UFC 264 is etched in history as the match where Conor McGregor (ranked no. 7) fought Dustin Poirier (ranked no. 1) and ended with McGregor breaking his leg. The fight ended after the first round as Conor McGregor lost by TKO (doctor’s stoppage) to Dustin Poirier.
This match is their trilogy match after a 1:1 record when the Irishman won the first matchup in 2014 but lost to Poirier earlier this year.
How Conor McGregor Broke His Leg
Conor McGregor began the match with a dominating display of kicks. For most of the match, Conor looked his usual self as he continued his flurry of kicks and punches.
At 0:13, the Irishman threw a left kick at Dustin Poirier’s thigh. The end of Conor’s shin (the weakest part) landed on the thickest part of Porier’s thigh. This may have caused some damage to McGregor’s shin.
Then, with 7 seconds left, after throwing a left punch, McGregor tried to move backward and shifted his ankle awkwardly. This broke McGregor’s lower left leg, specifically the tibia and fibula. Ultimately, Dustin Poirier won by TKO, and McGregor had to be carried out on a stretcher after some unsportsmanlike insults at Poirier’s wife.
Trigger Warning: The following image contains material that may be harmful or traumatizing to some audiences.
The Aftermath of UFC 264
Conor McGregor was immediately sent for surgery which turned out successful. The Notorious addressed his fans in a Twitter video that he was feeling tremendous after the surgery. However, he will have to remain in crutches for six weeks before beginning to “build back stronger.” McGregor was released from the hospital on 15th July.
It is unclear whether the former UFC lightweight double-champion will return to form after he has fully healed from his gruesome injury. Dana White, the President of the UFC, doesn’t leave out the possibility of a rematch. However, both featherweight category fighters would have to wait for McGregor’s total recovery before manifesting the fourth rematch.
The History between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier
Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier held their first match in 2014 when both featherweight category fighters were making their names known in the UFC. McGregor (ranked no.9 back then) defeated the then ranked no.5 Dustin Poirier in merely 90 seconds.
The both of them started as bitter rivals as the Mystic Mac trashed talk Poirier ahead of their first match. Furthermore, their insults-laced rivalry remained strong as mutual bad blood between them continued until their second bout in 2021. This comes to no surprise, as The Notorious was notorious for his frequent trash-talks and arrogant flaunting.
Conor McGregor showed uncharacteristically good behavior as he wished Poirier well before their third rematch. However, these good manners were short-lived as McGregor allegedly pulled out of his promise to donate $500,000 to Poirier’s charity. Moreover, McGregor took shots at Dustin Poirier and his wife, hurling various insults in deleted Tweets and during the press conference before the fight.
Even as Conor McGregor sat grimacing after their trilogy match, McGregor wouldn’t stop his slight on Poirier and his wife. “Your wife is in my DMs,” shouted McGregor as Poirier and his wife flipped off McGregor.
End of an era?
Regardless, Dustin Poirier has proved to the world that he is one of, if not the best lightweight category fighter in the UFC. Poirier’s record currently stands at 28-6-0 while winning two of his three matches with McGregor.
It may be challenging for his fans to admit, but Conor McGregor has a long way to go before returning for a shot at the top of the UFC. Some like Stephen A. Smith from ESPN even go as far as to say that the best of McGregor’s career is over. Unfortunately, coming back from such an injury would require at least six months, and he risks becoming rusty over that period of being inactive.
Moreover, Dustin Poirier performed exceptionally well in the first round of their fight at UFC 264. Conor McGregor may have controlled the first half of the match, but Poirier took over in the second half. Before the injury occurred, Poirier had pinned McGregor and delivered a lethal ground and pound before being stopped by the referee.
Will Conor McGregor return to elite form after fully recovering from his injury? The future of his career seems uncertain, but only time can tell of how The Notorious’ already eventful career will turn out.