Conor McGregor says his UFC 264 lightweight bout with Dustin Poirier was almost "pulled" because of an existing injury to his ankle.
The Dubliner suffered a first-round defeat to Poirier at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas when he rolled his ankle when stepping backwards. That resulted in McGregor breaking the lower tibia in is his left leg, an injury which required three hours of surgery.
The fight was stopped by doctors just moments before the end of the first round and Poirier, 32, was awarded a second straight win in their trilogy of bouts.
Poirier claimed afterwards that McGregor was a "dirtbag and that karma is not a b**ch, she's a mirror".
But the 33-year-old Irishman has now revealed that the fight was almost axed beforehand with UFC officials aware of McGregor's "multiple stress fractures" to his leg.
McGregor said on Instagram: "I have trouble with the ankle anyway."
Filming himself on a motorised scooter while recovering from surgery, McGregor said: "Everyone keeps asking me at what point did the leg break?
"Ask [UFC president] Dana White, ask the UFC, ask Dr [Jeffrey] Davidson, the head doctor of the UFC.
"They knew... I had stress fractures on my leg going into that cage.
"There was debate about pulling the thing out because I was sparring with no shin pads and I kicked the knee a few times, so I had multiple stress fractures in the shin bone above the ankle."
Adjusted training sessions
McGregor (22-6) has also explained how his training going into the fight had to be altered as he battled through the pain.
"I even did a lot of training sessions when the ankle was sore, I still wouldn't stop training," he said.
"I used to train on my back and that's how I developed those ground and pound shots from the back.
"That's why Dustin backed away when he was on top of me and I was landing the upkicks and the elbows. It's a horrible place to be in when you're against someone like me. You can't land.
"You take so much effort to try and land shots from your top position, and while you're trying to do that and losing your energy, you're getting lumped out by downward elbows and vicious upkicks.
"It was a skill I developed because I had the damaged leg, and I had to adjust my training."
McGregor, who dipped his toes into the boxing ring to fight Floyd Mayweather in 2017, has revealed he now has a titanium rod inserted in his leg, from his knee down to his ankle.
"I'm essentially getting exactly what I needed to get there," said McGregor.
"I needed to get treatment on my leg. I needed to get treatment on my ankle. I needed to get treatment on my shin bone. And I would have never committed to going under the knife unless something like this happened.
"So, something like this happened, (I am) getting exactly what I needed, and what I needed was a titanium shin bone.
"Now, I have a titanium rod from my knee to the ankle, and the doctor says it's unbreakable, like Arnold Schwarzenegger in Terminator 2."
Mayweather trolls McGregor
McGregor was released from hospital in Las Vegas on Wednesday and now faces six weeks on crutches before he can start his rehabilitation.
UFC president White told TMZ: "I think they just released him right now from the hospital about 10, 15 minutes ago.
"He'll be in LA for a little while. I don't know if he's gonna fly home, or what he's gonna do."
White is expecting The Notorious to be back inside the octagon in July 2022.
He added: "He'll be back in a year."
Mayweather, though, has little sympathy for his 2017 rival, whom he stopped in 10 rounds.
Mayweather initially reacted to McGregor's defeat by posting his betting slip, showing that he had won $35,000 by backing him to lose.
He then posted two memes on Instagram mocking his rival's broken leg.
His latest one, an action figure of McGregor with a twisted ankle with the caption:
"Parents, please get your children an early Christmas gift and remember to tell them this…'*F*** IF YOUR LEG IS BROKE, BITCH HOP UP ON YOUR GOOD FOOT!'"