Mixed Martial Arts: McGregor expects to resume sparring by April

Conor McGregor had suffered injury during his trilogy bout with American Dustin Poirier on July 10, 2021. PHOTO: REUTERS

LOS ANGELES (REUTERS) - Conor McGregor, who underwent surgery for a broken leg suffered during his July 10 fight, said on Saturday (Nov 27) he expects to fully resume sparring by April, at which point the former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) two-weight champion expects a return to the octagon will be imminent.

The Irishman's competitive future was in doubt after he suffered the injury during his trilogy bout with American Dustin Poirier, but he is confident of resuming his career.

"I will be full mixed martial arts sparring by April. Easily!" the 33-year-old said during a Twitter Q&A exchange with his followers.

"By then a return will be imminent. But I must be patient. I will beat this!"

As a thrilling first five-minute frame against Poirier drew to a close in Las Vegas, both fighters were still trying to land as McGregor stumbled backwards, trapping his foot under himself and breaking his leg.

Medics were immediately called into the octagon and it was clear that the controversial fighter and biggest draw in the UFC could not continue, prompting the referee to declare a stop to the bout on the instructions of the doctor.

The stoppage marked his third defeat in his last four mixed martial arts fights.

McGregor, whose brash manner, court cases and highlight-reel knockouts helped propel his rise to fame, said he was not rushing a return but rather taking a patient approach in his recovery.

"The fibula is fully healed. The medial side of the tibia is developing nice callous also," he wrote.

"It is just patience now for it to form down through the bone to the lateral side of the tibia where the larger break occurred. It's getting there. Patience will win this race for me!"

McGregor's fibula has been reinforced with metal plates and screws and he claimed it would also make him more dangerous.

"I cannot wait to wrap this steel bar in my leg across the neck of a future opponent. I am counting down by the seconds until I get to launch this weapon," he added.

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