Irish phenom Conor McGregor was hoping to rest his sprained knee and return to the Octagon by the end of the year, targeting Diego Brandao at UFC 168 on Dec. 28 in Las Vegas.
The only problem with that scenario, however, is he doesn’t have a sprained knee.
The UFC sent McGregor to Los Angeles to have an MRI done on his knee, and the results were not what anyone had hoped for.
According to a report on Fox Sports Live on Thursday, McGregor’s MRI results showed a complete anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear, a medial collateral ligament (MCL) strain, and a posterior horn meniscal tear. All that damage equates to McGregor being out of action for about nine to ten months.
BREAKING – @UFC‘s Conor McGregor's MRI results: complete ACL tear, MCL strain & posterior horn meniscal tear. Surgery needed, out 9-10 mos.
— FOXSportsLive (@FOXSportsLive) August 23, 2013
McGregor (14-2) arrived in the Octagon on an eight-fight winning streak. He was utterly impressive in his promotional debut, scoring the Knockout of the Night bonus for his TKO stoppage of Marcus Brimage at UFC on Fuel TV 9 in Sweden in April. He followed that up with a dominant decision victory over Max Holloway on Saturday night at UFC Fight Night 26 in Boston.
The Holloway bout is when he injured the knee.
Fighting to a decision for the first time in his career, McGregor was extremely disappointed in his performance, but didn’t use the injury as an excuse.
“I injured my knee halfway through the second. I just can’t get it out of my head, but looking back I should have just pulled my knee from my leg and hit him with it,” he recounted.
“I heard a big pop and I let out a scream mid-round, but I passed into side control with it. When we stood back up I was unsteady on it.”
The unsteadiness turned out to be caused by much more extensive damage than the minor sprain that he was first diagnosed with.
The Irishman will now take an extended break and hopefully be ready for the UFC’s return to Ireland, which UFC president Dana White recently confirmed should happen in the third quarter of 2014.