‘Unexpectedly wholesome’ – Conor McGregor surprises fans with message to Dustin Poirier after KO win at UFC 299

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Conor McGregor’s reaction to Dustin Poirier’s stunning knockout victory over Benoit Saint-Denis was very uncharacteristic.

Poirier came from behind to stop his opponent at UFC 299 with a thudding right hook in the second round after an impressive opening stanza from Saint-Denis.

Poirier scored an epic KO win at UFC 299

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Poirier scored an epic KO win at UFC 299Credit: Getty

The Frenchman was getting the better of Poirier in the grappling exchanges but the script was flipped when he got drawn into a firefight midway through the second.

A crisp left straight decked Saint-Denis forcing the surging contender to shoot for a takedown as he clung on for dear life.

But Poirier, being the crafty veteran that he is, was able to break free of his adversary’s grasp to land the finishing blow.

The victory means the Louisana native will remain a top three lightweight come Monday morning when the UFC rankings are updated.

McGregor has rarely had anything nice to say about his fierce rival as of late.

Having shared bad blood ahead of their first fight, at UFC 178 in 2014, it turned respectful ahead of their second but went ugly again ahead of their third encounter when Poirier called out McGregor for failing to donate to his foundation, as promised.

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Following their trilogy bout, in 2021 which saw McGregor break his leg at the end of the first round, the Irishman took several personal jabs at Poirier’s wife as he lambasted his bitter enemy on the mic.

But when McGregor took to social media after Poirer’s most recent outing there were no such jibes.

Instead, he commended his former foe’s gutsy performance and even acknowledged Poirier’s French heritage.

“Great fight out of them French boys tonight! Toutes nos félicitation @DustinPoirier @BenoitSt_Deni @EmmanuelMacron,” he wrote on X.

McGregor’s wholesome tweet took fans by surprise. One wrote: “Conor showing respect to Dustin is awesome to see.”

Another added: “I love your Poirier respect.”

A third, though, joked about McGregor’s tendency to swiftly delete posts after apparent changes of heart. It read: “Poirier respect? Yeah this getting deleted.”

When Poirier was asked about McGregor’s tweet during his post-fight press conference on Sunday morning, the 35-year-old, hesitant to exchange any niceties, replied: “He felt that right hook, too.”

McGregor has not fought since losing to Poirier at UFC 264 but has been teasing fans about his return.

He is expected to return to the UFC Octagon against Michael Chandler in June 2024, barring any further setbacks.

The bout is set to main event the UFC 303 card on Saturday, June 29 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

He is also hopeful of returning to the boxing ring, with Manny Pacquiao in his sights having lost to Floyd Mayweather in his 2017 debut.

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