Conor McGregor accused of “giving up” during Dustin Poirier defeat

Conor McGregor had already "given up on the fight" by the time he was knocked out by Dustin Poirier, according to prominent mixed martial arts trainer Firas Zahabi.

Irish superstar McGregor, 32, suffered the first knockout of his career as Poirier, 32, unleashed a flurry of punches in the second round of UFC 257's main event.

The former two-weight world champion had a strong first round but his usually-lethal left hand failed to make an impression on his American opponent.

Zahabi – a renowned instructor who trained MMA legend Georges St-Pierre – accused McGregor of losing heart when he saw his punches were having little effect on Poirier.

"In the second round, when McGregor was getting hit along the fence. I found it strange that he wasn’t – it seemed like he had already gave up on the fight," Zahabi told his YouTube channel.

"Before he hit the canvas, I felt like he had given up on the fight, because things were getting tough. The fight was getting tough.

"His left hand didn’t work, and he’s not used to that. He’s not used to hitting guys with the big left, and then (they) keep fighting.

"McGregor, in the second round, dropped his best card. He landed that perfect left hand, the one he’s relied on his entire career. But for one reason or another, it didn’t work

"Poirier did not go down, and it seemed that McGregor got emotional about it. He started covering up, he was getting hit, but it didn’t look like he was trying to circle out and survive.

"He looked like a guy who was like 'this is the end, I better do something.' He threw a few punches, but they were like – almost desperate.

"He seemed to get emotional. I looked at his face and he was very very emotional. Whereas if you contrast that with Poirier, when Poirier got hit… he was cool and looking for his next move."

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