Implementing a largely kick-heavy tactical approach during his UFC 264 headliner with Dustin Poirier, footage has emerged of former two-weight UFC champion, Conor McGregor practising a left high kick toward the head of a security guard in the Octagon ahead of Poirier’s Octagon-walk last Saturday night.

Taking main event honours at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada — Crumlin striker, McGregor started brightly — utilising some notable thigh kicks to Poirier’s right-hand side, as well as attempting to off-set a rhythm with spinning back kick attempts to the body.

Switching from southpaw back to conventional on occasion, McGregor was clipped on entry from Poirier with a well-placed right hand before a left uppercut landed from the Lafayette native, drawing a clinch attempt from the Dubliner.

Attempting to defend a takedown from Poirier at the fence, McGregor angled off and tried to set up a guillotine before pulling guard as Poirier eventually elevated his body, passed guard and escaped. After some time spent on the bottom, McGregor was allowed back to his feet after Poirier protested that he had been interlocking his fingers into his gloves and pulling him down into up kick attempts.

Appearing to suffer an initial leg injury off what now appears to be a leg kick to Poirier’s right thigh — McGregor then attempted to land a front kick to Poirier’s body, and it appears his left leg attack collided with a shelling Poirier’s right elbow. 

With both men looking to exchange left-hand shots at the fence at the end of the round, McGregor stepped back onto his left leg, which then suddenly collapsed underneath his weight before the close of the frame. Upon inspection from referee, Herb Dean and the Octagon-side doctor, it was confirmed McGregor had suffered a fight-ending leg injury.

However, footage prior to the beginning of the trilogy rubber match has surfaced, which shows Poirier entering the inspection zone ahead of his scaling up the Octagon steps — all while McGregor bounces from foot to foot in the Octagon in front of a security guard, before practising a left high kick — mere inches away from the officials face, who remained flinch-less throughout. After pulling the kick, McGregor spins and points at the security guard.

Following a three-hour surgical procedure to address fractures to his left tibia and fibula, McGregor tweeted and deleted numerous threatening messages aimed at Poirier and his family in the early hours of Tuesday morning — following a heated back-and-forth exchange between the two in the Octagon following the UFC 264 headliner, in which McGregor made gun gestures toward his own head before remarking in you’re sleep, you’re getting it” — while motioning toward Dustin and Jolie Poirier

Aspiring mixed martial arts reporter based in Ireland. Follow along at @Ross_Markey on Twitter for all the latest news, fight announcements, opinion, and feature pieces.