Dustin Poirier got his victory over Conor McGregor in the rubber match of their trilogy Saturday at T-Mobile Arena.
What he didn’t get in the main event of UFC 264 was closure.
“We are going to fight again whether it’s in the octagon or on the street,” Poirier said after the fight was stopped between the first and second rounds when McGregor suffered a broken tibia and Poirier was awarded a knockout win.
Poirier maintained his composure through a series of taunts and antagonistic comments before the fight by McGregor, including several in graphic detail about Poirier’s wife.
The loss did nothing to stifle McGregor’s bravado. He continued shouting comments as he sat slumped against the cage with medical personnel attending to his injury.
“Your wife is in my (direct messages),” McGregor appeared to shout in audio picked up on the broadcast. “Hey, baby! Hit me back up, I’ll chat to you later on. I’ll be having an after-party at the Wynn nightclub, baby.”
According to Poirier, McGregor also used his fingers to mimic the shape of a gun and held it to his head while saying he was going to kill him.
“My wife’s solid as a rock. I’m not worried about that,” Poirier said. “That’s noise. He was saying that he was gonna kill me. You don’t say stuff like that, that he was gonna murder me. You don’t stay stuff like that. You don’t say stuff about people’s wives, either, but I know that’s zero chance. But there is a chance somebody could die, and you don’t say that. You don’t wish it on anybody, man.”
Jolie Poirier did briefly allow her emotions to show after the fight. She showed her middle finger to McGregor as he sat injured in the corner and became an instant meme on social media.
“Karma’s not a bitch; she’s a mirror,” said Dusin Poirier, pointing out the irony in McGregor being wheeled to the locker room after vowing to make Poirier leave on a stretcher. “Sometimes things happen. I beat the guy.”
Still, the ending left him feeling somewhat unfulfilled.
McGregor had some success in the first round, but Poirier did plenty of damage. He was ahead on all three scorecards, and two judges gave him a 10-8 first round.
Poirier said he thought he was on his way to a decisive victory for the second time in 2021 against McGregor after losing their first fight in 2014.
Poirier did take solace in his belief that it was a checked kick that injured McGregor’s leg and that putting weight on it made it break. But he missed out on the chance to land a formal finishing blow.
“I need to digest it all, because right now, it kind of feels weird,” Poirier said. “It’s not a good feeling. You never want to get a win that way, but he was hurt as the result of checking a kick. I’m more than sure of it. It sucks, man. I was going to beat the guy if his leg held up.”
A fourth fight is possible, but it won’t happen next. McGregor will need time to recover, and Poirier is next in line to challenge Charles Oliveira for the lightweight title, possibly in December.
By the numbers
Live gate: $15,759,800
Attendance: 20,062 (T-Mobile Arena sporting event record)
Fight of the night: Sean O’Malley vs. Kris Moutinho
Performances of the night: Tai Tuivasa, Dricus Du Plessis