Dustin Poirier’s win over Conor McGregor at UFC 257 may have ended in an explosive flurry of punches, but the American’s brutal calf kicks paved the way for his knockout success.
Poirier finished McGregor with a barrage of large shots in the middle of the second round at the Etihad Arena on Fight Island, Abu Dhabi, but the Irishman would later say he was hampered first by the excruciating damage that kicks had inflicted on his right lower leg been.
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“That calf kick. I’ve never seen it before, and it’s good, ”said McGregor after limping to his post-fight press work with the help of a crutch.
“My leg is completely dead. Even though I felt like I was checking them, they just sank into the muscle at the front of the leg and it was badly affected.
“It’s like an American football in my suit right now… The leg was compromised and I didn’t adjust. And that’s it. Fair play for Dustin and I’m very happy for him. “
Speaking to ESPN’s Brett Okamoto, Poirier and trainer Mike Brown shared the rationale behind the calf blows that helped the lightweight star avenge the defeat he suffered at McGregor’s hands in their first fight in 2014.
“[Dustin] Kick hard as a fuck, ”Brown joked before 32-year-old Poirier went into more detail about the strategy.
“I kick hard and Conor has a broad stance so we thought it would be hard to check,” said the fighter.
“I started kicking his check because it wasn’t checking properly, it was still the muscle part of his calf, he wasn’t turning his shin all the way out so it wasn’t shin to shin.”
“Even when he checked, he got the bad part of the kick.
“And I know from experience, I’ve been crippled with those Jim Miller kicks, I’ve been injured with those kicks a few times, the swelling in your calf has nowhere to go, it’s not like your thigh where it’s spreading you can get a compartment syndrome and the swelling gets stuck in your pockets and it’s so painful. “
McGregor certainly felt the effects long after the fight and later shared a picture of himself with his leg raised as he relaxed on a yacht.
The former Irish two-weight champion has called for a Poilier trilogy despite UFC chief Dana White’s suggestion of “The Diamond” being included in a gold scrap as light king Khabib Nurmagomedov is expected to overtake new signing Michael Chandler.
READ MORE: ‘New King in Town’: Michael Chandler DESTROYS Dan Hooker in a round at UFC 257 and calls out Khabib
On his UFC debut, three-time former Bellator Champion Chandler scored a spectacular victory of his own at the co-main event on Fight Island, finishing the normally resilient Dan Hooker in the first round.
Whoever faces Poirier next, they can’t say they weren’t warned about the devastating kicks of the calves in his formidable arsenal.
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