MANILA, Philippines -- His victory over Dustin Poirier in 2014 led Conor McGregor to underestimate the American, according to Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao.
Pacquiao was a keen observer of the lightweight showdown between McGregor and Poirier over the weekend, in the main event of UFC 257 in Abu Dhabi. The Filipino superstar had been building to a fight against McGregor before the Irishman's loss derailed those plans.
McGregor was a favorite heading into the bout, thanks in part to his stoppage win over Poirier when they first fought in September 2014. While the Irishman controlled the first round, Poirier overwhelmed him in the second, knocking out the former champion at the 2:32 mark.
"That's part of the game," Pacquiao said of McGregor's loss, in an interview with Dyan Castillejo of ABS-CBN News. "May panalo, may talo, ganoon lang 'yun."
"It's not about the loss, but it's about how you accept defeat in your life. How you overcome that tough time in your life, ganoon 'yun eh," he added.
Pacquiao felt that McGregor made light of Poirier, whom the Irishman defeated comprehensively at UFC 178.
"Tinalo na kasi niya 'yun noong una, kaya nakikita ko sa kanya is underestimated niya masyado 'yung kalaban niya," said Pacquiao.
McGregor, for his part, gave credit to Poirier for the win but felt that his inactivity also affected his performance. He had not fought since January 2020, even briefly retiring in June before signing up for the Poirier fight.
"I have no excuses here. It was a phenomenal performance by Dustin, and that's it," McGregor said after the event.
As for the planned fight between them, both Pacquiao and McGregor acknowledge that it would be more difficult to put it together after the events of UFC 257.
"Natalo siya, so I don't know how we can push that plan," said Pacquiao.
"That Manny fight was happening. It was as good as done," said McGregor. "So I don't know, man."