“You don’t say stuff like that… you don’t wish that on anybody.”
Ahead of his trilogy fight with Dustin Poirier at UFC 264, Conor McGregor was reluctant to give his usual ‘Mystic Mac’ predictions.
Whether it was a case of uncertainty, not wanting to pre-empt his fight strategy or not wanting to after only securing one win in his last three fights, it was unclear. The only thing McGregor would predict was that Poirier would leave the T-Mobile Arena on a stretcher.
As it turned out, a stretcher was required, but for ‘The Notorious’ after he fractured his leg at the end of the first round.Conor McGregor is carried out of the arena on a stretcher after injuring his ankle in the first round of his lightweight bout against Dustin Poirier during UFC 264. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Such is the bad blood between both men – a stark contrast to the cordiality before and after their January bout on Fight Island – that the barbs continued even as medics were attending to the defeated McGregor.
“Shut your mouth,” Poirier shouted over at McGregor, before telling Joe Rogan to ‘look at what he’s saying’.
The microphones did pick up McGregor warning, ‘You be careful what you say, mate’. Poirier then told the UFC commentator:
“I can take the trash-talk. There’s no-holds-barred with that.
“But murder is something you don’t clown around with. There’s no coming back from that. This guy was saying he’s going to murder me, and all kind of stuff. He was telling me I’m going to leave here in a coffin. You don’t talk to people like that.
“I hope this guy gets home safe to his beautiful family, you know.”
In the longer, post-fight press conference said McGregor was mimicking a gun and pointing it in his direction, as he sat in The Octagon, receiving treatment. He wants video footage of the moment, and some of McGregor’s most chilling comments, to be fully shared in the coming days.
“Conor said some nasty stuff that didn’t make it on Embedded,” he said. “Maybe when the behind-the-scenes [footage] for this fight airs, you’ll see him on the ground still saying some really bad stuff.
“But even that stuff being said, I don’t wish serious harm like that on nobody. The guy’s got kids. I want him to go home safe to his family. I pray before these fights.”
"Conor said some nasty stuff that didn't make it on Embedded… but even with all the nasty stuff he said, the guy has kids, I hope he makes it back okay to his family" @DustinPoirier ? pic.twitter.com/JgUQRjUDrb
— SportsJOE (@SportsJOEdotie) July 11, 2021
“Every time before I walk through that Octagon door, I’m praying not for me to win,” Poirier added. “I’m praying that we both get out of there safe. I know what I’m going to try to do to him and I know what he’s going to try to do with me.”
The Louisiana native is now targeting a title fight against UFC lightweight champion Charles Oliveira before the end of the year.
Asked if he would be interested in running it back with McGregor a fourth time [he leads 2-1 in bout victories], Poirier said he was open to it, but that McGregor would need to go off and get back on winning track.
“We are going to fight again whether it’s in The Octagon or on the sidewalk. You don’t say the stuff he said.”
Asked about McGregor’s continued focus on his wife, Jolie, and post-fight insults aimed towards her, Poirier said, “My wife is solid as a rock. I’m not worried about that. That’s noise.
“He was saying he was going to kill me. You don’t say stuff like that, that he was going to murder me. You don’t say stuff like that. You don’t say stuff about people’s wives either, but I know that that’s zero-chance. There is a chance somebody could die. You don’t say that. You don’t wish that on anybody.”
McGregor is off for surgery on his damaged leg [fractured lower tibia – shinbone] on Monday so he is unlikely to feature again in the UFC until 2022.