Conor McGregor at the post-fight press conference
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UFC chief Dana White has warned Conor McGregor he is facing his ‘Rocky 3’ defining moment.
The Dubliner suffered a shock knockout defeat to Dustin Poirier in Abu Dhabi in only his third UFC bout in four years.
After his meteoric rise to fame and fortune, there are now fears for his future in the sport.
He is still the top box-office draw for the UFC and White compared McGregor’s fate to Rocky Balboa losing to Clubber Lang in the classic movie.
UFC President Dana White
(Image: Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Nate Diaz responds after Conor McGregor is knocked out by Dustin Poirier
“There’s two ways this goes, hungrier or I’m done,” said White. “He’s got the money. When you think about it, this is like Rocky 3. I’m a huge Rocky fan.
“When you get off of a 310-foot yacht, you know what I mean? You’re living that good of a life. It’s tough to be a savage when you’re living like he lives and has the money that he has.
“On his way up, he was a young hungry kid. He didn’t have any money and he wanted nice things.
“He wanted nice suits, nice cars, nice houses. He’s got everything he ever wanted. So I don’t know. It goes this way or that way.
“I think it (the defeat) will make him hungrier.”
Conor McGregor and Dee Devlin after his UFC 257 loss
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McGregor was seen on crutches after the fight, and he admitted that Poirier's persistent kicks to his calves took their toll.
“The kicks accumulated, for sure," he said. "I knew when I saw he had Thiago Alves in his corner… I thought, 'These'… I knew what was coming. I knew he was going to try the low kicks.
"He’s also experienced taking those low kicks himself, before so that’s my first time to experience it.
"One of them sunk in early and Thiago said, 'That was a good one'.
"And I was in my head, thinking, 'You b****** – that was a good one' and then it started accumulating up."