The highly-anticipated trilogy between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier ended with McGregor being carried out of the octagon on a stretcher.
In a seemingly freak accident, McGregor apparently fractured his leg while stepping back before collapsing to the mat in the final seconds of the first round.
That led to a Poirier TKO victory via doctor's stoppage and an anticlimactic conclusion to what had been a promising first round for the main event UFC 264 in Las Vegas on Saturday night.
Poirier (28-6) earned his third straight win since losing to former champion Khabib Nurmagomedov in 2019. While it was hardly the way he, or anyone watching, wanted the fight to end, Poirier said in his post-fight interview that he felt McGregor's injury was first sustained on an emphatic leg kick.
McGregor, while being interviewed after the match as he sat on the mat, screamed "This is not over!"
McGregor first beat Poirier at UFC 178 in 2014 by delivering a first-round knockout.
The rematch between McGregor and Poirier came seven years later, with Poirier avenging his loss by stunning McGregor with a second-round TKO after a series of punches at UFC 257 in January. It was the first time in McGregor's 13-year career that he suffered TKO or KO loss.
McGregor came out with a kick-heavy approach before he uncharacteristically attempted to put Poirier in a guillotine. Poirier escaped and delivered a series of punches that led to the two grappling for the majority of the first round. When the two got back to their feet McGregor sustained the injury in the final seconds of the round.
The Irishman now faces a long rehab while Poirier is likely next in line to challenge UFC lightweight champion Charles Oliveira.
Tai Tuivasa knocks out Greg Hardy early
Australia’s Tai Tuivasa made quick work of former NFL star Greg Hardy in the third fight on the main card.
Hardy invited Tuivasa to the center of the octagon to start throwing punches from the moment the fight started, but Tuivasa remained calm, chopping at Hardy’s legs with crippling calf kicks from the outside.
Hardy stumbled to the floor from one of Tuivasa’s kicks, quickly getting back up. When Tuivasa saw that moment of weakness from Hardy, he capitalized, landing a clean two hook combo to send Hardy to the canvas.
The sold-out crowd at T-Mobile arena erupted after his first-round KO victory and Tuivasa jumped the cage to celebrate by chugging a beer out of a shoe, a signature Australian party favorite.