Another weekend of fisticuffs has come and gone as UFC 264 went down from inside a sold-out T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, this past weekend (Sat., July 10, 2021). Several fighters were left licking their wounds, including Greg Hardy, who was knocked out by Tai Tuivasa in the first round (recap here).
And Yana Kunitskaya, who saw her three-fight win streak go up in smoke after she was stopped by Irene Aldana, also in the opening frame. But, which fighter is suffering from the worst post-fight hangover, now a a few days removed from the show?
The main objective for “Notorious” coming into a fight was to try his hardest to get underneath his foe’s skin. But, in the lead up to the trilogy fight against Dustin Poirier, the mouthy Irishman crossed the line, dragging “Diamond’s” wife into it, which obviously didn’t sit well with McGregor’s significant other.
Even if it is just “business.”
McGregor had a lot to prove in the third bout against Poirier because breaking the tie would ensure him a shot at the Lightweight title even if his mixed martial arts (MMA) record since 2016 is less than stellar, winning only one fight in the last five years.
Instead, McGregor suffered a nasty leg break at the tail-end of the opening round (see it), forcing him to crumble to the canvas in pain and endure Poirier raining down punishment until the round came to an end. It was an anti-climactic end to an otherwise entertaining bout for as long as it lasted. McGregor wound up on the losing end again and ate crow for everything he said prior to the bout. And while some think this could mark the end for the former “champ-champ” that is far from the case.
Dana White was quick to come to McGregor’s defense of sorts, saying that the fight wasn’t “finished” and praised McGregor for his toughness. I guess popping off at the mouth once again taking aim at Poirier’s wife while he is laying on the Octagon with a broken leg is toughness.
I mean, it’s Ronda Rousey approved, after all.
Some, though, were quick to pour salt on McGregor’s wounds, Poirier and Khabib Nurmagomedov included, saying that he got what he deserved because karma doesn’t miss an opportunity when it’s warranted ... and evil never wins.
If the injury was the universe trying to humble McGregor a bit, it didn’t work because he was still threatening Poirier and still insulting his wife minutes after the gruesome injury and defeat. Still, it will be a while before we see the Irishman in the Octagon after undergoing successful surgery (details here).
“Dustin, you can celebrate that illegitimate win all you want but you done nothing in there,” McGregor said on social media after his surgery. “That second round would have shown all. Onward and upward we go team. We dust ourselves off, we build ourselves back and we come back better than ever.”
But, will McGregor ever return to full form?
Coming into the fight he declared he was fully committed to the sport and intended to go back to his roots, his old hungry days. And while that may have been his mindset, he didn’t really show much in the first four minutes of the fight to convince anyone he was on his way to beating Poirier.
But, I guess we will never know.
Then again, we might get the chance to find out since both he and Poirier are determined to run it back, and White and Co. will be more than eager to book a fourth fight once “Notorious” is healthy again. But, for that to happen the cards have to fall in place perfectly because Poirier could be champ by then and giving McGregor a title fight straight away after an injury and lengthy time off would be downright criminal.
For now, McGregor’s focus should be purely on rehab and getting healthy in order to attempt a comeback because there is no way the biggest star the sport has ever see will go out like this ... for better or worse.
For full UFC 264 play-by-play updates and results click here. And to check out the latest and greatest “McGregor vs. Poirier 3”-related news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.