The sequels are rarely as good as the original, but that’s a line better suited for Hollywood. When it comes to the UFC multiple bouts between combatants means they are good and the fight will attract plenty of attention. And that’s exactly the case for the main event at UFC 264: Poirier vs. McGregor 3.
A packed house is expected at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday with the rubber match between Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor garnering all the attention. We need to remember that there are 12 other fights leading up to the main event. You can catch all the action on ESPN and pay-per-view.
Poirier To Date
Poirier (27-6) avenged his loss to McGregor with a second-round stoppage when they met in January. It continued a scintillating run for The Diamond who is 7-0 with a no contest against fighters not named Khabib Nurmagomedov since a stunning loss to Michael Johnson back in 2016.
He’s knocked off some the sports best during the streak with TKOs of Justin Gaethje and Eddie Alvarez in consecutive fights in 2018. Since losing to Nurmagomedov, Poirier has rattled off victories over Dan Hooker and McGregor to put himself in line for a shot at the lightweight strap.
McGregor To Date
To give you an idea of just how important this fight is to McGregor (22-5), for the first time since 2016 he’ll enter the octagon twice in the same year. That’s right, while he hasn’t been terribly busy McGregor is still the most polarizing figure in the sport.
And he’ll look to end a run that’s seen him lose twice in his last three fights. McGregor has struggled a bit since moving up in class sporting a 3-3 record since leaving the featherweight ranks. He’ll attempt to avoid the first losing streak of his career and will have to defend against Poirier’s leg strikes that were significant in the last tussle. Poirier is favored to win the bout, but odds suggest a close fight.
UFC 264 Fight Card
There are other fights on the ticket with the biggest favorite being ‘Sugar’ Sean O’Malley (13-1) in his bout with UFC debutant Kris Moutinho (9-4). O’Malley rebounded from the first loss of his professional career with a third-round finish of Thomas Almeida in March. There’s no value backing O’Malley, who opened at -850, but fans can expect a show.
With football season right around the corner we have to look at Greg Hardy (7-3) and his heavyweight fight with Tai ‘Bam Bam’ Tuivasa (12-3). Just three years removed from his UFC debut, the former NFL lineman has racked up the fights. And with success comes a step up in competition. Tuivasa worked through a three-fight losing streak with back-to-back KOs of Stefan Struve and Harry Hunsucker giving him KO wins in 11 of his 12 victories. Bam Bam is a -135 favorite in this bout.
Four fights are scheduled for the early prelims with another four bouts filling out the slate for the preliminary round. Those fights can be seen on ESPN and ESPN+ with the main card available on pay-per-view. Betting options for every fight on the ticket are available at BookMaker.eu when you’re ready to make a wager. Let’s take a closer look at few fights on the docket.
Dustin Poirier -142 vs Conor McGregor +112
Our picks: Dustin Poirier / 3rd Round TKO
Each fighter has a stoppage win with Saturday’s tussle deciding everything between the two. Poirier is a much different fighter from the first bout, which resulted in McGregor’s KO just 106 seconds in. Poirier has gone 11-2 with a no-contest since then and has been dominant since losing to Johnson.
He brutalized McGregor with leg kicks in the last meeting. This fight is destined to not go the distance since Poirier is tied for the most KO wins in the history of the lightweight division and McGregor has 19 KOs among his 22 career wins. McGregor still packs a punch and can end a fight at any moment. It behooves him to strike early and end this thing before too long since stamina has always been an issue in his corner.
Gilbert Burns +131 vs Stephen Thompson -165
Our picks: Stephen Thompson / Decision
Saturday’s co-main event features a pair of welterweight contenders looking for another shot at the title. Six straight wins propelled Gilbert Burns (19-4) into a title fight with Kamaru Usman, however he came up short. He won two straight after that setback and is in line for another crack at the strap should he beat Stephen Thompson (16-4-1).
This is a battle of contrasting styles with Burns the more aggressive fighter. He throws powerful punches and has extraordinary skill on the mat. The only problem is that he misses a lot and expends a lot of energy in the process. Thompson is the better conditioned fighter and takes just 2.8 significant strikes per minute. His defensive skills will frustrate Burns into making mistakes, and that’s when Thompson pounces.
Check out all available UFC 264 fight odds.