The intensity and awkwardness leaves a window for Poirier and McGregor to fight again.

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Conor McGregor said he would walk Dustin Poirier “around the octagon like a dog.” Instead, he laid next to the cage with a cadre of medics attending to him while the referee, Herb Dean, raised Poirier’s left hand in victory.

At the end of the first round, McGregor threw a punch, but stepped back and landed awkwardly on his left leg, appearing to break a bone. The fight concluded because McGregor was unable to continue.

After a week of intense buildup, the hostility between the two men did not ease and in fact seemed to escalate. During his octagon interview, Poirier called McGregor “a dirtbag.” McGregor, still on the ground next to the commentator Joe Rogan, insulted Poirier’s wife.

It was the third fight between the two lightweights, a grudge match meant to settle the score and anoint a new unquestioned challenger for the champion of the 155-pound division, Charles Oliveira. Now, it leaves an inconclusive result that most likely will require a fourth try, though probably not in the immediate future.

“This is not over,” McGregor said.

U.F.C. President Dana White told reporters after the bout that Poirier would fight Oliveira next and that McGregor would undergo surgery on Sunday. White said he is open to matching McGregor and Poirier up again.



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