Dustin Poirier on Conor McGregor’s pre-fight injury talk: ‘Mentally, I just feel like it’s weak’
Dustin Poirier thinks it's a sign of weakness that Conor McGregor brings his leg injury to light before the fight.
McGregor (22-6 MMA, 10-4 UFC) announced that prior to the trilogy fight with Poirier (28-6 MMA, 20-5 UFC) at UFC 264 he was experiencing issues that may have contributed to his leg break. McGregor posted pictures of his taped ankle as well as an X-ray of his ankle, claiming that both the Nevada Athletic Commission and UFC President Dana White knew he had stress fractures in his leg before the fight. But Poirier thinks McGregor is only offering excuses as to why he lost.
"I feel mentally weak right away," said Poirier in "THE FIGHT with Teddy Atlas". “It's weak, it's excuses, but I try not to read too far or read these days what videos are out there and what people are saying because I'm back home with my family. It's a win on my record. I know that in the fight, before the fight, in my training camp, I did what I had to do.
“I ticked and ticked all the boxes I had to check, gave it my all, and then went out and - as we say, it's noise. Whatever people say, or whatever he will say, it is what it is. I'm healthy, I'm sure I'll be back home, have another win on my record, and I'm still the number 1 contender, so these are facts. "
After the first round seconds dwindled, McGregor clocked 10-8 on two of the judges' scorecards, the Irish superstar broke his left tibia and fibula while stepping back on a missed blow, forcing the doctors to do the Stop fighting between rounds. The unfortunate ending raised questions, but Poirier doesn't believe the injury was the turning point of the fight.
Poirier recalls that McGregor stumbled back early on with a hard shot which, in his opinion, caused him to cling for being injured.
"We threw crosses at the same time," said Poirier. “I slipped his and threw some kind of cross that touched him well and now I know. I saw the same eyes I saw in Abu Dhabi when I injured his feet. He makes a certain expression and his reaction is a certain way when he's hurt and now I've seen it twice. He was injured before the grappling and clinching and takedown and all that. His feet were injured and I really feel if he hadn't participated in the clinch, I think I would have done him there. I saw the same look in his eyes and knew I was only a beat or two away from sitting him down. "
After the fight, a frustrated McGregor thought Poirier's win was illegitimate and genuinely believed he would have turned the tide in Round 2 at UFC 257.
"In the last one there were also a lot of excuses," said Poirier. “He was preparing for boxing, he wasn't focusing on mixed martial arts, he was preparing to fight Manny Pacquiao, and there were many reasons. Lots of excuses. ...
“If you're training for a fight, you're going to go into fight week with something. Whether elbow, wrist, hand, ankle, something will break. "
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McGregor came out with a leg-kicking approach to the fight, blowing up Poirier with a series of low-kicks. So Poirier wonders if McGregor's leg was really injured before, why would he use such a game plan?
"It's not a smart game plan when it's injured," said Poirier. “Especially where he kicked. He didn't kick my thigh or calf muscle; he stepped on my knee. It was bone to bone. I wouldn't ... even with tech, normally you want to set up those kicks. He threw it alone. Usually you want to hit before kicking just to set it up just to make me think of something else.
“He threw kicks alone, single kicks right on my knee. Maybe it was in his head that he had to come out and show me he can too because I tore his leg in the second fight. I have no idea what he and his coaches were thinking. "
The aftermath of the fight turned ugly when McGregor insulted both Poirier and his wife. While Poirier admits not realizing that McGregor had broken his leg, it became apparent immediately after the round ended.
"That was a bit of a surprise, but this guy will go this far - there's no limit to this man's talk and hype and all that," said Poirier. “I was surprised that he was still sitting with the broken leg talking, but the things he said didn't surprise me because he was talking crazy all week.
“When you're in the eye of the storm right now, it's kind of crazy, so I didn't know your leg was broken because we both hit at the same time. He went down, then I started beating. I didn't know his leg was broken until the bell rang and I walked away. He was sitting on his bum, holding his leg, and I kind of saw his ankle and leg hanging. There was no bone, it was just a flap of skin. That's when I noticed that he broke his leg. "
Triple Take: Do we have to see Dustin Poirier versus Conor McGregor 4?
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