UFC boss Dana White has suggested we have not seen an end to the rivalry between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier despite the American winning the pair’s third fight in Las Vegas after an ugly injury to McGregor.
McGregor was unable to continue after snapping his lower left leg in the final seconds of the first round at the T-Mobile Arena, handing Poirier victory and moving the American 2-1 in front in their trilogy of bouts.
An injury to Conor McGregor's leg forced a Doctor's Stoppage in the #UFC264 main event.
Dustin Poirier won via TKO. pic.twitter.com/jsZVltGniI
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) July 11, 2021
McGregor had knocked out Poirier inside the opening round of their first meeting back in 2014, before the American exacted revenge with a second-round stoppage over the Dubliner in Abu Dhabi earlier this year.
Meeting for a third time, Poirier had appeared the more dominant in the opening round before McGregor’s lower left leg buckled disturbingly after he had stepped back from throwing a punch towards the end of the round.
Stricken on the canvas, a defiant McGregor hurled more insults at his opponent during his post-fight interview, including bringing up Poirier’s wife and vowing that their rivalry was “not over”.
“If I have to take it outside, let’s take it outside,” raged McGregor.
Poirier had dismissed his rival as a “dirtbag” in his own post-fight comments, claiming “karma’s not a b*tch, it’s a mirror.”
"This is not over!"
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) July 11, 2021
Poirier, 32, had passed up a shot at the lightweight title following his last victory over McGregor, opting instead for another lucrative payday with the Irishman – who remains the biggest blockbuster draw in his sport.
After making it two wins from his last two against McGregor, this time Poirier will be expected to take on Brazil’s Charles Oliveira for the 155lbs title by the end of the year.
That was an idea backed by UFC boss White – although he didn’t rule out another meeting between Poirier and McGregor somewhere down the line.
“It sucks, it’s brutal, it’s not the way you want fights to end,” said White of Saturday’s main event.
“Dustin Poirier will fight for the title and when Conor’s healed and ready to go, you do the rematch I guess, I don’t know.”
Providing an update on the nature of McGregor’s horrific leg break, White said the former two-weight champion had broken the lower tibia in his left shin.
“He goes into surgery in the morning,” White said.
“The fight didn’t get finished, you can’t have a fight finish that way.
“We’ll see how this whole thing plays out. Who knows how long Conor is out. Poirier will do his thing until Conor’s ready.”
When asked about McGregor’s trash talk – which continued to target Poirier’s wife after the fight, claiming she was attempting to initiate contact with him on Instagram – White said he was unimpressed.
“I don’t like that, that’s not good. Leave people’s family and wives out of it,” said the UFC boss.
“The sh*tty part for Dustin is that he ends up winning the round and then Conor breaks his ankle, and so the storyline is ‘Conor broke his ankle’ instead of ‘Dustin looked good’.
“You can’t do the hypotheticals, it’s all about timing [for a possible fourth fight]. I don’t know how long Conor’s going to be out.”
Giving more evidence of McGregor’s power as the main draw in his sport, White estimated that Saturday’s showing was on course for approaching 2 million pay-per-view purchases.
“I know that at 8 o’clock we were over 1.2 million buys, just in the US. I have to be careful with this stuff now because we’re a public company, but I’m going to say we came in anywhere between 1.7 million and 1.8 million,” White said.
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