Conor McGregor’s hopes of tempting Khabib Nurmagomedov into a rematch are in tatters after he was stopped by Dustin Poirier in a massive upset at UFC 257 at Fight Island in Abu Dhabi.
Despite beating Poirier in 2014 and being the overwhelming favourite for this fight, the American ruined the script and took his revenge.
A revenge which has highly dented the Irish fighters chance of forcing a rematch with currently retired Nurmagomedov.
“Poirier was outstanding”
UFC expert Kevin Scaria watched the fight and gave this reflection of how proceedings unfolded.
He said: “Thought Poirier was outstanding. His game plan was spot on which was attract McGregor’s lead leg. He even caught him off guard with a takedown early on which I’m sure no one expected, especially McGregor.
“McGregor looked rusty and it was clear to see. His timing was off and so was his accuracy which had been his most notable assets throughout his career. Clear case of ring rust having been away from the sport for over a year.
“The leg kicks from poirier proved to be the deciding factor and the accumulation of those kicks led the McGregor being knocked out.”
Will the Khabib rematch happen?
Scaria very much doubts that the rematch will happen after this latest blow.
“I’m very doubtful thatthe Khabib rematch will happen,” Scaria admitted. “Even if it does I think we’re a long long way away.”
Scaria went on to add: “Khabib has beaten pretty every contender and so the reasons for him to even come back from retirement aren’t looking appealing.
“McGregor needs to get a few more fights under his belt and beat poirier again for Khabib to even consider coming back because the only thing left for Khabib is that huge rematch, which undoubtedly be the one of biggest fights in combat sport history.”
With the McGregor Nurmagomedov rematch unlikely to happen now after this latest setback, the question of where does the Irish fighter go from here will be the narative of the media coverage over the next few weeks.