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Ringside physician weighs in on Conor McGregor’s pre-existing injury claims

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Dr. David Abbassi, a combat sports ringside physician and orthopedic surgeon, shares his thoughts on Conor McGregor’s latest post-fight injury revelations.

UFC 264: Poirier v Conor McGregor 3 Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

There’s a lot of Conor McGregor apologists out there on the Internet these days, and not the least of them is Conor McGregor himself. The former two-division champion took to social media to reveal “The Truth” surrounding his horrific leg break injury at the end of the first round against Dustin Poirier at UFC 264 (see it).

According to McGregor, the break had more to do with damage he took in training than damage from fighting Poirier.

“I had multiple stress fractures in the shin bone above the ankle, and then I had trouble with the ankle anyway throughout the years of fighting all the time,” McGregor said in an Instagram video. “And I also was wrapping my ankle every training session.”

McGregor also put up pictures on Twitter showing him icing his ankle and visiting a doctor with an MRI of his leg and ankle being looked at. But Dr. David Abbassi — a combat sports ringside physician and orthopedic surgeon — took a look at that and said it doesn’t prove much at all.

In a video, he remains open to the idea of stress fractures, but points out how painful and limiting they would be coming into the fight.

“I think it’s possible that he definitely had something going on in terms of a stress reaction or a stress fracture,” Abbassi said. “I would definitely be interested in seeing what imaging studies his doctors got, including potential MRI studies. For somebody who had leg stress fractures, though, going into that fight, he sure was kicking a lot. Not something we would typically see.”

When McGregor’s coach John Kavanagh talked about the doctor’s visit for the ankle and leg, things were pretty unclear.

“They say you think when you look at an MRI or a CT scan, it’s perfect,” he said. “But they say it’s more like listening to an engine, a very skilled mechanic can maybe pick up something off it, but it’s not till you open up and you’ll see it. There might have been something in there.”

In the end, all fighters come into competition with injuries suffered in fight camp that they have to work around. If McGregor’s leg really was troubling him as bad as he claims in hindsight, well there’s an old joke, “I went to the doctor and said, ‘Doc, it hurts when I do this.’ And so the doctor replied ... ‘Well, don’t do that.’”


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.