LAS VEGAS – It wasn’t the end anybody may have predicted. Conor McGregor misplaced by TKO to Dustin Poirier at UFC 264 when a freak leg harm triggered the combat to be halted on the finish of the primary spherical.
It was a weird end that had an much more uncommon scene following as McGregor threatened to kill Poirier and hurled insults at his spouse whereas sitting on the canvas getting his damaged decrease tibia stabilized. It was clear that this rivalry that hit a fever pitch over the previous week is much from over.
Poirier will take residence the somewhat unsatisfying victory, though he has set himself up for a UFC light-weight title alternative towards champion Charles Oliveira. McGregor will head to surgical procedure and might be sidelined for the foreseeable future.
And you understand what? That is maybe the best-case state of affairs for the Irishman.
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Clearly, no person needs to see a fighter injured within the method that McGregor was. Nonetheless, this harm extends his shelf life as a celebrity whereas giving him a built-in excuse that units up a worthwhile fourth combat with Poirier.
On the very least, McGregor now has two enormous fights on the horizon when he can return to motion. Other than the fourth combat with Poirier, he additionally has a 3rd combat with Nate Diaz that’s sure to tug a large pay-per-view quantity. To not point out that the time that McGregor is away will construct anticipation for his return.
Maybe most necessary is that McGregor can salvage his status by claiming that Poirier solely gained as a result of McGregor was injured. And that’s the narrative most of his followers will carry regardless of the truth that Poirier dominated the primary spherical and was possible headed towards a end until McGregor made a drastic change in his strategy.
It was clear from the opening spherical that McGregor hadn’t modified a lot outdoors making an attempt to fireside off a number of leg kicks. None of them fazed Poirier, who fired a leg kick of his personal that froze McGregor in his tracks and left him standing because the Louisiana fighter planted a proper hand on the previous two-division champion’s kisser.
As soon as the combat hit the canvas, McGregor discovered himself in a world of hassle. After a failed guillotine try, Poirier rammed elbows and fists into McGregor’s face. McGregor didn’t present a lot resistance as he ate one elbow after one other whereas Poirier remained in a dominant place. It was the place McGregor followers feared most whereas Poirier was completely snug pounding on the Irishman from within his guard.
After which the harm occurred within the closing seconds of the spherical when the fighters made it again to their ft.
As McGregor sat on the canvas firing expletives at Poirier, the potential variety of pay-per-view buys for a fourth combat started to rise. McGregor’s hardcore followers began to imagine every thing that Mystic Mac was saying.
“I was boxing the bleeding head off him and kicking the bleeding leg off him – the usual shite to close this distance,” an infuriated McGregor stated. “This is not over. If I have to take this outside with him, I’ll go outside. I don’t give a bollocks.”
His followers possible sided with him and figured that he’d do what he did within the Chad Mendes combat years again and benefit from a tiring Poirier. The one factor was that Poirier wasn’t near drained and dominated nearly each facet of the combat.
Thankfully for McGregor, what might be remembered most within the third combat is the grotesquely damaged leg that prevented him from persevering with. As everyone knows, something can occur in MMA and McGregor can definitely counsel that he was simply getting warmed up earlier than the harm. Every thing Poirier did earlier than the harm might be ignored by the staunchest McGregor followers.
Actually, the harm saved McGregor from embarrassment and gave him one other massive cash combat. It additionally provides the chance to not solely heal his leg, but additionally his delight. No matter what he says, he is aware of he was dropping that combat and should have been bailed out by the harm.
The silver lining is the truth that McGregor will get to work on his personal timetable earlier than returning to motion, which permits him to return to the lab and re-dedicate himself to his craft. It can additionally permit the chance for reinvention, ought to McGregor select to take action. The short turnaround after dropping to Poirier in January didn’t actually permit McGregor to work on the required issues to carry out higher within the trilogy.
Now? He has nothing however time.
And, as they are saying, absence makes the center develop fonder and McGregor’s return to motion might be one more large occasion. Whether or not it’s towards Poirier, Diaz or one other fighter, there’s one other enormous payday and he doesn’t lose a lot luster to the informal fan that drives up his pay-per-view gross sales. There’ll stay a little bit of mystique surrounding McGregor and curiosity might be piqued relating to what modifications might be made by the Irishman in his strategy to combating.
Take into account this: on the time of writing, Poirier’s post-fight interview has 1.3 million views on YouTube. However McGregor’s post-fight interview has already surpassed 3 million views.
The harm saved McGregor from himself. This wasn’t the most effective model of McGregor that we’ve seen. From the trash discuss to the combat itself, it usually felt like a person who was attempting to imagine his personal hype once more. One thing felt off as McGregor’s rampage of insults elevated in depth and poor style. Was he looking for motivation? Was his ego so bruised that he was involved that he simply didn’t have “it” anymore? Who is aware of? He’ll have greater than sufficient time to determine it out as he’ll be out of the highlight as the game rolls on.
When he is able to return, relaxation assured that every thing might be in place for McGregor to reclaim his throne as the most important star in fight sports activities. There’s by no means been something like him and there at present is not one other fighter who may take his place. The persona is greater than the fighter and, in some unusual approach, this harm solely provides to his legend. On the very least, it extends his capability to stay a mainstream star. At worst, it prolongs the inevitable fall from grace that felt very near occurring towards Poirier.
For some, the sport finally passes them by. However for McGregor, the sport will at all times salivate for his return.