Luke Rockhold reacts to Conor McGregor's defeat to Dustin Poirier at UFC 264

Conor McGregor Dustin Poirier Luke Rockhold

Conor McGregor has been labelled a 'promoting genius' after his trilogy fight against Dustin Poirier at UFC 264 in Las Vegas proved to be a huge success at the box office.  

Despite suffering a second consecutive defeat, McGregor's reign as the biggest draw in MMA will likely continue as Dana White revealed that the lightweight trilogy generated 1.8 million PPV buys and more than $100m total revenue - the second-highest in UFC history.

The 33-year-old threw a leg kick in the first round of the blockbuster fight at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, causing his leg to buckle, before it collapsed underneath him. 

McGregor suffered multiple fractures to his left tibia and fibula before the referee called the fight - but former UFC middleweight champion Luke Rockhold wasn't surprised to see the trilogy bout come to an abrupt end.

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Where was Conor McGregor born?

However, even Rockhold admits he could not have predicted how the bout between McGregor and Poirier would play out.   

He told MMA Fighting: “I did watch it, and my bet was the over/under of three rounds. I can’t give an exact opinion, but I assumed it would [end] earlier than that like it did.

"I mean, nobody can predict freakin’ Conor breaking his [tibia]. I was surprised that Conor would waste that, but maybe he jumped the guillotine because he hurt his leg earlier and went to that angle.

"Dustin came in and wrestled, kept him on his back, and Conor needs to learn how to get up. That’s the game.

"But you never know, he could come back, reset, his tibia broke and that’s the fight game. People can’t predict the stuff that happens.”

Conor McGregor Dustin Poirier

Rockhold also disputed claims that McGregor broke his leg when his exposed shin collided against Poirier's elbow

“There’s no way his tibia breaks just from the elbow from the kick that I saw,” he added. “Obviously it was checked hard and it was ready to go, and then it broke through. And that’s why I held back on my kicks.

“My first kick against Yoel Romero fractured my leg. My leg was cracked and I knew it was compromised and I had to work around it. I couldn’t kick more. I knew I was being effective with it, but my leg was falling apart. I knew something was wrong.

“Obviously something happened before and Poirier was acknowledging that. I think he checked him really hard, I think it was fractured and the elbow kick probably put it over the top.”

Conor McGregor

White also condemned McGregor's comments both before and after the fight after the Dubliner made insulting remarks about Poirier's wife and family.  

However, Rockhold respectfully disagrees, as he insists it's all just a part of the act. 

He continued: “It’s f------ Conor, man. He’s a promoting genius and there’s a lot of ------ people that want to see him win. A lot of people want to see him lose.

"He’s doing it right. Whatever he’s doing, he’s doing it right. So good on him.”

Read more: Conor McGregor bizarrely called out for UFC fight by Jeremy Stephens

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