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Doctors doubtful about McGregor’s ‘stress fractures’ entering UFC 264

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Conor McGregor said entered UFC 264 with stress fractures on his left leg, which likely led to his injury.
Conor McGregor said entered UFC 264 with stress fractures on his left leg, which likely led to his injury. | Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Sports doctors David Abbassi and Rajpal Brar react to Conor McGregor saying he had stress fractures in his leg ahead of UFC 264.

A few days removed from his 3.5-hour surgery post-UFC 264, Conor McGregor gave new updates on his condition. “The Notorious” is now saying he entered the fight with a compromised left leg, and that the UFC’s doctor and Dana White knew all about it.

“I was injured going into the fight,” McGregor said. “People were asking me, ‘when was the leg broke? At what point did the leg break?’ Ask Dana White, ask the UFC, ask Dr. Davidson, the head doctor of the UFC. I had stress fractures in my leg going into that cage”.

“I had multiple stress fractures in the shin bone above the ankle. And then I have trouble with the ankle anyway throughout the years of fighting all the time.”

Whether it was true or not, only McGregor and his team really know. But if we want to get some form of insight, here’s what doctors David Abbassi and Rajpal Brar had to say about it.

Dr. Raj, a doctor of physical therapy and sports scientist, questioned why McGregor continued to use that supposed injured leg for kicking, knowing fully well of its risk of further damage.

Then there’s the possibility of the UFC getting in trouble for malpractice by allowing McGregor to compete.

If you’re Conor and Conor’s camp and coach, and you have a concern about that leg, why would you continue to focus on using that leg for calf kicks or teeps if you think there’s a higher risk of it breaking? Especially with a fighter like Conor who’s relatively new to those kicks, you know that precision is gonna be down which increases risk.

And further, his leg is not yet adapted to those types of kicks.

Taking those factors into account, and this idea that the UFC and their head of sports medicine would essentially commit malpractice by clearing Conor McGregor for this fight, I find it quite hard to believe his comments from today.

Dr. David Abbassi, an orthopedic sports surgeon and MMA ringside physician, shares a similar sentiment.

While he did acknowledge that McGregor, like most of his contemporaries, may have entered the fight less than 100%, he also wondered why that same leg was used over and over, considering the pain from a plausible stress fracture.

Fair enough. I think it’s possible that he definitely had something going on in terms of a stress reaction or a stress fracture. I would definitely be interested in seeing what imaging studies his doctors got, including potential MRI studies.

For somebody who had leg stress fractures, though, going into that fight, he sure was kicking a lot. Not something we would typically see…

Stress reactions or stress fractures can be extremely painful. And they don’t usually have the movement that Conor McGregor had at that time.

McGregor will be sidelined for the next six months and his boss expects him to be back in the cage in a year.

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