Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor combined for five minutes of fury to open their pay-per-view trilogy fight on Saturday headlining UFC 264. That was until a left ankle injury to McGregor within the closing seconds of Round 1 brought an abrupt end to the fight. Poirier (28-6, 1 NC) was credited with the victory via the first-round TKO after McGregor (22-6), who finished the opening round sitting against the cage wall while absorbing punches, was unable to continue. McGregor had attempted a two-punch combination within the final 10 seconds but landed wrongly on his left foot causing his ankle to show.
The pro-McGregor crowd inside T-Mobile Arena booed the result given how unforeseen it had been following an explosive first round. Early speculation was that McGregor’s ankle was broken and Poirier later said he believed McGregor initially bruised it after landing an early kick. UFC president Dana White later confirmed that McGregor suffered a lower tibia injury to his left leg.
“He fractured it on one among the checks at the start of the fight, then it broke on a punch, for sure,” Poirier said. “I pointed at him at the start of the fight, that’s once I checked a kick, that’s when it cracked. it had been probably cracked then something twisted with the punch.” McGregor, 32, who did the post-fight interview while still seated against the cage wall, vehemently exclaimed that Poirier’s victory did nothing to finish their rivalry. “This isn’t over!” McGregor said. “I was boxing the bleeding leave him, kicking the bleeding leg off.
“This isn’t over. If I even have to require this outside for him, it’s all outside, I do not provide a bollocks!” An aggressive McGregor relied far more on movement and kicks to require the role of aggressor from the beginning. He missed a spinning back kick to open things up but was successful in landing front kicks to the body. Poirier, 32, countered nicely with an equivalent calf kick he utilized in their January rematch to attain a second-round TKO that evened the series, which also included a first-round TKO from McGregor in their 2014 featherweight bout.
The action began to heat up midway through the round when McGregor landed a two-punch combination and Poirier countered with an enormous left hook that sent McGregor stumbling back. “He did hit me with an honest cross, a bit like the last fight. I didn’t see it and he clipped me and that i was a touch buzzed,” Poirier said. McGregor shot for a takedown — despite his insults at Poirier for doing an equivalent in their rematch — and eventually was placed on his own back by Poirier after a standing clinch. But McGregor nearly submitted Poirier with a surprising guillotine attempt that got the gang going.
Poirier escaped the choke attempt and took over the top position. That’s when the fight became wilder as Poirier landed big elbows from a top position only to be countered by McGregor with a number of his own from his back while mixing during a pair of kicks. “[McGregor] was putting his fingers in my gloves and pulling me right down to throw the kicks,” Poirier said. “This guy’s a dirtbag, man. Everybody booing, you’ll kiss my whole cash-le.”
McGregor applied a second guillotine attempt but couldn’t hold it and Poirier closed their action on the bottom by rising up to land a nasty flurry of massive shots. McGregor rallied to face but fell within the closing seconds when he turned his left ankle and Poirier jumped in with hammer fists until the horn.
“It sucks, it’s brutal and it isn’t the way you would like to ascertain fights end,” White said after the fight. “Dustin Poirier will fight for the title and when Conor is healed and prepared to travel, we’ll do the rematch. “Listen, the fight didn’t get finished. you cannot have a fight finish that way. We’ll see how this whole plays out. Who knows how long Conor is out. Poirier will do his thing until Conor is prepared .”
Poirier shared after the fight just how upset he was with McGregor’s trash-talk antics, including mentioning Poirier’s wife in multiple disparaging ways. McGregor also said repeatedly that he would kill Poirier. “There’s no-holds-barred with the trash talk, but murder is some things you do not clown with. there is no returning from that,” Poirier said. “This guy was saying he’s gonna murder me and everyone sorts of stuff. “You don’t talk like that to people. you do not talk like that, man. I hope this guy gets home safe to his beautiful family.”