Conor McGregor picked up an injury in training camp that could have led to his gruesome leg break against Dustin Poirier at UFC 264 this weekend.
Head coach John Kavanagh told fans in a live stream yesterday that McGregor got a minor ankle injury in the lead-up to the bout, and has theorised that it may have played a part in his horror break.
The Irishman lost the trilogy when he snapped his tibia on Saturday night, and had to undergo surgery yesterday.
“A little bit of that ankle injury had been aggravated during camp,” Kavanagh said during an Instagram Live interview to promote his 'Wimp2Warrior' series.
“We got a scan on it, did that have a small part to play in weakening it? I don’t know.
"We were [in hospital] a couple of weeks ago to get a scan on the ankle – there might’ve been something in there.
"It would seem unusual that a young, healthy, fit man could wrap his foot around an elbow and [snap it] without there being something there before.
"You can play those guessing games all day long.”
As for when the fracture took place, Kavanagh believes that it was a kick thrown by the Irishman late in the round that snapped it, and compared the break to Anderson Silva and Chris Weidman's similar clean breaks.
“He throws a leg kick, and then he threw a teep,” Kavanagh continued. “That’s clearly where the fracture happened.
"He threw an aggressive kick, Dustin shelled with the lead hand, and the foot wraps around the elbow in a similar fashion to Silva and Weidman.
"They wrapped their foot around the shin, but Conor wrapped his shin around the elbow.”
Kavanagh believes that the fight was going well for McGregor and that the bout had started at a good pace, despite judges' scorecards indicating that two judges had given Poirier a 10-8.
“It was going fantastic,” he said. “I thought he looked really, really good in there and I wasn’t concerned at all.
"I was actually really, really happy – at the 4:30 mark or even the 4:45 mark, everything is gravy.
"I thought energy looked good, technique looked good, a few adjustments in between rounds, and I thought round 2 we were well on track to getting a finish there, or keep the rhythm going for the rest of the fight.
“Credit to Dustin – he won.
"It’s an unfulfilling end to the night, it doesn’t feel properly finished, because there wasn't closure.”
McGregor underwent successful surgery yesterday and is planning to make a cage return, with his plan to return to training as soon as possible after he is off crutches in six weeks.
The Irishman said he felt "tremendous" after surgery, and reiterated that Poirier's win was "illegitimate" in his eyes, claiming that he would have won the bout in the second round.
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