Former UFC two-division champion Conor McGregor can likely forget about a high profile pay-per-view boxing match with Manny Pacquiao, after he was knocked out in two rounds by Dustin Poirier on Saturday night at UFC's Fight Island in Abu Dhabi.
McGregor, fighting for the first time since January 2020, looked really good in the first.
He also was doing well early on in the second. After making adjustments, Poierer was starting to land punches and he was connecting often with hard calf kicks. During the action, Poirier rocked McGregor against the fence. He followed up with more hard punches to drop him and then finished him off, as the referee jumped in to wave off the fight.
McGregor is easily the biggest star in mixed martial arts - but he's been very inactive in the last few years, with at least four retirements being announced. McGregor even retired not long after his last fight, only to announce he was coming back a few months later.
McGregor made his pro boxing debut in August of 2017, when he was stopped in ten rounds by Floyd Mayweather at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Since that contest, McGregor has only fought three times in the UFC - going 1-2.
He made no excuses about his recent loss and admits inactivity had finally caught up with him.
"It’s hard to overcome inactivity," said McGregor. "Dustin is some fighter. I have to dust it off and come back and that’s what I’ll do. I'll take my licks. I’m gutted... I put the work in. I’m proud of my work."
Since last year, McGregor had been calling for a boxing match with Pacquiao.
Pacquiao, 42-years-old and the WBA welterweight champion, has been out of the ring since July 2019. He expressed a lot of interest in facing McGregor.
The two athletes are working with the same management company - and there were ongoing negotiations taking place behind the scenes, to match them at some point in 2021 in a high profile pay-per-view clash.
Last week, McGregor revealed that the negotiations to face Pacquiao were "intensifying" and their mutual management believed the contest was "certain" to happen.
Pacquiao will now have to find a new dance partner - with IBF/WBC weltererweight champion Errol Spence and WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford being the two biggest options.