Conor McGregor has issued a first message on social media following the brutal end to his UFC 264 main event with Dustin Poirier in Las Vegas.
McGregor suffered a gruesome injury to his lower left leg as it snapped underneath his weight towards the end of the first round, causing the fight to be called off and Poirier declared the winner by doctor’s stoppage TKO.
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The victory moved Poirier ahead 2-1 in his trilogy with McGregor, but the Notorious vowed afterwards that their rivalry was “not over” as he launched into a foul-mouthed tirade at the American which also included references to Poirier’s wife.
A defiant McGregor was stretchered from the octagon at the T-Mobile Arena, still gesturing to fans as he made his way towards the backstage area with his leg already in a brace.
UFC boss Dana White later confirmed that McGregor had broken his lower tibia in his left leg and would undergo surgery on Sunday morning.
McGregor himself has now posted a message to his following of more than 40 million on Instagram, showing a picture of himself being carried out of the arena.
“You need people like me,” wrote the 32-year-old former two-weight champion, lifting a line from Al Pacino's iconic character Tony Montana in the gangster movie 'Scarface'.
The defeat means McGregor has lost three of his last four trips to the octagon, although he remains his sport’s biggest draw.
UFC boss White said that Saturday’s event in Las Vegas would rack up around 1.7-1.8 million pay-per-view purchases as an initial estimate, confirming McGregor’s status as a blockbuster star.
White said Poirier will likely next have a shot at the UFC lightweight title against current champion Charles Oliveira, although once McGregor has healed up he could be granted another crack at Poirier in what would be a fourth fight between the pair.
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But some have questioned just how badly McGregor will be scarred from this latest setback, both physically and mentally.
“Man, I wonder if he will ever fight again after this. Heal up champ, this is terrible,” wrote former UFC lightweight champion Jon Jones.
Man, I wonder if he will ever fight again after this.. heal up champ, this is terrible— BONY (@JonnyBones) July 11, 2021
Others were less sympathetic considering the brash trash talk McGregor had resorted to in the build-up to the fight.
“Good always defeats evil,” wrote Russian former UFC lightweight king Khabib Nurmagomedov – a man who shared his own infamous rivalry with McGregor.
Good always defeats evil.— khabib nurmagomedov (@TeamKhabib) July 11, 2021
Very happy for @DustinPoirier I hope you will get the belt end of the year
McGregor's defeat leaves him with six losses in his 28-fight professional MMA career as he contemplates where he goes from here after yet another setback inside the cage.