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18 Nov, 2021 10:29

Conor McGregor explains why he reacted the way he did after horror leg break

Conor McGregor explains why he reacted the way he did after horror leg break

UFC star Conor McGregor claims he suspected his leg would likely be injured during his third fight with Dustin Poirier, which is why he says he didn't overreact when he suffered a badly broken left leg in the bout.

McGregor, 33, encountered one of the more eye-watering injuries in UFC history when his leg snapped just above the ankle shortly after delivering a leg kick to Poirier towards the end of the first round on what was the third fight between the two lightweight contenders. 

The clean break to the Irishman's tibia and fibula collapsed the former two-weight world champion to the canvas, with Poirier quickly launching a barrage of strikes to the grounded McGregor to halt the bout and claim a 2-1 lead in their years-long rivalry.

The incident was reminiscent of similar injuries suffered in the Octagon by former middleweight champions Anderson Silva and Chris Weidman – but while both of them quite understandably reacted in horror to their grisly breaks, McGregor was, by comparison at least, more accepting of the injury  – a reaction, he says, which came about because he was expecting it to happen.

"In my last camp [I had] a severely damaged left leg," McGregor wrote on Twitter. "Many of my sessions consisted of starting in open guard bottom. And staying there. Full rounds remaining on bottom. I was beating people up until they backed away from me. It then translated to the fight. True story."

"Same leg, same spot," he added, explaining his reaction. "I attribute it to why I wasn’t in as much shock as Chris [Weidman]/Anderson [Silva] were. I knew something may happen in advance.

"Chris was upset with my quote. Felt I was aiming at him. I was not. If any [consolation] to my reaction, it was because [I had] a heads up it may snap."

Shortly after the fight with Poirier, McGregor and his camp explained that a "hairline stress fracture" of his leg had been discovered in the weeks leading up to the UFC 264 main event, adding that they had notified the UFC and that they had requested permission for McGregor to use ankle-strappings in the fight  – something he ultimately opted against.

McGregor also stated that he felt he had been performing well in the fight after being taken down by the American, and that Poirier was feeling the effects of a succession of elbows he aimed at his rival's forehead.

"His head was sorer, my leg was sorer,” McGregor wrote. "I feel good on that. Not to say his leg wasn’t busted either though. I had that thigh well minced. I feel it’s just simply not settled yet. Is the fairest response I can give."

And while the McGregor's record now reads as having two successive defeats to Poirier, the Dubliner is content with the arsenal he displayed in the fight - and said that his rivalry with Poirier, which has now lasted eight years and across two different weight divisions, hasn't yet had its final chapter written. 

"Really nasty elbows and upkicks for sure," he added, along with a video clip apparently showing Poirier nursing his own injuries from the fight. "That or maybe a really annoying blue bottle was around him after the fight.

"Make no mistake they are not looking forward to what is coming. I will be back and it will be settled. Once and for all."

McGregor is now several months removed from surgery to insert a titanium rod into his injured leg, and also suggested that he expects to return to the cage sometime in mid-2022.