LAS VEGAS — The score was supposed to be settled at UFC 264. Unfortunately, a freak injury to Conor McGregor may force an eventual fourth fight.
Dustin Poirier scored a first-round stoppage of McGregor after the Irishman broke his left fibula and tibia when he stepped back awkwardly.
“This is not over,” McGregor barked at Poirier as he had his leg put into a cast.
He might be right; however, Poirier was dominant before the injury caused the fight to be stopped.
McGregor opened the fight looking to use the very weapon that compromised him in the first fight as he attempted several leg kicks between roundhouse kicks. Poirier was unfazed and fired a few leg kicks of his own. One froze McGregor in his tracks and gave Poirier an opening to land a right hand.
Both fighters gave a little back and forth until Poirier dragged the fight to the canvas. A brief guillotine attempt by McGregor came up short and allowed Poirier to lay into the former two-division champion’s guard with a series of brutal elbows and punches. Try as he might, McGregor couldn’t escape the barrage of ground and pound.
Eventually, McGregor made it to his feet but was met with another combination from Poirier. And then the injury happened as McGregor fired a right hand, stepped back to avoid the counter and grotesquely broke his leg. Poirier quickly followed his damaged opponent to the mat and pounded him with another series of strikes until the round ended.
As Poirier got to his feet, it was revealed that McGregor’s leg had been broken. Referee Herb Dean quickly called the fight and the mostly pro-McGregor crowd at T-Mobile Arena were left unsatisfied with the finish.
Regardless of how this fight ended, the bad blood between the two is far from over. McGregor continued to ridicule Poirier and his wife, continuing the barrage of insults that hovered over fight week.
It’s not known how long McGregor will be sidelined (UPDATE: He said Sunday that he will be on crutches for six weeks after undergoing surgery to repair the fractures), but rest assured that he’ll look to get back to action as soon as he can and look to even the series with Poirier.
Here’s how it all went down (all times Eastern).
This article has been updated to reflect that McGregor broke his fibula and tibia.
Conor McGregor vs. Dustin Poirier 3 live updates, highlights from UFC 264
Round 1 (12:26 a.m.): McGregor throws two spinning roundhouse kicks that miss. Lands a leg kick. Poirier lands a right hand. McGregor going for leg kicks early and barely misses a right hand. Poirier lands a hard right hand after a leg kick froze him. Conor with a combination and Poirier smashes him with one of this own. Dustin goes for a takedown. McGregor goes for a guillotine. Poirier’s already out of it as the crowd erupts. Poirier is out and is in Conor’s full guard. Elbow by Poirier. Conor with elbows off the back. Poirier lighting Conor up with elbows! Poirier won’t let Conor up and continues to drill him with elbows and punches. Upkick lands for McGregor and Poirier goes right back to drilling him with ground and pound. Dustin is suffocating Conor. They are finally up and Dustin CRUSHES him with a right hand! Poirier goes for the finish! Round ends. Oh, no, Conor’s ankle (EDIT: leg) seems to be broken. It’s OVER.
12:16 a.m.: Conor McGregor gets massive cheers upon his arrival while Poirier gets booed. We can tell who the fans are going for. This place is absolutely rocking.
12:08 a.m.: It’s time for the main event. The trilogy will reach its conclusion tonight as Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor aim to settle the score in what will likely be the biggest UFC event of the year.
Gilbert Burns neutralizes Wonderboy’s striking to earn decision victory
Midnight: After three rounds, we’re going to the scorecards. Burns executed an excellent game plan of neutralizing Wonderboy’s striking with a mix of grappling, takedowns and defense. He’ll likely earn the decision and await a big fight that gets him one step closer to another title opportunity.
11:53 p.m.: Burns has done a great job of staying out of trouble in the standup while securing a pair of takedowns. Wonderboy likely needs a finish.
11:48 p.m.: One round down and not a whole lot happened. Burns spent much of the round clinching and eventually secured a takedown. But near the end of the round Burns walked right into a punch that sent him down. Clearly, he doesn’t want to stand with Wonderboy. What adjustments will be made in Round 2?
11:40 p.m.: Donald Trump has entered T-Mobile Arena to a mixed reaction from the crowd. Some cheered and chanted “USA” while others booed him. He’s seated cageside as Dana White’s guest.
11:30 p.m.: Co-main event is up next. Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson will face Gilbert Burns as both jockey for another title opportunity. Wonderboy hasn’t had a taste since losing to Tyron Woodley several years ago, while Burns is coming off of a knockout loss to current champion Kamaru Usman. Both need this victory to stay in the title hunt.
Tai Tuivasa crushes Greg Hardy with 1st-round finish
11:18 p.m.: They promised violence and delivered in spades. Tuivasa emerged victorious by sinking Hardy’s battleship with a left hand that sent the former NFL player to the canvas. Prior to that, Hardy snuck in a hard right hand that seemed to hurt Tuivasa. As Hardy charged forward, Tuivasa uncorked a left hand that blew Hardy up. Of course, Tuivasa did a shoey afterward.
11:07 p.m.: The big boys are up next as former NFL Pro Bowl defensive end Greg Hardy steps back into the Octagon for a throwdown with Tai Tuivasa. Both have promised to stand and bang, so someone must fall.
Irene Aldana brutalizes Yana Kunitskaya for 1st-round TKO
11:03 p.m.: Aldana put together a terrific performance and secured the finish. It all started with a bomb of a left hook that put Kunitskaya down. From there, Aldana was in full pursuit of a finish and clobbered Kunitskaya until she earned the stoppage. Fantastic performance that puts her right back in the title hunt.
10:48 p.m.: Up next is Irene Aldana vs. Yana Kunitskaya in a women’s bantamweight fight. Aldana came in 3.5 pounds overweight and will have to forfeit 30 percent of her fight purse.
Sean O’Malley dissects Kris Moutinho with 3rd-round TKO
10:40 p.m.: And there’s the finish. O’Malley was landing with alarming frequency until referee Herb Dean had seen enough and stopped the fight. The crowd here didn’t like the finish as Moutinho continued to fight back despite eating an insane amount of punches. Nevertheless, O’Malley adds another win to his record and could certainly be in line for some big fights in the near future.
10:34 p.m.: Well, O’Malley didn’t get the second-round finish that he predicted but he’s been stellar with a surgical performance. We’re heading into the third.
10:27 p.m.: Talk about a beautiful display of striking! O’Malley hit Moutinho with everything but the kitchen sink in the first round and demonstrated why he’s almost certain to be a superstar in the sport. Entering the second round and this is where he predicted a finish that will go viral. Will he get it?
10:13 p.m.: And we’re live! Sean O’Malley is perhaps the next big thing in MMA and will be in a prime spot as he opens the pay-per-view against the debuting Kris Moutinho.
9:58 p.m.: Well, Carlos Condit looked every bit of 38 tonight as Griffin was stronger, fresher and faster throughout the fight. Griffin cruised to a unanimous decision while Condit may have to consider his future as a mixed martial artist.
9:38 p.m.: The final prelim before the main card is up now as 38-year-old Carlos Condit looks to bring his winning streak to three against Max Griffin.
9:25 p.m.: What was expected to be a great fight lived up to the hype as Price and Pereira gave us an entertaining 15 minutes of action. Price never quit and Pereira’s creativity was on full display. But it would be Pereira who would take the unanimous decision with scores of 29-28 across the board.
9:12 p.m.: You don’t see this every day. Pereira just did a backflip and landed in full mount. He nearly finished the fight with an Americana but Price escaped and closed the round landing some hard punches when the fight got back to the feet.
9:05 p.m.: Up next we have what should be a banger of a fight between Niko Price and Michel Pereira.
8:45 p.m.: And Ryan Hall is done. Hall spammed the Imanari Roll throughout the fight. Eventually, Topuria found an opening, cracked Hall while on the ground and slammed punches into his head until Hall was unconscious. Nobody wanted to fight Hall. Topuria did. And now look.
8:40 p.m.: Up next is the return of Ryan Hall. It’s been nearly two years to the day that Hall last fought but he’s back and facing Ilia Topuria. Recognized as one of the most dangerous grapplers in the UFC, can Hall put fear in the featherweight division with his performance tonight?
8:24 p.m.: And we have a finish as du Plessis finishes off Giles with a brutal right hand coming off the cage. Giles hit the canvas hard as du Plessis followed him with a couple of punches that finished the job. Last year, du Plessis was in Vegas as a fan watching McGregor-Poirier. Now he’s fighting on a McGregor card and gets a second-round KO. Impressive.
8:11 p.m.: We’re live from Las Vegas with the prelims. The atmosphere for Las Vegas’ first UFC card at T-Mobile Arena in over a year is insane and will surely ramp up before the end of the night. A solid UFC Fight Pass card has just wrapped and we’re kicking off with Trevin Giles taking on Dricus du Plessis in a middleweight bout.
McGregor vs. Poirier 3 start time
- Early prelims: 6 p.m. ET | 3 p.m. PT
- Prelims: 8 p.m. ET | 5 p.m. PT
- PPV main card: 10 p.m. ET | 7 p.m. PT
- McGregor vs. Poirier 3: 12:15 a.m. ET (approx.) | 9:15 p.m. PT (approx.)
UFC 264: Dustin Poirier vs. Conor McGregor 3 takes place on July 10. Early prelims kick off the event at 6:15 p.m. ET; the pay-per-view main card begins at 10 p.m. ET. Poirier and McGregor should enter the Octagon around 12:15 a.m. ET, depending on the length of the undercard bouts.
How to watch McGregor vs. Poirier 3 on PPV
- Early prelims: ESPN/ESPN+
- Prelims: ESPN/ESPN+
- Main card: ESPN+ (pay-per-view)
The main card for UFC 264 is available in the U.S. on the ESPN+ subscription streaming service for a pay-per-view cost. That portion of the event begins at 10 p.m. ET.
Earlier fights are viewable live on ESPN, the WatchESPN app and, for the early prelims, UFC Fight Pass.
In Canada, the main card pay-per-view is available on Bell, Rogers, Shaw, SaskTel, Videotron, Telus, Eastlink, and UFC PPV on UFC Fight Pass.
UFC 264 fight card
- Dustin Poirier def. Conor McGregor via 1st-round TKO (injury) (5:00).
- Gilbert Burns def. Stephen Thompson via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28).
- Tai Tuivasa def. Greg Hardy via 1st-round TKO (punches) (1:07).
- Irene Aldana def. Yana Kunitskaya via 1st-round TKO (punches) (4:35).
- Sean O’Malley def. Kris Moutinho via 3rd-round TKO (punches) (4:33).
- Max Griffin def. Carlos Condit via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28).
- Michael Pereira def. Niko Price via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28).
- Ilia Topuria def. Ryan Hall via 1st-round KO (punches) (4:47).
- Dricus du Plessis def. Trevin Giles via 2nd-round KO (punches) (1:41).
Fight Pass prelims
- Jennifer Maia def. Jessica Eye via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28).
- Brad Tavares def. Omari Akhmedov via split decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29).
- Zhalgas Zhumagulov def. Jerome Rivera via 1st-round submission (guillotine) (2:02).