Michael Bisping has disputed Conor McGregor’s explanation for his defeat to Dustin Poirier last weekend.
In a humble post-fight interview, Conor McGregor put his TKO defeat to Dustin Poirier down to inactivity before acknowledging his difficulty dealing with his opponent’s calf kicks.
Michael Bisping, however, finds it hard to buy into the idea of ring rust and cited his 2017 submission defeat to welterweight legend Georges St-Pierre as proof that inactivity is simply a psychological obstacle that fighters sometimes roll out after losses.
“Georges St-Pierre came off the couch after three and a half years and choked me out unconscious,” Bisping said, via MMA Fighting. “A lot of people say that ring rust is a mental thing and it is. It’s a mental thing.
“If Conor was staying in the gym and doing everything he said, it wouldn’t be a factor. The reality is tonight he went out there and he got beat by Dustin Poirier. There’s no shame in that.”
Bisping insisted that McGregor’s conditioning problem was the reason for the defeat, rather than his year away from the Octagon.
The former UFC middleweight champion noticed how McGregor’s confidence disappeared after a strong first round and Bisping pointed to the Irish fighter’s track record of gassing out as a more likely reason for the outcome of the UFC 257 main event.
“What I saw here was Conor’s lack of conditioning once again rearing its ugly head,” Bisping said. “I hate to say it. Dustin Poirier had the perfect game plan — go in clinch, try and take him down — and he did that perfectly.
“At the start of the fight, Conor looked sharp. He looked like the usual Conor. Landing the left hand, looking confident, going forward, but then when you make somebody wrestle that isn’t used to it, that has a history of getting tired, that’s what we saw.
What a performance from @DustinPoirier!
Seven years on from their first fight, Poirier stops Conor McGregor in just two rounds 💎
— UFC on BT Sport (@btsportufc) January 27, 2021
“We saw the facial expression change. We saw the confidence change and then as the tide started to turn, Dustin Poirier saw the opening, put him to sleep. Just a tremendous night for Dustin Poirier.
“While the stakes were high and Dustin was having success, he was leaving openings that in the past I feel McGregor would have taken advantage of. But as I said, he was starting to get a little tired and we saw what happened.”