"The leg kick didn't knock him out" - Dustin Poirier reveals the key to victory over Conor McGregor at UFC 257

Dustin Poirier (Left) says leg kick did not knock Conor McGregor (Right) out
Dustin Poirier (Left) says leg kick did not knock Conor McGregor (Right) out
Modified 27 Feb 2021

Dustin Poirier shed light on the exact strike that started the finishing sequence in his rematch against Conor McGregor at UFC 257. The Diamond attributes the knockout win to the backhand cross counter to the uppercut attempted by McGregor after Poirier threw the last calf kick of the fight.

Dustin Poirier made an appearance on the popular podcast The Joe Rogan Experience on February 26. Rogan asked for the former Interim Lightweight Champion's opinion on Daniel Cormier's breakdown of leg kicks in both Poirier vs McGregor fights in the ESPN+ show Detail.

While breaking down Dustin Poirier's lower body kicks in the fight, DC had mentioned that the final calf kick that The Diamond landed on Conor McGregor completely damaged the Irishman's leg.

"You've still got eighteen-and-a-half minutes to fight and the leg is beat up already. The leg buckles up even though the kick has landed in a place that's supposed to be ideal for Conor. Conor's supposed to be okay when the kick hits the shin but that whole leg is just beat up at that point," Daniel Cormier said in Detail.

Dustin Poirier told Rogan that a lot of analysts missed the backhand counter in the moments that followed after the final leg kick, which was in fact the strike that actually led to the now-famous knockout sequence.

"I see a lot of people talk funny stuff about it. The leg kick didn't knock him out. DC says in the Detail breakdown, I kick Conor's calf and Conor steps back and his leg kind of goes, and that's the leg kick that hurt him. After that leg kick he tried to reach down and grab the leg to throw an uppercut and I switched stance, so I threw a cross from my back-hand that clipped him good. That's when he took the step back and was hurt. I think that's the detail people are missing, that right hand," Dustin Poirier said.

Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor fought in the rematch of their first fight in the headliner of UFC 257 PPV event in January 2021. The former Interim Lightweight Champion came into the fight with a perfect game plan to beat Conor McGregor who was a heavy betting favorite.

After taking The Notorious One down early in the fight, The Diamond threw McGregor off his game by repeatedly attacking his lead leg with perfectly placed calf kicks. Poirier knocked out the Irishman in the second round with a flurry of punches after McGregor's movement was severely hampered due to the damage to his leg.


The vulnerability to leg kicks has always been present in Conor McGregor's fighting style due to his wide stance earlier in his career and the more boxing-oriented approach in recent times.

Surprisingly, Dustin Poirier is the only fighter in McGregor's UFC career that has tried to exploit it. Although The Diamond lost his first fight against The Notorious One back in 2014, he was having success with leg kicks in that bout until he got knocked out.

Did Daniel Cormier get it all wrong about Dustin Poirier's knockout win?

Some readers may wonder if DC made a claim that the leg kick that buckled McGregor hurt him so badly that it allowed Poirier to finish the fight immediately. The answer is, no.

Daniel Cormier did not make such a claim but he has attributed Poirier's success largely to the effective use of calf kicks on many occasions and rightfully so.

Published 27 Feb 2021, 07:36 IST
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