As promised, the main event of UFC 264 between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier was memorable. It just might not have been what you'd call climactic.
The fight ended after the first round, which heavily went Poirier's way, came to a close. McGregor was left sitting against the Octagon and a replay (some would say too many replays) showed what had happened: McGregor's lower leg snapped as he squared up against Poirier.
The fight was immediately called a TKO for Poirier by doctor's stoppage, and then the real fireworks started. Poirier breathed fire in his post-win interview after several weeks of taking McGregor's verbal abuse, while McGregor was visibly emotional while he was interviewed still sitting on the floor.
UFC president Dana White later confirmed that McGregor had broken his lower tibia.
Some, including former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, speculated that McGregor may have fought his last UFC fight, either due to the gruesomeness of the injury or for financial reasons.
Man, I wonder if he will ever fight again after this.. heal up champ, this is terrible
— BONY (@JonnyBones) July 11, 2021
Is this the final image of Conor McGregor in the UFC Octagon? pic.twitter.com/AtWAkplTG9
— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) July 11, 2021
damn. crazy to see a star with such a meteoric rise literally plummet into the ground just a few years later. It’s sad tbh. RIP Conor McGregor’s career
— Logan Paul (@LoganPaul) July 11, 2021
Last time we see Conor fight. Nasty.#ufc264
— Aleksandar Rakic (@rakic_ufc) July 11, 2021
I really think that’s the end of Conor’s UFC career.
Other fights just won’t have this level of significance.
— Jack “CouRage” Dunlop (@CouRageJD) July 11, 2021
Some also dredged up a three-month old tweet from McGregor that eerily described a very similar injury. Many, including Poirier, speculated that the real damage to McGregor's leg was done through calf kicks earlier in the round.
He had to have a load of micro fractures in the leg possibly for it snap then. The placement of the kick was nice enough. It wasn’t fully checked. He hit the meat. Enough of it anyway. Had to have been damaged over time without knowing. Wear and tear.
Careful on them kicks lads!
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) April 25, 2021
There was also the irony of McGregor needing to be taken out of the Octagon on a stretcher after threatening the same to Poirier leading into the bout.
Crazy to think that at the end of the weigh in Conor said he would be taken out on a stretcher. And now Conor gets taken out on a stretcher. Man this game we play is so crazy!!!! Hats off to the Diamond of Lafayette!! @DustinPoirier
— Daniel Cormier (@dc_mma) July 11, 2021
What's next for McGregor? Well, many have wondered if he'll someday step in the ring against Jake Paul, who is attempting to carve out a boxing career by fighting athletes who are not boxers. Paul for his part lowered his offer. Again.
My new offer for Conor Mcgregor is $23 dollars
— Paul Paul (@jakepaul) July 11, 2021
Former UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov described the fight was good defeating evil and expressed hope that Poirier will capture his old belt against Charles Oliveira later this year.
Good always defeats evil.
Very happy for @DustinPoirier I hope you will get the belt end of the year
— khabib nurmagomedov (@TeamKhabib) July 11, 2021
There was some praise and well-wishing for McGregor.
Conor kept fighting till the bell that’s tough
— Al Iaquinta🗽 (@ALIAQUINTA) July 11, 2021
— Dez Bryant (@DezBryant) July 11, 2021
speedy recovery @TheNotoriousMMA ❤️
— Dillon Danis (@dillondanis) July 11, 2021
This sport is so crazy. You never want to see anyone go down with an injury of this severity. I hope Conor recovers and bounces back. #UFC264
— Michael Chiesa (@MikeMav22) July 11, 2021
But there was even more scorn for a fighter who has one UFC win in the last five years, especially when McGregor made a crude remark about Poirier's wife toward the end of his interview.
The trash talking about Dustin’s wife had that internet troll feel – very distasteful and unbecoming of any competitor, let alone a champion. https://t.co/8Ur44OkEF4
— Mick Foley (@RealMickFoley) July 11, 2021
— Justin Gaethje 🇺🇸 (@Justin_Gaethje) July 11, 2021
I used to cheer for Conor McGregor, but impossible to support a man who is sitting on the ground after defeat still yelling insults at his opponent's wife.
— Pomp 🌪 (@APompliano) July 11, 2021
Shouldn’t speak on a mans wife!!
— Mike "Biggie" Rhodes (@TeamRocBiggie) July 11, 2021
Don’t talk about a mans wife that’s karma
— Belal Muhammad (@bullyb170) July 11, 2021
This game humbles #UFC264
— Cub Swanson (@CubSwanson) July 11, 2021
It's like a train wreck I just can't look away #UFC264
— Leah Letson UFC (@LeahNidasMMA) July 11, 2021
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