McGregor Suffers Horrific Leg Injury In TKO Loss To Poirier

 

 

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 backward, his lower leg grotesquely buckling under him near the edge of the octagon.

Poirier then pounced on a helpless McGregor, raining down a series of punches and elbows until McGregor was saved by the bell in front of the capacity crowd at the T-Mobile Arena.

“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.”

Promoters said afterward 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.

There was plenty of bad blood between the two in the lead up to their third fight. McGregor insulted Poirier’s wife in a tweet and told Poirier he was going to leave the ring in the box.

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].”

Poirier said his payback was karma. “This guy is a dirtbag,” Poirier said. “Sometimes these things happen.”

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.

In 2014, McGregor knocked out Poirier in under two minutes and Poirier returned the favour in January, demolishing McGregor with a second-round KO.

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.”

The first round started with both fighters exchanging kicks and blows, with Poirier getting the better shots in, and it didn’t take long for McGregor to start bleeding from the mouth.

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.

AFP

McGregor Knocked Out By Poirier At UFC 257

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – JANUARY 18: Conor McGregor prepares for his welterweight bout against Donald Cerrone during UFC246 at T-Mobile Arena on January 18, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Steve Marcus/Getty Images/AFP

 

American underdog Dustin Poirier shook up the world of mixed martial arts Sunday, beating up the legs of Irish superstar Conor McGregor before knocking him out at UFC 257 in Abu Dhabi.

“I’m happy but I’m not surprised. I put in the work,” Poirier after the referee stepped in after 2min 32sec of the second round to save McGregor from further damage after he was dropped by a fierce combination of punches.

The 32-year-old Poirier was ranked second in the flyweight division going into the fight, but still rated a heavy underdog by bookmakers to beat his fourth-ranked opponent, arguably the most famous fighter the sport has seen.

The controversial McGregor, known as “Notorious”, was returning to the octagon for the first time in a year and hoping for a repeat of the pair’s first contest in 2014 which he won by TKO after just 109 seconds.

But Poirier, who now has a UFC record of 27-6, used low calf kicks in an effort to put McGregor (22-5) off his usual ferocious stand-up game -– and it worked.

“First off I want to say Conor took this result professionally. We’re 1-1 and maybe we’re going to have to do it again,” said Poirier, hinting at the prospect of a trilogy fight.

READ ALSO: Hurt And Heartbroken McGregor Ponders Future After Knockout Shock

“I’m happy with the place I am in. I’m happy with the face I see in the mirror.

“The goal was to be technical and to pick my shots, not brawl at all. I had him hurt and I went a little crazy.”

McGregor likes to call himself “Mystic Mac” and had spent the week leading into the fight predicting he would end it inside 60 seconds.

But it was a different Poirier to the one who had looked overmatched when the pair previously met at UFC 178 at the lighter featherweight.

– ‘I’m gutted’ –

Poirier worked the legs and took McGregor down into a grapple for much of the first round — avoiding a boxing face-off against a man who once shared the ring with Floyd Mayweather and had touted a future fight against Manny Pacquiao.

Poirier then found his range in the second, weakening McGregor’s base with more calf kicks before exploding for the shock finish.

He staggered McGregor with a big overhand left and then dropped him to the canvas with a straight right flush on the Irishman’s nose before referee Herb Dean waved it off.

“The low calf kick was very good but Dustin is some fighter,” said McGregor.

“I’ll dust it off and come back because that’s what I’ll do. I’ll take my licks.

“I’m gutted, it’s a tough one to swallow. I just want to go back to the hotel and chill with my kids and regroup.”

The second-ranked Poirier is now in prime position to either inherit or fight for the UFC’s lightweight belt, most recently held by the now-retired unbeaten Russian Khabib Nurmagomedov.

“I felt like this was the title fight. If Khabib’s not coming back then I’m the champion,” said Poirier.

The fight was held inside the new Etihad Arena on the “Fight Island” bio-secure sporting hub of Yas Island that the Abu Dhabi government established last July.

The three UFC events staged over the past week have been the first to allow fans to sit cageside, with around 2,000 in attendance for the main event.