McGregor suffers horrific leg injury in TKO loss to Poirier in UFC fight
Conor McGregor of Ireland (L) attempts a kick against Dustin Poirier in the first round in their lightweight bout during UFC 264: Poirier v McGregor 3 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.–AFP
American brawler Dustin Poirier overpowered Conor McGregor on Saturday in Las Vegas, winning their lightweight UFC trilogy fight by a TKO after the Irishman appeared to snap his left leg in the waning moments of the opening round.
The fight was officially ruled as a "doctor's stoppage" at the end of the first round after a bloodied McGregor swung and missed a punch then stumbled backwards, his lower leg grotesquely buckling under him near the edge of the octagon.
"This guy was saying he was going to murder me and kill me. I am going to leave here in a coffin," said Poirier.
"Murder is something you don't clown around with. You don't talk to people like that. I hope this guy gets home safe to his beautiful family."
Connor McGregor Broke His Ankle During UFC 264 Match😭😭😭— Lil 🅿️ook (@muslimbooker) July 11, 2021
Promoters said afterwards that McGregor's injury was to his lower tibia and that he was expected to undergo surgery on Sunday to repair the damage.
The scheduled five-round rubber match was expected to settle the score and complete the trilogy between the former two-weight UFC champ McGregor and his longtime rival Poirier, who now looks set to get a shot at an undisputed title and establish himself as one of the sport's superstars.
Instead McGregor had to be carted out on a stretcher after doctors stabilized his leg.
"He fractured it on one of the checks at the beginning, then broke it with the punch," Poirier said. "I felt something. He was kicking me hard. It was probably cracked then on the twist and punch [it broke]."
In an expletive-laden interview inside the octagon as he waited for the stretcher to take him out, McGregor insisted he was winning the fight when the freak accident happened.
"I was boxing his bleeding head off. Kicking his bleeding leg off. This is not over," said McGregor, who has had just one win in four and a half years.
It was the first time a capacity crowd has attended a UFC fight in Nevada since the Covid-19 pandemic. With the United States lifting restrictions across the country, fans are returning to sporting events.
- Trump booed -
Saturday's crowd included former US President Donald Trump, who was booed by a large contingent of the MMA crowd, while others chanted "U-S-A."
Poirier landed a vicious left hand, a few more long kicks and then they went to the ground for about two minutes of grappling. Poirier let McGregor get up and they both threw a punch at the same time but missed, and that's when McGregor's leg buckled.
"When I was walking away and he stayed down, I looked down at his shin and I saw the bone. It was disfigured a little bit. I said, 'Oh man.'" Poirier said.
Promoter Dana White said he hoped there was a fourth Poirier-McGregor fight.
"You can't have a fight finish that way," White said.
Poirier had his own take on another fight.
"We are going to fight again whether it's in the octagon or the sidewalk," Poirier said.