UFC 264 Preview: McGregor vs Poirier Trilogy


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By Aria Fatahian, Sports Writer


UFC 264 is finally here, and it brings the highly anticipated trilogy fight between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier.

The Trilogy

This will be the third fight between McGregor and Poirier as they are both 1-1 heading into this third fight.

McGregor had a dominating TKO win in the first bout, but Poirier bounced back in their second bout and finished McGregor with an equally strong TKO win.

Now that the slate is even, both men have a lot to prove in this third fight.

McGregor has said that he’s more prepared this time around and is looking for revenge on Poirier. Meanwhile, Poirier expects a better McGregor this time around and has trained even harder to beat him.

Regardless of what happens this fight should be a dog fight.

What’s at Stake

The biggest thing at stake for both guys is a title fight. More likely than not, the winner of this fight will get a title shot against current lightweight champion Charles Oliveira.

A win on Saturday night could cement their names in the running for the title fight. However, for McGregor, a loss could push him towards retirement.

It’s no question that McGregor is getting old and has lost some of the “funk” from his fighting game, so a loss could be detrimental to him. After going 1-2 in his last three fights, a lot of critics are saying that McGregor doesn’t have what it takes to fight and win, let alone compete for the belt.

Beating Poirier is McGregor’s only chance of reclaiming the throne and proving he still belongs among the top dogs. If he loses, there isn’t much more for McGregor: he could still fight against top-10 ranked fighters, but he won’t get a title shot again. This is a do-or-die situation for his career.

Meanwhile, a loss wouldn’t be too detrimental to Poirier’s career. He has been dominating the lightweight division for a couple of years now and even became the interim lightweight champion, so he could bounce back easily.

Either way, both men will still have a positive future in the UFC.

Other Notable Fights

Some other notable fights to look out for in the main card are Stephen Thompson vs. Gilbert Burns and Sean O’Malley vs. Kris Moutinho.

The co-main event welterweight bout between Thompson and Burns should be a fantastic matchup as both fighters are ranked top 5 in their weight class and are looking to secure a title shot with a win on Saturday night.

O’Malley’s fight is different as he’s fighting a newcomer in Moutinho and is looking to showcase his abilities on Saturday night. O’Malley’s original opponent, Louis Smolka, had to pull out of the fight with an injury, leaving a short window for UFC officials to find a replacement. Moutinho stepped up to the plate and took the fight against O’Malley. Expect a good fight between these two fighters.

For the full list of fights, click here.


Just like the two previous fights, McGregor will open up as the slight favorite in the fight. It’s hard to bet against the former two-division-champion in McGregor, but Poirier is still the number one ranked fighter in the lightweight division and also former interim lightweight champion, so betting against him could be a huge mistake.

However, with the slate at 1-1, the odds are very slim either way, and this fight could go many ways, so it’s hard to predict a winner between these two.

Just like the main event, the odds in the co-main event between Thompson and Burns are very slim and the fight could go any way. Thompson will open up as a slight favorite, but don’t count Burns out. This fight could go any way and it’s hard to bet against each fighter.

For a full list of odds and predictions click here.

How to Watch

UFC 264 will be exclusively on pay-per-view on ESPN+. However, the preliminary card and early prelims can be seen on ESPN and UFC Fight Pass. For more information about the pay-per-view, click here.

Regardless of who you’re rooting for on Saturday night, expect a good bunch of fights. From McGregor and Poirier to Thompson and Burns, UFC 264 is bringing a stacked fight card that all fans should be excited to see.


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