UFC 264 didn’t go as planned for Conor McGregor and he feels some type of way about it.
McGregor fractured his left tibia and fibula on Saturday night in a TKO (doctor’s stoppage) loss to Dustin Poirier, but still took to social media after a three-hour surgery on Sunday morning to set the record straight, saying he plans to “come back better than ever.”
He also dubbed Poirier’s win “illegitimate.”
“What’s up fight fans, ‘The Notorious’ here,” McGregor said. “Just out of the surgery room. Everything went to plan. Everything went perfect. I’m feeling tremendous. We got six weeks on a crutch now, and then we begin to build back.
“It was a hell of a first round. It would have been nice to get into that second round and see what’s what, but that’s the nature of the business. … Dustin, you can celebrate that illegitimate win all you want, but you’d done nothing in there. That second round would’ve shown all.”
Despite McGregor’s comments that Poirier didn’t do much in the first round, all three judges sitting cageside disagreed.
In fact, each scored the first round in Poirier’s favor and two of the three judges scored in a 10-8 round for Poirier.
Saturday’s bout was the third between Poirier and the former UFC featherweight and lightweight double-champion, who beat Poirier by first-round knockout at UFC 178 in 2014. In January of this year, Poirier avenged that defeat with a second-round TKO at UFC 257, and followed that up with a second TKO on Saturday.
Prior to the trilogy bout, McGregor said he would knock out Poirier “without question” and that he’d need to be taken out on a stretcher after McGregor was done with him.
But those comments didn’t age well.
Despite McGregor’s optimistic message and seemingly unwavering confidence, the question remains: Are his best days officially behind him?
If you ask Skip Bayless, the answer is yes – emphatically.
On Monday’s “Undisputed,” Bayless shared why he believes McGregor’s performance has raised serious doubts about his future in the sport.
“That was the beginning of the end, if not the end,” Bayless said.
“I saw Conor come out desperate and resort to a bizarre kicking strategy, which is not Conor McGregor. Because that’s how Poirier softened him up in the previous fight. … [McGregor] was about to get … absolutely annihilated. And he’s sitting down screaming ‘Doctor’s stoppage!’ cause he didn’t want it on his record that he was gonna be stopped.”
Echoing Bayless’ thoughts, Shannon Sharpe, also shared his reaction to McGregor’s comments that he would have beat Poirier if it wasn’t for his injury.
“No [he] wouldn’t … All Conor can do his strike, and once you neutralize that, what is he? He’s a sitting duck,” Sharpe said. “I get it, and Dana [White] is probably gonna make a fourth fight because he’s box office [but] he ain’t the fighter those guys are anymore. He hasn’t been for a very long time, and it’s painfully obvious to the real UFC people that he’s not the same.
“These guys don’t fear Conor. … He’s not a top 10 fighter anymore.”
Whether McGregor is the same fighter he once was, however, seems to be irrelevant, and after the fight, UFC President Dana White told the media that a fourth fight would be on the table when McGregor is back up and running.
“We’ll see how this whole thing plays out,” he said. “Poirier [will] do his thing until Conor’s ready.”
Begrudgingly, Poirier agreed that he will have to face McGregor at least once more.
Whatever happens next for McGregor, and whenever it happens, it’s guaranteed to be a spectacle.
There’s just no getting rid of “The Notorious.”
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