When is a fight not just a fight? When it’s a Conor McGregor fight.
Anything involving McGregor seems to bring with it a multitude of storylines and subplots these days. Whether it’s his life outside the cage, relevance in it, or potential further forays into boxing, a McGregor fight is never that simple.
This was as true as ever ahead of UFC 264, where there Irish megastar and Dustin Poirier would meet for the third time.
A potential loss for McGregor had many questioning his relevance before the fight had even transpired. Of course, a loss in the trilogy would be a setback, but to remove McGregor from relevance entirely? It was a bit of a stretch. Especially with the Diaz trilogy waiting.
A win had anyone and everyone assuming that McGregor would face Charles Oliveira for the lightweight title next, and that likely wasn’t far from the truth. But the potential of a boxing payday also remained, with a win of course.
All eyes on him.
— UFC (@ufc) July 11, 2021
There was no glove touch ahead of the trilogy fight between Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor. There was an electric atmosphere as McGregor opened with a pair of spinning attacks. McGregor fired a few more kicks, including one to the leg, and followed with a left hand that caught Poirier. Poirier would later return fire, and both men were throwing with bad intentions. McGregor, having learned from the second fight, targeted Porier’s leg. But Poirier began lighting up the former champ. That led to McGregor tying things up, as Poirier shot for a takedown. McGregor tied him up in a guillotine, and eventually pulled guard, but Poirier eventually pulled free, with over two minutes in the round.
Dry and on top put Dustin Poirier in the driver’s seat, but McGregor smashed away with elbows from the bottom, stalling Poirier’s progress. Poirier answered back with heavy elbows of his own. Poirier backed off, avoiding an upkick, then landing serious ground n’ pound. Another upkick would land for McGregor, then Poirier would let him up. He’d then throw at McGregor, who went down, covering up — but was saved by the bell!
Or was he. McGregor appeared to have rolled over on his ankle at the end, and it was clearly broken. The punch from Poirier never actually landed, rather the broken limb felled McGregor. Like Anderson Silva and Chris Weidman before him, Conor McGregor will have a long road back to competition.
Following the bout, Poirier suggested that McGregor had fractured the limb earlier in the fight, off a checked kick— and that it had finally given at the end of the round. He also accused McGregor of grabbing his gloves, exclaiming “this guy’s a dirtbag” and letting loose on McGregor for much of the pre-fight trash talk.
McGregor actually stayed in the cage despite the broken leg for his post-fight interview, stating firmly that “this is not over.” It may not be over, but McGregor’s career will be on hold for a while.
Official Result: Dustin Poirier def. Conor McGregor by TKO (doctor’s stoppage), Round 1, 5:00