Conor McGregor beaten by Dustin Poirier at UFC 264 after horrific leg injury


LAS VEGAS (AP) – Conor McGregor was sitting and bubbling his back against the cage, a temporary cast around his shin and left foot. The biggest star in mixed martial arts believed he had just had revenge stolen from Dustin Poirier by a broken leg.

“I took off his bleeding head, I threw his bleeding leg off,” McGregor shouted. ” It is not finished ! If we have to take it out for it, we’ll take it out.

McGregor’s animosity towards Poirier hasn’t cooled, but this fight trilogy ended – for now, at least – with another victory for his gentler-mannered foe.

Poirier beat McGregor for the second time in six months when McGregor was unable to continue after the first round of UFC 264 on Saturday night.

McGregor (22-6) fell to the canvas and never got up after a punch from Poirier (28-6), who will get the next UFC lightweight title shot. McGregor’s leg and ankle twisted when he backed off, and Poirier finished the round raining blows on the former two-division UFC champion.

“Just the thing had come apart, and I bled land on the wobbly leg like Anderson Silva that time around, something similar to that,” said McGregor, referring to the champion’s infamous broken leg. Longtime middleweight Silva vs. Chris Weidman. “It’s a crazy business.”

UFC President Dana White said he was told McGregor broke his shin near his ankle. McGregor will be operated on Sunday morning.

Dustin Poirier, right, kicks Conor McGregor during a UFC 264 lightweight mixed martial arts fight on Saturday, July 10, 2021 in Las Vegas. (AP Photo / John Locher)

Poirier said he believed McGregor’s leg broke when he checked out one of McGregor’s kicks earlier in the fight. McGregor disagreed, saying there was “not a single check.”

“You never want to win that way, but what happened was the result of a failure on a kick,” Poirier said. “I’m more than sure. He got what he had of his own. Karma is a mirror.

McGregor has fallen to 1-3 in the cage since 2016, when he abdicated his UFC title and accepted a very lucrative boxing match with Floyd Mayweather. McGregor hasn’t been able to regain his formidable MMA form in the past half-decade – and despite his protests, there was little in the first round of UFC 264 to suggest that McGregor was back in a elite form.

Poirier largely controlled the first round, parrying McGregor’s kicks and landing several strikes before taking control of McGregor on the ground. After McGregor got up from a long streak of punches and elbows, Poirier knocked him down one last time – and McGregor’s ankle bent horribly as he fell.

“It (stinks), because I was going to beat the guy if his leg was standing,” Poirier said. “I have to digest it all, because right now it’s a little weird. It is not a good feeling.

White has confirmed that Poirier will get the next shot against new lightweight champion Charles Oliveira. White also said he expects a fourth fight between McGregor and Poirier at some point after McGregor’s leg heals.

“The fight didn’t end,” White said. “You can’t end a fight this way. We will see how it all unfolds. Who knows how long Conor is away? Poirier will do his job until Conor is ready.

Poirier has also said he intends to fight McGregor a fourth time – and it will be personal. McGregor reverted to his verbose, mean-spirited promotional persona for this fight promotion, repeatedly insulting Poirier’s wife and vowing to kill Poirier.

“We’re going to fight again, whether it’s in the octagon or on the sidewalk,” Poirier said. “You don’t say what he said.”

Poirier stopped McGregor in the second round when they met in Abu Dhabi last January, avenging his first-round knockout loss to McGregor in 2014. Poirier’s clear superiority in the fighters’ second bout meant that a third confrontation seemed moot six months later, but McGregor asked for the opportunity to correct his mistakes and Poirier accepted the massive paycheck that comes from sharing a cage with McGregor.

Instead of taking an easier fight or another boxing match, McGregor wanted another shot on Poirier after he was stopped by strikes for the first time in his MMA career. He claimed he was distracted by his plans to box Manny Pacquiao this year, and he vowed to devote his full attention to MMA in training camp.

Conor McGregor receives attention after sustaining an injury fighting Dustin Poirier in a UFC 264 lightweight mixed martial arts fight on Saturday, July 10, 2021 in Las Vegas. (AP Photo / John Locher)

McGregor has lost decisively against Khabib Nurmagomedov and twice against Poirier since 2016 while only beating Donald Cerrone.

McGregor’s star power has shown no significant decline despite diminishing evidence of his once transcendent skills. The celebrity-strewn Vegas crowd was vocally behind McGregor, who strutted into the Octagon with his usual flair.

But the stable and hardworking Poirier won the chance to reclaim the interim lightweight title he held in 2019 before his loss to Nurmagomedov. It was the only loss in nearly five years for Poirier, who mostly kept up a decade of upward momentum in the UFC.

McGregor was charming and friendly with Poirier throughout promoting their second fight earlier this year, but that collegiality was gone for the third fight. Poirier refused to return the insults to McGregor when the Irish fighter again insulted Poirier’s wife after the fight.

“We don’t talk like that,” said Poirier. “I hope this guy comes home safe and he can be with his family.”

The T-Mobile Arena was packed with a sold-out UFC crowd for the first time since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, and President Dana White said the gate’s revenue was around $ 16.5 million. dollars, ranking among the highest in UFC history. The celebrity crowd included Dave Chappelle, Mel Gibson, Miles Teller, Jared Leto, Steve Aoki, “Jackass” personality Steve-O, Baker Mayfield and NFL owners Robert Kraft and Mark Davis.

Donald Trump also arrived for the last three fights and received a brief, loud explosion of cheers and boos from the crowded arena.

Gilbert Burns won a unanimous decision over Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson in the co-main event, the Brazilian rebounding from his knockout loss to welterweight champion Kamaru Usman in February.

Earlier on the à la carte card, Australian heavyweight Tai Tuivasa celebrated his violent first-round knockout of former NFL player Greg Hardy by climbing over the octagonal fence and doing a shoey – drinking some alcohol in a shoe in an appropriate Australian celebratory style. Hardy, who lost his NFL career in 2015 after being convicted of domestic violence, has lost two consecutive fights after a 7-2 career start in MMA.

Welterweights Michel Pereira and Niko Price put on the best show on the opening undercard, and Pereira highlighted his narrow decision victory with a remarkable standing backflip and a full-mount rush on a prone Price.

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