UFC fighter Anthony Smith believes Dustin Poirier was just as injured as Conor McGregor heading into their trilogy fight at UFC 264.
McGregor suffered a horrifying leg break in the closing moments of his first round defeat to Poirier. The Irishman claimed he had multiple stress fractures in his ankle heading into the fight, something that has been disputed by sports doctor David Abassi.
UFC president Dana White would later reveal that McGregor had been plagued by "chronic arthritis" in both of his ankles long before the trilogy with Poirier.
But Smith is not buying McGregor's excuses and believes Poirier was dealing with injuries of his own before the fight as well.
“Everyone who loses has an excuse," Smith told SiriusXM. "It’s new for Conor to be like that. I’m not the excuses guy but in my circle, all my friends know what’s going on. They know pre and they know post (fight).
"Like, ‘I know you’re never gonna say this but what was going on here? I know you’ll never say this publicly because you don’t make excuses.’ And I’ll absolutely tell my friends what’s going on.
“I would say Conor wasn’t any more hurt than Dustin was going into that fight. That’s not me saying Conor wasn’t banged up or his legs weren’t bothering him or his shin wasn’t cracked up or whatever, but he wasn’t any more injured that Dustin Poirier was."
McGregor faced heavy criticism for his threatening words towards Poirier and his family after the fight.
Renowned MMA coach Firas Zahabi said McGregor's stardom allows him to get away comments that other fighters would be sacked for, and retired UFC fighter Paul Felder encouraged the Irishman to "never set foot in the UFC again".
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“It’s easy for a fan or someone who has never done it to say, ‘Oh, he was hurt.’ We’re all hurt," he said. "Every single one of us, every single time we fight. There’s not one person that can ever say they go in 100 percent healthy. So his excuses are very invalid to me.
"To the general public, it makes sense that people would buy into that excuse, but Conor knows that all of us don’t buy it because we’re all hurt too.
"That’s how I look at it, but he’s not lobbying to us. It’s to the general public, the buyers, the PPV buyers. Those are the people he needs to convince but he knows he’s never gonna convince us.”
After recently undergoing surgery for his broken tibia, McGregor is set to be sidelined for at least a year. Meanwhile, Poirier has secured a UFC lightweight title shot against Charles Oliveira following his second win over McGregor.
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