UFC 257: Dustin Poirier earns upset win against Conor McGregor

Dustin Poirier has stunned the combat sports world with an upset TKO victory over Irish superstar Conor McGregor at in their main event rematch at UFC 257 in Abu Dhabi.

A significant underdog among both pundits and bookies, the American sent McGregor to the canvas halfway through the second round and swooped with a barrage of shots, forcing the referee to call a halt to the bout.

"I'm happy but I'm not surprised," Poirier said afterwards.

"I put in the work. Conor took this result professionally. We're 1-1, maybe we have to do it again."

The Irishman came out of the gates strongly in the first round, but Poirier weathered the storm and struck back in the second, employing some devastating calf kicks, before putting on his own showcase of technical striking to crumple McGregor and seal the most impressive win of his career to date.

"The goal was to be technical and to pick my shots... not brawl at all," Poirier added.

"I know Max Holloway thinks he has the best boxing but I have two wins over the kid.”

Fighting for just the second time in almost three years, McGregor put his defeat down to his lack of consistent time inside the Octagon and Poirier's assault on his legs.

"It's hard to overcome inactivity over long periods of time," McGregor admitted.

"The leg kicks were good. That leg was dead. Dustin’s some fighter. I have to dust it off and come back. That's it and that’s what I will do. I need activity.

"You don’t get away with being inactive in this business. Well done Dustin. It's a tough one to swallow."

After McGregor's win in their first fight back in 2014, Poirier's triumph sets the stage for a trilogy bout to settle the ledger, although Michael Chandler also looms large after his jaw-dropping win over Kiwi Dan Hooker in the co-main event.

UFC president Dana White also revealed that the prospect of Khabib Nurmagomedov coming out of retirement for one final fight wasn't "sounding positive", meaning the lightweight title will likely be on the line the next time Poirier takes to the Octagon.

Both Poirier and Chandler took home post-fight bonuses for their efforts.