While Conor McGregor’s post-fight antics have somewhat overshadowed the fight itself, one of the more intriguing storylines to come out of UFC 264 is just how, or why the Irish superstar’s leg snapped the way it did. McGregor landed punishing low kicks early on, forcing Poirier to start trying to catch them to stop the damage, but after a brief clash in the pocket, most of the rest of the first round was spent grappling on the mat.
Unhappy with what he claimed were McGregor’s attempts to grab his glove and upkick from guard, Poirier eventually stood and let the SBG talent back to his feet where they traded shots one final time before the bell. That’s where the ‘Notorious’ fell to the ground, his leg bent at a terrifying angle, just above the ankle. A broken tibia & fibia—but just where and how did it happen.
At least one person thinks they may have solved the mystery. Xtreme Couture head coach Erik Nicksick posted a video on Twitter showing the last moments before McGregor’s leg broke. He believes (via some intrepid investigative work from his mom) that the former double-champ’s leg may have skipped off Poirier’s elbow on the way to a body kick.
Check it out and judge for yourself.
Credit to my mom, yes, my mom wrote me at 7am to tell me she thinks Conor broke his foot off Dustin’s elbow after throw the rear teep kick. After slowing it down, it makes a lot of sense. Watch the integrity of his foot before and after. You be the judge. #UFC264 pic.twitter.com/7MFzpkVe0r— Eric Nicksick (@Eric_XCMMA) July 12, 2021
Not everyone is convinced, however. With some claiming that other angles show the kick landed clean to the body up the middle, at an angle where it would have been very difficult to hit the elbow on the way in. McGregor’s coach, John Kavanagh expressed his own doubts as well, telling Laura Sanko that it would “seem unusual that a young, healthy, fit man could wrap his foot around an elbow and [break it] without there being something [wrong] there before.”
Ringside physician Dr. David Abbasi broke down the injury as well, suggesting that potential earlier checked kicks may have weakened the leg before McGregor stepped back onto it from the kick, causing the break. Poirier also believes it was due to a kick he checked hard earlier in the fight.
No matter how it happened the injury resulted ina harrowing and unfortunate end to one of the most anticipated UFC bouts of the year. Dana White has already talked about booking Poirier and McGregor for a 4th bout once McGregor heals from his injury. In the meantime, however, the ‘Diamond’ appears set to challenge Charles Oliveira for the lightweight title, a fight likely to take place sometime near the end of 2021.