It was supposed to be the fight that drew a line under the rivalry between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier.
But instead, the trilogy bout at UFC 264 ended with the bad blood flowing even more strongly than ever, and McGregor vowing the rivalry was “far from over.”
McGregor started aggressively as the bout began at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. But Poirier coped well with McGregor’s kick-heavy attack, before answering with a salvo of strikes to force the action against the fence, where he then fought off a surprise submission attempt from the Irishman, then took him down.
With McGregor’s back on the mat, Poirier proceeded to smash him with elbows and punches and, other than a few elbows off his back and a solid up-kick, McGregor was powerless to stop the onslaught as the Louisiana lightweight poured on the pressure in Round 1.
Poirier eventually got up and let the fight return to the feet, before the unfortunate incident occurred that ended the matchup.
Both men missed with big punches, but in missing his shot, McGregor stumbled back and his ankle rolled underneath him and snapped.
It left him unable to continue after the buzzer sounded at the end of the round, as referee Herb Dean consulted with cageside doctors and waved off the fight.
The bad blood continued after the official announcement, with Poirier stating that the injury occurred as a result of him checking one of McGregor’s early leg kicks, and McGregor angrily firing back at his rival and vowing that the rivalry was not over between the pair.
“I was boxing the bleeding head off him and kicking the bleeding leg off him – the usual s***e to close this distance,” McGregor told Joe Rogan while still sat on the canvas being treated.
“This is not over. If I have to take this outside with him, I’ll go outside. I don’t give a b******s.”
He then addressed Poirier’s claim that a checked kick caused the injury, then took aim at his rival’s wife.
“There was no check,” McGregor said.
“Not one of them was checked.
“Your wife is in my DMs. Hey baby, hit me back up on chat later on. We’ll be at the after party, the Wynn nightclub, baby.
“You’re looking fit, you little h**. F**k him.”