Conor McGregor's decision not to check leg kicks in UFC 257 loss to Poirier was 'shocking', says ex-UFC star Ben Askren

CONOR MCGREGOR's failure to check leg kicks in his defeat to DustIn Poirier was 'shocking', according to former UFC welterweight Ben Askren.

The former two-division champion suffered a second-round TKO defeat to his old featherweight rival last month in the main event of UFC 257 in Abu Dhabi.

The Irishman's lead leg brutalised by a combination of thigh and calf kicks, the latter of which eventually left him with a dead leg.

Askren was stunned by The Notorious' decision not to nullify Poirier's kicks with checks, telling Mike Swick: "That was pretty shocking to me.

"He didn't check kicks, he didn't change stances. He didn't really have an answer.

"And if you think back to his fight with Nate Diaz, that was essentially – I would say – a major reason why he won that fight. He was so effective with the leg kick.

"Nate slowed down because of the leg kick and Nate was less effective.

"So when Conor didn't really have an answer for the low leg kick, I was kind of surprised by that."


Despite being a staple in the arsenal of former UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson, the usage of the low calf kick has only really taken off in mixed martial arts over the last three years.

And Askren reckons fighters are still unprepared for the devastating effects of a perfectly-placed calf strike.

He added: "I think a lot of people are unprepared to deal with that low, low kick. I think it's probably not going to take too long before people start finding really effective defences [for them].

"I think we're probably nine months, a year away and then someone will solve the puzzle of how they stop it.

"Some type of lower level check. And then it won't become an issue and it'll fade [away]. Stuff is cyclical."

A trilogy fight between McGregor and Poirier is in the works for the summer, despite the latter being hellbent on fighting for the lightweight title next.

Last week, UFC president Dana White told ESPN: “Well, when you have two guys that are in their positions—Dustin is the No. 1 ranked guy in the world, you got Conor who is ranked No. 6, and they want the trilogy, you got to go with the trilogy.

“We’re probably going to try to put that fight together this summer.”

McGregor, 32, is champing at the bit to exact revenge on Poirier, writing on Instagram: "He said: "What a trilogy I now have on my hands. Exciting!

"With a handle on the leg kicks I will get back to having fun in there. I was in second gear cruising this fight. Best condition I’ve ever been in.

"After the wrestling and clinch exchanges my shots still held their pop. First time for me with this so I am very encouraged to keep going.

"It was the first time I did not use/nor need the stool between rounds also. I did need the stool after though that’s for sure.

"I am extremely happy I did not need to use the stool between rounds here anyway. Another first for me!

"I am most certainly on the right path. Despite the loss I am on the correct path of evolution."

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