Conor McGregor has 'chronic arthritis in ankles', says UFC president Dana White

Former two-division world champion lost trilogy clash with Dustin Poirier at UFC 264 after breaking bones in left leg

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UFC president Dana White says Conor McGregor’s ankle problems existed long before UFC 264 as the fallout continues following the Irishman’s defeat to Dustin Poirier last week.

McGregor suffered a broken tibia and fibula towards the conclusion of the first round of his trilogy clash against Poirier at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas and underwent surgery the following morning.

The former two-division world champion, 33, has since said he went into the bout with stress fractures sustained during the pre-fight training camp, and that the UFC knew about it. McGregor claimed he simply did not want to pull out of the headline event.

However, while White did not address directly whether McGregor was close to withdrawing from UFC 264, he told Fox News the Irishman has dealt with “chronic arthritis” for some time.

“Well, he’s had ankle issues for the last couple of years,” White said. “And he had asked if he could tape his ankles coming into this fight and he got clearance to do it from the Nevada state athletic commission.

“And then he opted not to tape them. I don’t know why. But yeah, he has chronic arthritis in his ankles.”

Posting a video on social media last week, McGregor said he expected to be on crutches for six weeks after the surgery.

On his pre-existing ankle issue, he said: “I was injured going into the fight. People were asking me when was the leg break, at what point did the leg break? Ask Dana White. Ask the UFC. Ask Dr Davidson, the head doctor of the UFC. They knew. My leg, I had stress fractures in my leg going into that cage. There was debate about pulling the thing out because I was sparring without shin pads, and I was kicking.”

The Nevada Athletic Commission later said they were unaware of McGregor having an injury heading into the bout.

As for the former featherweight and lightweight’s return, White said: “It’s going to take him a year to recover from this one before he can come back, so I don’t know, we’ll see. The fight game is a tough game and the kid’s cemented a massive legacy for himself and made a lot of money, so we’ll see how the rest of his career plays out.”

Updated: July 20, 2021, 11:05 AM