No one wants to see a fight called off due to injury. Even Dustin Poirier, who walked away from the octagon without so much as a scratch, would've preferred to send off Conor McGregor on his own terms. He wasn't far from it either. By the looks of things, a few more elbows in the second round and the night would've been a wrap.
Unfortunately, the curtains were adamant on falling sooner. McGregor's leg snapped in the closing seconds of the first round as he tried to regain balance after a punch. "At the beginning of the fight, I checked a good kick. I bet that's when he cracked it," Poirier revealed afterwards. "Then, on the twist of the punch—it finished [him off]." Just like that, UFC's most anticipated trilogy came to an end. Not with a highlight-worthy knockout, but with a moment that you'd hate to see replayed.
It's not the first time we've seen a freak accident like this either. Anderson Silva in 2013, Chris Weidman earlier this year—I wouldn't recommend a YouTube search. As the reactions roll in though, there is a notable lack of sympathy this time around. Over the years, McGregor has built a career stepping on toes. It's how he earned the moniker 'The Notorious One', and became UFC's most infamous personality.
Throughout McGregor's come-up, there seemed to be an aura of invincibility around him. There was a certain charm to his disrespectful demeanour because every time he stepped in the octagon, he breathed his words into reality. That hasn't been the case for a while now. He has lost three out of his last four bouts and finally, the years of trash talk are being returned in kind. To quote Poirier from the post-fight interview, "Karma's not a bitch, she's a mirror."
In this instance, it certainly didn't help that McGregor was graceless in defeat too. He somehow ignored the pain of a broken leg, only to hurl insults at Poirier's wife before being stretchered off. Hard to expect well-wishes after that.
Although he'll forever be one of the most exciting fighters to have stepped in the octagon, a return to form seems unlikely for McGregor. Meteoric rise, disappointing fall—many would agree that he deserved every bit of both.
No love lost
Trash talk has always gone hand-in-hand with combat sports, but there's only so much that can be said before lines get crossed. "I can take trash talk," Poirier expressed after the fight. "But [McGregor] was saying that he was gonna murder me—that I'd leave here in a coffin. You don't talk like that to people, man."
— BenchWarmers (@BeWarmers) July 11, 2021
Sometimes, it's personal
Conor McGregor lost the UFC Lightweight Championship to Khabib Nurmagomedov in 2018—in hindsight, the beginning of the end for the Irish fighter. The lead-up to the bout involved similar circumstance, with Nurmagomedov taking offence to Conor's derogatory comments about his family and religion.
Good always defeats evil.
Very happy for @DustinPoirier I hope you will get the belt end of the year
— khabib nurmagomedov (@TeamKhabib) July 11, 2021
"They call me Mystic Mac, 'cause I predict these things."
In his first fight against Dustin Poirier, McGregor predicted and followed through on a first round knock-out. His fortune-telling skills have since taken a bit of a hit.
— FEED THE POOR (@Goku1696) July 11, 2021
Personalities sell fights
Fighters like Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz don't need to win to draw a crown. They simply need to show up.
Think about this: The three biggest draws in the UFC (Conor McGregor, Nate Diaz and Jorge Masvidal) are a combined 0-6 in their last six fights.
— Andreas Hale (@AndreasHale) July 11, 2021
Betrayed by his body
The mind can only manifest so much.
Conor McGregor : I’ll make Dustin pay with his life.
— Mo Bamba (@DatOneBamba) July 11, 2021