American mixed martial arts fighter Dustin Poirier defeated Conor McGregor early Sunday in a much-anticipated Ultimate Fighting Championship re-match that left McGregor down for the count in the second round.
“I just wasn’t as comfortable as I needed to be. It’s the inactivity,” McGregor, of Ireland, said in an interview posted on Twitter following the fight.
But he vowed to continue fighting this year.
“I have to dust it off and come back and that’s it. And that’s what I will do.”
He added he was “gutted” about the loss.
“I put in a lot of work, I’m proud of my work, I would have liked to represent my team a bit better.”
Following his win, Poirier said in an interview on Twitter he felt like he was “boxing pretty well” against McGregor.
“I’m here to win,” he added.
Ahead of the fight, many social media users reported outages with the ESPN+ UFC 257 pay-per-view event, with NFL superstar JJ Watt tweeting, “I would like my $70 back.”
“I am genuinely concerned for people not being able to watch the fights,” UFC fighter Julia Avila wrote on Twitter. “I actually FaceTimed some friends for a little.”
A rematch, six years later
The stunning defeat came after McGregor spent more than a year away from the UFC. He called that time a “wild ride.”
“I’m very excited to be back here,” he said during a pre-fight press conference on Thursday. “I’m very excited to have fans in here. I feel invigorated.”
McGregor first announced back in October he had accepted the fight against Poirier – in what was a rematch from 2014, where the Irish fighter took less than two minutes to knock Poirier out.
The American told CNN he learned a lot from that defeat and six years later, felt “more prepared now on the mental side.”
“Before, when I was younger, I didn’t put a whole lot into the mental side of fighting. I listened to critics. I listened to opinions of people. I listened to Conor,” Poirier previously said. “Now, that’s just noise to me.”
CNN’s Richard Parr, Kevin Dotson and Don Riddell contributed to this report.