- Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier have their trilogy fight in the main event of UFC 264
- Both McGregor and Poirier have TKO wins over each other so how will the third fight play out?
- Sean O’Malley also makes his return in the main card opener
The UFC is back at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada for a stacked UFC 264 card that goes down on July 10. It’s the first sold-out UFC event in Las Vegas since UFC 248 in March of 2020. In the UFC 264 opening odds, Dustin Poirier is a small -130 favorite, while McGregor is a +108 underdog. Stephen Thompson, meanwhile, is a -155 favorite in the co-main event as he faces Gilbert Burns who’s a +125 underdog.
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UFC 264 main card airs live on pay-per-view at 10 PM EST on July 10. The table below shows odds for the main card at DraftKings and early picks for the card.
UFC 264 Opening Odds
|Fighter||Odds at DraftKings|
Odds as of July 5
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Will McGregor Exact His Revenge?
Conor McGregor enters UFC 264 in a unique spot as this could very well be do-or-die for his career as he has his trilogy fight against Dustin Poirier. They first met in 2014 where McGregor earned a first-round TKO, but it was Poirier who got his revenge back in January with a second-round TKO win.Advertising Disclosure
McGregor enters this fight being just 1-3 in his last four, including the Mayweather boxing match, and if he loses on Saturday he’d drop to 1-4, and many would wonder if he’s done. Poirier, meanwhile, passed over a title shot to face McGregor again, and if he loses, many would question his pick as he would then be a couple of wins away from fighting for UFC gold.
Ahead of the fight, I spoke to McGregor’s main training partner in Artem Lobov who said the Irishman overlooked Poirier back in January and was more focused on boxing training as he had a deal in place to box Manny Pacquiao if he beat Poirier. Now, after the loss, Lobov says the Irishman is back to being focused and even left Ireland to be away from friends, family, and all distractions.
Poirier & McGregor Recent Fights
|Conor McGregor, win by TKO||Fight 1||Dustin Poirier, loss by TKO|
|Dan Hooker, win by decision||Fight 2||Donald Cerrone, win by TKO|
|Khabib Nurmagomedov, loss by submission (title fight)||Fight 3||Khabib Nurmagomedov, loss by submission (title fight)|
|Max Holloway, win by decision (interim title fight)||Fight 4||Floyd Mayweather, loss by TKO (boxing fight)|
Poirier, meanwhile, appears to be ready to follow the same gameplan, his strength and conditioning coach, Phil Daru told me. “The Diamond” will likely attack the legs early and try and wrestle McGregor to gas him out. That plan worked back in January, but it’s uncertain it will work again here.
Back in January, I picked McGregor to win when he was around a -300 favorite, and early on he had a lot of success. He won the first round and landed some heavy shots throughout the fight. Yet, it was the calf that gave out but this time I do think the Irishman will be able to check the kicks. Once that happens, I think his striking will only get better as his timing was off early due to the lack of Octagon, but on Saturday night, I foresee McGregor getting back into the win column with a third-round TKO.
Pick: Conor McGregor (+108)
Does Thompson Earn a Title Shot With a Win?
Gilbert Burns is coming off a TKO loss to Kamaru Usman for the welterweight title back in February. Stephen Thompson, meanwhile, is on a two-fight winning streak and finally gets a chance to fight someone ahead of him in the rankings.
Burns & Thompson Recent Fights
|Kamaru Usman, loss by TKO (title fight)||Fight 1||Geoff Neal, win by decision|
|Tyron Woodley, win by decision||Fight 2||Vicente Luque, win by decision|
|Demian Maia, win by KO||Fight 3||Anthony Pettis, loss by KO|
|Gunnar Nelson, win by decision||Fight 4||Darren Till, loss by decision|
This is a fascinating matchup that sees arguably the best jiu-jitsu fighter at welterweight in Burns, who takes on arguably the best striker in Thompson. Who wins this fight really comes down to where this fight takes place. On the feet, Thompson is so technical that he should be able to pick apart Burns and avoid the big overhand right. If it hits the ground, there is a chance the Brazilian gets a submission win.
Ultimately, Thompson has a very good takedown defense, and I expect he’ll be able to keep it standing and win a clear-cut decision.
Pick: Stephen Thompson (-155)
Other Early UFC 264 Picks:
- Tai Tuivasa (-143): We know where Hardy is at in his career, and I expect him to gas out after the first round and Tuivasa to get the second or third-round TKO win.
- Irene Aldana (-125): This is a super close fight, but Aldana should be able to keep it standing and get a decision win.
- Sean O’Malley (-835): Moutinho stepped up on just days’ notice to keep O’Malley on the card, and this fight is a setup for O’Malley to get a highlight-reel KO early.