. "It's hard to take. The highest highs and the lowest lows in this game."
All pre-fight technical analysis and failures were irrelevant when the two fighters stepped into the cage at UFC 257. Kicks became an important act in combat. Despite McGregor's best poker face, Poirier continued to pound his opponent's lead leg until the Irishman was seriously compromised.
"My leg is completely dead," said McGregor. “Although I felt I was checking it, it only sank into the muscle in the front of the leg and was badly affected. It was like an American football in my suit right now, so that's what it is. "
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In addition to kicking, McGregor pointed to inactivity as a factor contributing to his performance. UFC 257 was McGregor's first competition in 12 months and only his second in 29 months.
"It's all shit, but I have no excuses here. It was a phenomenal performance by Dustin. I don't know what to say," said McGregor. "I'll go back. I'll relax. I'll watch the whole fight and understand it better. The leg has been compromised. I quickened the shots a little and didn't adjust. That's that. It's a bitter pill to swallow." I don't even know if I'm that upset. I don't know what to say. "
After completing the UFC 257 main card, UFC President Dana White predicted that McGregor would take one of two avenues: motivating himself to come back strong, or move away from MMA entirely. McGregor stated the latter is not in his plans.
"I will definitely regroup," said McGregor. "I'll regroup. I'll get off the ground and go again. That's it. Styles make fights. There are a lot of great style fights. Me and Dustin are one and one. Me and Nate are one and one. There are many good matchups for me. I'll take a different approach to the trilogy. ... I have a lot more guns that I couldn't show. It wasn't my night. It wasn't a great night. Again, no excuses. Hats off. (I will ) regroup and straighten myself up. I look forward to going back now and seeing the kids and just taking the licks. "
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When McGregor reflected on his UFC 257 experience, competed on Fight Island, and returned to competition, he found some silver linings between disappointment and defeat.
"I have to get out of here and have this fight here in the Middle East and put on a show for the people," McGregor said. "I've done my best. Sometimes things don't go the way you want them to. Well, get up and carry on. I have a lot of good things in my life so I just keep my head up. That's it. Do them Record, take the licks and just keep going. "
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