LAS VEGAS — Conor McGregor talked all sorts of smack and vowed that Dustin Poirier would leave the Octagon at T-Mobile Arena after their lightweight fight Saturday in the main event of UFC 264 on a stretcher.
But it turns out that it was McGregor who got the ride out of the cage. He break his left leg when he was dropped by Poirier with about 10 seconds left in the first round of their rubber match.
Poirier dropped McGregor back against the cage into his corner and McGregor’s leg collapsed under him. Poirier landed several ground and pound shots before the bell rang.
But McGregor never got off the canvas and referee Herb Dean, after crouching and speaking to McGregor, stopped the bout.
Poirier said he thought McGregor had fractured the leg earlier when he checked a kick, but it rolled back badly under him after the huge punch Poirier landed.
McGregor won the first fight between them at UFC 178 in 2014 by first-round finish. But Poirier won the last two and now moves on to a title fight against lightweight champion Charles Oliveira, who was seated at cageside.
With former President Trump among a boatload of notable people and celebrities in attendance, McGregor opened fast with a spinning back kick that Poirier dodged.
Interviewed by Joe Rogan sitting down in the cage, McGregor bellowed “This is not over.”
But he was taking hard shots from Poirier throughout the second half of the round.
The irony of the ending sequence is that McGregor mocked fighters who got submission victories and said he didn’t count them. That appeared to be a not-so-flattering reference to ex-champion Khabib Nurmagomedov’s victory over him in 2018.
But McGregor then went for a guillotine when they fell to the ground.
Poirier was patient and escaped the guillotine and then began to land some hard shots on McGregor. He blasted McGregor with an elbow right after getting out of the guillotine and then was doing some significant ground-and-pound.
McGregor tried upkicks to keep Poirier off him and Poirier finally backed off late in the round to get the fight up. Poirier landed a straight left hand that sent McGregor back and gave him the fight.
Of course, it was surrounded by drama because it was McGregor, but it was clear that Poirier took the round and was in command of the bout.
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