UFC: Conor McGregor released from the hospital and expected to make his return next year

Conor McGregor, UFC

The main event at UFC 264 didn’t end the way that anyone thought it would. In the headliner, Conor McGregor (22-6) and Dustin Poirier (28-6, 1 NC) were looking to settle the score and conclude their trilogy with each man having won one fight.

McGregor started out quick on Saturday working his kicks and was very aggressive. However, Poirier also found success on the feet at UFC 264 and it was one of his blitzes that forced McGregor to clinch in the first round to try and get space.

Poirier went for a takedown and McGregor tried to lock in a guillotine. Poirier spent the second half of the round raining down shots from the guard. Late in the round, the fight went back to the feet with just seconds left. McGregor went right back to trying to work his kicks.

Both men missed with big left straight hands and when McGregor stepped back, his leg snapped. The fight ended in between rounds and Poirier was awarded the win at UFC 264 although there still feels like some cloudiness with this rivalry considering the way this fight ended.

McGregor’s UFC Return

After UFC 264, McGregor was immediately taken to the hospital and the following day, he had surgery to repair his broken leg. McGregor posted an update on his Twitter where he talked about the fact that he will rebuild better than ever.

Dana White spoke with TMZ yesterday and talked about McGregor’s timeline. White said that McGregor was released from the hospital yesterday. He’s actually planning on staying in Los Angeles for a while before flying home.

On his timeline for his UFC return, White said that McGregor would return in about a year. I think that’s a pretty fair assessment given the injury although I wouldn’t rule out him potentially returning sooner.

We will not see McGregor in the UFC for the rest of 2021, however, I wouldn’t rule out a spring return. A lot will come down to how rehab goes and McGregor’s desire to get back in the cage. Whenever ‘The Mac’ does return, the world will be watching.

What’s next for Conor McGregor after UFC 264?

Conor McGregor, UFC

This past Saturday at UFC 264 we saw the third fight between Conor McGregor (22-6) and Dustin Poirier (28-6, 1 NC). The first round was a back-and-forth round that took place on the mat and on the feet.

The first half of the UFC 264 main event took place on the feet. In the standup, McGregor was getting the better of Dustin Poirier. However, after McGregor went for a guillotine choke, Poirier ended up on top of him in the first.

From there, Poirier did a fantastic job of landing big shots from the top position. At the end of the first, both men got back to their feet and went back to striking. Both swung big shots and missed. When McGregor stepped back, the lower half of his tibia snapped.

McGregor crumbled to the floor and defended as Poirier rained down more shots. Fortunately for McGregor, Herb Dean let the fight go. In between rounds, the fight was stopped due to the injury and UFC 264 leaves us with no clarity in the trilogy.

Some in the MMA Media or the talking heads have painted this narrative that Poirier and McGregor aren’t close to being on the same level. I couldn’t disagree more and after watching the UFC 264 main event back several times, I don’t believe there’s a big gap between the two men at all.

What’s next after UFC 264?

Dana White said that he would be open to the fourth fight between Poirier and McGregor after UFC 264’s result. I think that might be what’s next for McGregor and even Poirier said that they will have to fight again. 

That said, we don’t have a great idea on how long it will be before McGregor’s ready. The Irishman posted on Twitter last night that he would be on crutches for six weeks before starting the process of building himself back up.

My guess is that we won’t see McGregor booked for his next UFC matchup until the late spring or early next Summer. With that timeline, it could line up perfectly with Poirier should Poirier defeat Charles Oliveira near the end of the year.

I could also see the UFC giving McGregor a fight with Nate Diaz (20-13) upon his return. McGregor and Diaz have their own trilogy to complete and it would be a great fight to get McGregor back in the swing of things.

That would also allow the promotion to book Justin Gaethje – Michael Chandler as a title eliminator. If McGregor fought Diaz and won in mid-2022, perhaps he could get a shot at the UFC lightweight title and that fourth fight with Poirier late in the year.

After UFC 264, Dustin Poirier confirms he will fight Conor McGregor again in the future

dusin porier, conor mcgregor

What a night it was last night. In the headliner of UFC 264, we saw the third installment of the rivalry between Dustin Poirier (28-6, 1 NC) and Conor McGregor (22-6). While the fight was meant to provide closure, the result gave us anything but.

The fight started out with a fast pace and McGregor was throwing a ton of kicks. Much like the second fight, McGregor controlled the striking early on at UFC 264. In the middle of the round, Poirier blitzed and the two men came together in a clinch.

Poirier went for a takedown and McGregor tried to lock in a guillotine. However, Poirier was able to defend and get top position. Once on top, Poirier rained down bombs on McGregor. McGregor landed some good shots here and there from the bottom, but overall, it was all Poirier.

Late in the round, Poirier let McGregor up. The two men missed with big shots and as McGregor stepped back, his ankle gave out. McGregor suffered a break to his lower tibia and the main event of UFC 264 ended with a doctor stoppage.

Poirier confident him and McGregor fight again after UFC 264

It was clear that the two men still had bad blood after UFC 264. Dana White said in the post-fight press conference that the two men will fight again whenever McGregor heals. However, Poirier will be fighting for the UFC title next.

When it was Poirier’s turn to talk at the press conference, he echoed Dana White. Poirier said, “We are going to fight again whether it’s in the octagon or on the sidewalk.” McGregor also said in the cage that he would fight Poirier in the octagon or on the street after UFC 264.

Between all the words and the lack of a true finish, it does appear that we are destined to see the fourth fight. That said, we won’t be seeing it anytime soon. McGregor is going to have surgery tomorrow and will be out for a considerable amount of time.

Dustin Poirier will now turn his attention towards Charles Oliveira and the UFC lightweight title. If Poirier wins the title and McGregor recovers quickly, don’t be shocked if next summer’s big UFC PPV is headlined by the fourth fight between McGregor and Poirier.

Dana White says Poirier – McGregor 4 will happen after UFC 264 result

UFC 264 didn’t end the way that anyone thought it would. The main event was headlined by the third installment of Dustin Poirier (28-6, 1 NC) and Conor McGregor (22-6). Unlike the second fight which saw both men respect the other, the third fight was personal.

McGregor got off to a hot start again at UFC 264. Utilizing a steady diet of leg kicks, McGregor was controlling the striking early on in the fight. Poirier started slow again, but started to get comfortable after McGregor’s hot start.

Both men traded big shots before they clinched. McGregor synched in a guillotine choke that appeared tight for a moment, but Poirier fought through it. The Diamond then got the top position and spent most of the second half of the round reigning down shots on McGregor.

Near the end of the first, McGregor got back to his feet. Both threw big shots that missed and when McGregor stepped back, his ankle snapped. The round ended and UFC 264‘s main event ended with a doctor stoppage due to McGregor’s ankle injury.

The UFC’s Plans

It was clear that there was still no love lost between Poirier and McGregor after UFC 264. Poirier was mocking McGregor while McGregor used his post-fight interview to callout Poirier’s wife Jolie.

Dana White took the podium at the post-fight press conference and made it clear that these two will fight again. White said, “Dustin Poirier will fight for the title and when Conor is healed and ready to go, you do the rematch.”

White continued, “The fight didn’t get finished. You can’t have a fight finished that way so we will see how this whole thing plays out. Who knows how long Conor will be out. Poirier will do his thing until Conor is ready.”

Obviously, Poirier will be fighting UFC lightweight champion Charles Oliveira (31-8, 1 NC) next. Given how this fight ended, I would guess that the UFC aims to make that fight happen at the end of the year.

If Poirier wins that fight, the UFC will then move towards the fourth McGregor fight which would be massive especially if the lightweight title is on the line. Time will tell and a lot will depend on how McGregor heals.

Will the UFC book Leon Edwards – Jorge Masvidal?

Leon Edwards

Last week the UFC‘s BMF teased fight fans when he tweeted out that he would be returning soon. Jorge Masvidal (35-15) has been spotted in Las Vegas this week ahead of his teammate’s trilogy with Conor McGregor.

Masvidal has said that he’s ready to return and this week his agent said that they were targeting October or November. Originally, the Masvidal camp was pushing for a matchup with either Nick Diaz or Colby Covington.

However, neither one of those fights look like they’re available. Nick Diaz is going to be facing Robbie Lawler in September while Dana White reiterated to MMA Junkie that Colby Covington would be fighting for the UFC welterweight title next.

Covington’s title shot also means that Leon Edwards (19-3, 1 NC) is not getting the title shot. Edwards has won a staggering nine fights in a row with a no contest thrown in there. He just fought at UFC 263 where he defeated Nate Diaz by decision.

Masvidal and Edwards have some history after they had an altercation backstage in 2019. Perhaps it’s finally time for the UFC to book the grudge match that’s a couple of years in the making. Dana White said that he likes the idea.

Will the UFC book it?

Leon Edwards is in a really tough spot. He does deserve to fight for the UFC welterweight title, however, if he wants to do that next, he’s going to be waiting a while. White told MMA Junkie that the rematch between Usman and Covington would take place later this year.

If Edwards wanted to hold out, he wouldn’t fight again until the spring. After missing so much time over the past couple of years, I would advise Edwards to stay active. So if he stays active, who in the UFC’s welterweight division makes sense.

Well, it comes down to what Leon Edwards wants. If he wants a fight that will help build his brand before a title shot, he should take the Masvidal fight. If he wants a top contender coming off a win, maybe look to the UFC 264 co-main event’s winner.

There are several options, but I think the best option for both men is to fight each other. For Masvidal, it would get him right back into the title picture. For Edwards, it would give him another win over a star which would cement his case to fight for the title in 2022.

Winner of UFC 264 main event next for the lightweight title

dusin porier, conor mcgregor

This weekend we will see one of the most highly anticipated matchups of the year in the main event of UFC 264. The trilogy between Conor McGregor (22-5) and Dustin Poirier (27-6, 1 NC) will come to a close.

The rivalry that started seven years ago will come to a close and there’s a lot on the line. Dana White confirmed yesterday with MMA Junkie that the winner of Saturday night’s main event will fight for the lightweight title next.

The new UFC lightweight champion Charles Oliveira (30-8, 1 NC) will actually be cageside for the main event. With this new wrinkle added in, arguably the biggest fight of 2021 has just become even bigger.

McGregor and Poirier met for the first time back in 2014 with McGregor getting the first round finish. The two men met again back at UFC 257 for the second time. After a hot start for McGregor, Poirier settled in and earn himself a TKO victory in the second round.

UFC Title Eliminator

The series is even with both men having earned a finish leading into UFC 264. It’s going to be very interesting to see the approaches of both men on Saturday night. For McGregor, his mistake was very clear in the second fight.

I believe that the former two-division UFC champion was extremely confident that he would be able to finish Poirier with his boxing in the first round. However, Poirier was able to absorb the shots and attack McGregor’s lead leg with calf kicks.

With McGregor taking a boxing-heavy style in the second fight, he left his leg there to be compromised. In this third matchup, he’s going to need to return to the old style that he utilized when he was on the rise.

For Poirier, I think it’ll be important just to whether the early storm. Poirier is at his best when the fight gets long and tough. He said last week that he wins a war ten out of ten times against Conor McGregor. It’s going to be an incredible matchup with a ton on the line Saturday night.

Could Gane – Lewis at UFC 265 ultimately lead to Jon Jones – Francis Ngannou?

UFC, Jon Jones

Earlier this week we learned that UFC 265 would be headlined by Derrick Lewis (25-7, 1 NC) and Ciryl Gane (9-0). The PPV headliner will take place in Lewis’ hometown of Houston, Texas and the interim heavyweight title will be on the line.

The decision to create an interim heavyweight title at UFC 265 was perplexing. Mass confusion fell upon the MMA community due to the fact that Francis Ngannou (16-3) just won the heavyweight title back in March.

Ngannou has been on vacation and told the UFC he’d be ready to fight Derrick Lewis for the undisputed title in September. However, the promotion needed a main event for August 7th. Their solution was to book Lewis in an interim title fight.

Now, this leaves the undisputed heavyweight champion without a fight. The UFC has said that Gane and Lewis are fighting for the interim title because they are the two most deserving contenders and they are ready to fight on August 7th. Again, doesn’t make a ton of sense, but that’s their story.

However, there could be a silver lining here for all parties involved. Perhaps the UFC can now put together the fight that fans wanted to see all along. Maybe it’s time for the promotion to revisit the superfight between Ngannou and Jon Jones (26-1, 1 NC).

Will the UFC try to make Ngannou – Jones happen?

Let’s rewind time back to just before UFC 260 where Ngannou defeated Stipe Miocic. The storyline leading up to the fight was that Jon Jones would be moving up to heavyweight and would be fighting the winner.

For months, that’s what Dana White and the UFC had been saying. Jon Jones vacated his light heavyweight title last year to prepare for his move to the heavyweight division.

However, immediately after UFC 260 we learned the fight was going to be hard to make. Jones and the promotion could never come close to a deal and as a result, the UFC moved on from Jones and focused on Derrick Lewis.

Now, we find ourselves in an interesting position. Jones recently hired Richard Schaeffer as his new representative. Schaeffer has a great relationship with UFC President Dana White and has already said publicly that he’s confident the Jones – Ngannou fight will get done.

Heavyweight Tournament?

With this interim title fight on the books for UFC 265, I think it’s time to go back to the negotiation table. There has never been a better time to book Jones against Ngannou. With the interim title fight booked, you get to give the top contenders the crack at gold that they rightfully deserve.

At the same time, if you book Ngannou – Jones, you’re also giving UFC fans the fight they want to see. A four-man tournament could be playing out for the biggest prize in all of combat sports. Of course, at this point it’s all talk, but even Ngannou’s coach talked about this potential silver lining. 

There’s also the outside chance that a four-man tournament plays out without Jones. Stipe Miocic (20-4) is bulking up and wants the trilogy with Ngannou. Perhaps the UFC moves in that direction if a fight with Jones still can’t be made.

This is definitely going to be a storyline to watch over the coming weeks.

Sound Off: Should the UFC book Ngannou against Jones/Miocic or wait for the Gane-Lewis winner?

BREAKING: UFC books interim heavyweight title fight between Derrick Lewis and Ciryl Gane

Massive breaking news this afternoon involving the UFC‘s heavyweight division. Dana White told ESPN’s Brett Okamoto that the promotion is moving forward with an interim heavyweight title fight between Derrick Lewis (25-7, 1 NC) and Ciryl Gane (9-0).

The fight will headline UFC 265 on August 7th which will take place in Houston, Texas. This is a massive shot as Francis Ngannou (16-3) just became the undisputed heavyweight champion a few months ago.

The promotion had been trying to book Ngannou against Derrick Lewis for August, but Ngannou wasn’t ready. The latest word was that the UFC was going to book the heavyweight title fight for September, but everything changed on a dime.

Over the weekend at UFC Vegas 30, Ciryl Gane dominated Alexander Volkov to remain undefeated. After witnessing his performance, the UFC decided to move Gane up the ladder for an interim title fight against Lewis.

The manager for the UFC heavyweight champion was completely stunned by the news. Ngannou’s reps told Okamoto, “This comes as a complete shock. To make an interim title so soon, if you look at the history of this division, it comes as a surprise. We hope to get clarity and figure out something with the UFC soon.”

UFC’s odd decision

I honestly don’t understand the UFC’s logic here at all. By all accounts, Ngannou was going to be ready to defend his title in September. Over the last few years, the heavyweight title has been defended on average once per year.

Ngannou just won the title at the end of March. To make an interim title so soon is absolutely insane to me. Nevertheless, the UFC is moving forward and Ciryl Gane will battle Derrick Lewis in his backyard for the heavyweight title.

With this news, we likely won’t see Francis Ngannou against until the end of the year. Well, maybe the UFC will finally book Ngannou against Jon Jones (26-1, 1 NC) for the undisputed title then have the winners face off. Who knows, but I don’t think anyone saw this coming.

Could Nate Diaz be next for UFC champion Kamaru Usman?

I know that many eyebrows went up reading that title. Could the UFC actually give Nate Diaz (20-13) the next shot at the welterweight title. I can already imagine the confusion and the questions from UFC fans.

How in the world does Nate Diaz deserve a shot at Kamaru Usman (19-1)? Would the promotion actually give Diaz a shot over Colby Covington (16-2) and Leon Edwards (19-3, 1 NC)? Keep in mind, Edwards just dominated Diaz back at UFC 263 despite a last minute rally by Diaz.

Where is the speculation coming from? Well it all starts with the UFC welterweight champion’s manager Ali Abdelaziz. Abdelaziz has been vocal that he doesn’t want to see his client face top contender Colby Covington next.

The word from the Usman camp is that Covington hasn’t done enough to earn a title shot next. UFC president Dana White has been vocal that Colby Covington and nobody else is next for the welterweight champion.

So, where does Nate Diaz fit into all of this? Well, Diaz and Usman have had some back-and-forth on social media and the speculation of a future UFC title match between the two was fueled by Abdelaziz. Usman’s manager tweeted out that Diaz should be next over Colby Covington. 

Would the UFC give the shot to Diaz over Covington/Edwards?

If Nate Diaz would’ve defeated Leon Edwards at UFC 263, there’s a very high chance he would’ve jumped Colby Covington. Diaz is by far one of the biggest stars in the entire sport. When he fights, people watch and millions would want to see him fight for the title.

However, outside of general fan interest, there is no argument for Diaz deserving a UFC title shot. Regardless of what the Usman camp says, Colby Covington is the toughest fight for him at 170 pounds.

Heading into their fifth round at UFC 245, the fight couldn’t have been closer. One judge had Covington up three rounds to one so if they would’ve made it to the final bell, Usman would’ve only won a split decision.

Usman would definitely be the favorite, but Covington is a very tough fight for him. I’m a massive Nate Diaz fan, but if he gets the next title shot after back-to-back losses at welterweight to Jorge Masvidal and Leon Edwards, I would be at a loss for words.

The UFC should book Diaz in a rematch with Masvidal if they want a big fight. Covington – Usman is the fight to make and I really don’t think Dana White is going to entertain anything else at the moment.

Demian Maia wants one more UFC fight against Nate Diaz

This past Saturday at UFC 263, Demian Maia (28-11) took on Belal Muhammad (19-3, 1 NC) on the main card. It was the final fight for Maia on his current contract and he was looking to call it a career with a victory.

In the first round, Maia looked decent. He was able to land some left hands and he was even able to secure a takedown. However, he wasn’t able to do much once the fight got there. Two of the three judges gave the first round to Maia at UFC 263.

However, starting in the second round, Maia couldn’t really do much the rest of the fight. His takedown attempts got sloppier and sloppier as he got tired. Muhammad was able to keep the fight standing where he was getting the better of the striking.

Maia would land some shots here and there, but ultimately, Muhammad was landing more. All three judges gave the final two rounds to Belal Muhammad and he was able to pick up the victory over Demian Maia at UFC 263.

As mentioned, this was the final fight on Maia’s contract. Dana White said after the event that this was likely Maia’s last fight. That said, Maia took to Instagram to say that he wants one more UFC fight and he wants to stand across from another legend who competed at UFC 263.

Would the UFC entertain Diaz – Maia?

Maia posted on Instagram after UFC 263, “Nate Diaz , I saw your quote on the press conference, and think you’re great too. You’re a great fighter who also represents Jiu Jitsu and you’re real, I respect that. Regardless of last night, I know I still have one fight left in me, and it’s no secret that I feel like UFC is my home, where I want to finish my career.”

Maia continued, “I have no idea if they will give me another fight, but if they do, I would be honored to do my last MMA bout with you, someone who always come to fight, who represents BJJ and whom I respect.”

Maia’s callout of Diaz after UFC 263 is completely based on respect as you can tell from the quotes. It would be a great way to send Maia off considering his tenure with the promotion and his status as one of the company men for the UFC over the last fourteen years.

That said, I can’t see anyway that this fight happens. There’s an outside chance that the promotion agrees to give Maia one more fight, however, I don’t see it being Diaz. I think the promotion has bigger plans for Diaz, but who knows, crazy things happen all the time in this sport.