It was evident both during and after Dustin Poirier’s big TKO victory over Conor McGregor last night at UFC 257 that his heavy calf kicks had played a big part in his eventual victory, and afterwards he explained how he did it.
Firstly though, it’s worth hearing what McGregor’s perspective on how badly compromised his lead leg was.
“My leg is completely dead,” McGregor admitted at the post-fight press conference.
“Even though I felt like I was checking them, it was just sinking into the muscle at the front of the leg. It was badly compromised, it’s like an American football in my suit at the minute.”
Interestingly though, in his post-fight interview Poirier was able to give insight into exactly how he’d been able to find success with those kicks, despite McGregor’s apparent attempts to defend against them.
“I’ve been kicking long enough, and when you land with the top of your shin, the thick part of your shin right under the knee and you turn it the right way, it’s so heavy and it hurts so bad, especially on a calf. The first one I landed I knew I had him good.
“…because of his wide stance, we thought it would be hard to check, and he wasn’t checking correctly. It was still the muscle part of his calf, he wasn’t turning his shin all the way outward, so it wasn’t shin to shin. Even when he checked he was getting the bad part of the kick.
“And I know from experience, I’ve been crippled by that kick from Jim Miller, I’ve been hurt by them a few times. The swelling in your calf, it has nowhere to go. It’s not like the thigh where it can spread out all over. That’s where you have compartment-syndrome, the swelling gets stuck in pockets and it’s so painful.”