Former UFC champion Conor McGregor insists he is "on the correct path of evolution" even after sustaining a brutal knockout loss at the hands of Dustin Poirier at UFC 257 recently.
"The Notorious" was favored heading into the bout, thanks in part to his stoppage win over the American in September 2014. But Poirier got his revenge, using vicious leg kicks to immobilize McGregor before landing a flurry of punches that the Irish fighter could not answer.
It marked the first time in McGregor's career that he had lost via technical knockout.
"Thoughts on the bout: I enjoyed racking up some more time inside the famed UFC Octagon," McGregor said in a lengthy Instagram post, Thursday.
"Forty seconds in three years were all I had up to this bout. I was savoring every second and enjoying my work," he added.
"Despite the loss I am on the correct path of evolution," he also said.
But he also admitted that he was not completely focused on Poirier in the lead-up to the match. McGregor had made no secret that he was chasing a boxing match with Filipino ring icon Manny Pacquiao, and considered a fight against the southpaw Poirier as preparation.
The Irishman acknowledged that this was a misstep on his part.
"It's what I get for picking this bout and opponent as a precursor to a boxing match against Pacman," he said. "I deserved to get the legs kicked off me, going in with this thinking."
"This is not the game to play around with," he added.
Because of his loss to Poirier, it appears that McGregor has now shelved the idea of a boxing match against Pacquiao and is now angling for a trilogy bout against the American MMA star.
"One apiece now, with a trilogy bout for all the marbles," said McGregor, calling the prospect "exciting."
"Not a trilogy I was expecting, nor the tactical affair I was anticipating, but I'd be lying if I said this wasn't meant to be. This is exactly how this was always meant to be," he added.
Pacquiao, for his part, has also seemed to move on from McGregor and is now looking at a possible exhibition match against unbeaten lightweight Ryan Garcia.