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Conor McGregor: Manny Pacquiao fight ‘was happening’ before UFC 257 loss to Dustin Poirier

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It’s not happening.

UFC 257: Poirier v McGregor Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

Conor McGregor and Manny Pacquiao have the same management, so unsurprisingly there were serious talks that the two could box each other later on in 2021. McGregor’s second-round TKO loss to Dustin Poirier at UFC 257 has presumably put those plans on ice.

At the post-fight press conference, McGregor was asked about whether the Poirier result would affect his previous proclamations of doing both boxing and MMA. While he lamented Poirier’s devastating calf kick approach, he also said that the Pacquiao fight was close to a done deal.

“There’s none of them leg kicks in boxing,” McGregor said. “I always did want to focus on my MMA career, but I’m also open you know what I mean? I’ll just see what happens... I don’t know what will happen. That Manny [Pacquiao] fight was happening, you know what I mean? It was as good as done.

“I just want to get in and get back into a bounce, especially against that style of fighter and not take those kicks. Don’t play with those kicks. It’s just a motherf—ker to take. ”

McGregor (22-5 MMA, 0-1 pro boxing) memorably made his pro boxing debut in 2017 against Floyd Mayweather, losing by 10th round TKO in one of the most lucrative combat sports events of all-time. The pay-per-view exceeded four million buys and fell just short of eclipsing Mayweather vs. Pacquiao for the record.

Conor has often teased the idea of returning to the ring, including in a rematch vs. Mayweather, but who knows if a high-profile second pro boxing match will ever materialize. He’s surely got a lot to think about as far as his MMA career is concerned.