Conor McGregor makes excuse after being knocked out by Dustin Poirier at UFC 257

Conor McGregor believes his inactivity was to blame as he suffered a shock defeat to Dustin Poirier on his return to the octagon. The Notorious was fighting back at lightweight against The Diamond, who avenged his 2014 defeat in stunning fashion.

McGregor started well but was soon feeling the effects of Poirier’s devastating leg kicks.

After landing several accurate jabs in the opening round, McGregor was then given a taste of his own medicine as Poirier delivered a highlight-reel knockout.

The Notorious was rocked backward before Poirier pounced to leave his opponent helpless in the corner.

In true sporting fashion, a shocked McGregor praised the improvement of Poirier, who has come on leaps and bounds since the first clash before admitting his inactivity was a major hindrance.

He said: “You know, it’s hard to overcome inactivity over long periods of time, the leg kicks were good, the leg was dead.

“I just wasn’t as comfortable as I needed to be. It’s the inactivity and that’s it, Dustin is some fighter.

“You’re in here and you put in the time, I will dust it off and come back and that’s what I will do.

Of course, I need activity guys come on. You don’t get away with being inactive in this business and that’s the way it is.

“I am gutted, I put so much work in. Well done Dustin.

“I am proud, I would have liked to have represented my team a bit better but we will get together, I’m going to go home to my kids and just chill and regroup.”

McGregor fought just once in 2020 when he pulverised Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone inside 40 seconds in Las Vegas.

His dispute with Dana White forced him into retirement before a U-turn at the end of the calendar year.

Earlier this week, McGregor outlined his plan to fight seven times in the next year and a half.

He told ESPN: “The truth is the fight game will never get rid of me. Conor McGregor will be here until the day I go out. So that’s it.

“If they line me up, I’ll get about seven fights in the next year and a half. That’s what I want.”