CONOR MCGREGOR has admitted a shout from Dustin Poirier's cornerman got into his head during their UFC 257 showdown.
The former two-division champion suffered a second-round TKO loss to Poirier last Sunday in the main event of the promotion's first pay-per-view card of 2021.
Poirier, 32, deployed a perfect game plan to take out The Notorious, who he crippled with leg and calf kicks.
One of the debilitating kicks drew a huge reaction from one of Poirier's cornerman, former UFC welterweight title challenger Thiago Alves.
And the reaction of Alves – who was famed for his brutal kicks during his rise to title contention – had a profound effect on McGregor.
He said: "One of them sunk in early and Thiago said, 'That was a good one'.
"And I was in my head, thinking, 'You b*****d, that was a good one'. And then it started accumulating up."
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McGregor, 32, knew his legs would be in for a beating as soon as he saw Alves in Poirier's corner.
He said: "The kicks accumulated, for sure.
"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."
Defeat to Poirier was McGregor's third in his last six outings, the last of which took place following a year on the sidelines.
And the Irishman believes inactivity played a major part in his latest setback.
He said: "It's hard to overcome inactivity over long periods of time. And that's just it. The leg kicks were good.
"That low calf good was very good. The leg was dead and I just wasn't as comfortable as I needed to be.
"It's inactivity and that's it. But Dustin is some fighter. If you put in the time in here, you're going to get cosy in here and that's it.
"I have to dust it off and come back and that's it. And that's what I'll do."
McGregor has set his sights on a trilogy fight with Poirier – who he knocked out six years ago – but is willing to face one of the other top-ranked lightweights should the fight not come to fruition.
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