Firas Zahabi thinks when the going gets tough for Conor McGregor he gives up and believes that was the case against Dustin Poirier.
In the main event of UFC 257, McGregor made his return to the Octagon to rematch Poirier. Early on in the fight, the Irishman had success and landed a solid shut that stunned Poirier. However, “The Diamond” started to leg kick McGregor and after the Irishman’s leg went “dead” Poirier went up top and knocked him out.
Although it was a good performance for Poirier, Zahabi believes McGregor gave up.
“In the second round, when McGregor was getting hit along the fence. I found it strange that he wasn’t — it seemed like he had already gave up on the fight,” Zahabi said on his YouTube channel (via Bloody Elbow). “Before he hit the canvas, I felt like he had given up on the fight, because things were getting tough.
“The fight was getting tough. His left hand didn’t work, and he’s not used to that. He’s not used to hitting guys with the big left, and then (they) keep fighting,” Zahabi continued. “McGregor, in the second round, dropped his best card. He landed that perfect left hand, the one he’s relied on his entire career. But for one reason or another, it didn’t work.
“Poirier did not go down, and it seemed that McGregor got emotional about it. He started covering up, he was getting hit, but it didn’t look like he was trying to circle out and survive,” Zahabi concluded. “He looked like a guy who was like ‘this is the end, I better do something.’ He threw a few punches, but they were like — almost desperate. He seemed to get emotional. I looked at his face and he was very very emotional. Whereas if you contrast that with Poirier, when Poirier got hit… he was cool and looking for his next move.”
After the fight, Conor McGregor congratulated Poirier on the performance and admitted the leg kicks did hurt him. He also hopes the trilogy does happen next.
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