- Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor have their highly-anticipated trilogy on July 10th, 2021
- Gilbert Burns battles Stephen Thompson in the co-main event in a pivotal welterweight fight
- Sean O’Malley also returns in the opening fight of the main card
The UFC is back in front of a full capacity crowd in the fight capital of the world in Las Vegas, Nevada for a star-studded UFC 264 card. In the main event of the card, Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor have their trilogy match after Poirier evened the score back in January at UFC 257 by second-round TKO. The co-main event sees a battle of top-five welterweights collide, as Gilbert Burns takes on Stephen Thompson.
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Also on the card is the return of Sean O’Malley, who takes on short-notice replacement Kris Moutinho. We’ve already broken down the early odds, but the table below shows updated odds for the main card at DraftKings followed by best bets.
UFC 264 Odds
|Fighter||Odds at DraftKings|
Odds as of June 8Advertising Disclosure
Will McGregor Get Back Into the Win Column?
Conor McGregor enters the UFC 264 main event being just 1-3 in his last four, including the loss to Floyd Mayweather in boxing. If he loses this, many would wonder if this is the end for McGregor as a top contender. Dustin Poirier, meanwhile, passed up a lightweight title shot to pursue the trilogy with McGregor, so the stakes are high for this one.
In the lead-up to their fight, back at UFC 257 in January, McGregor was focused on a rumored boxing match against Manny Pacquiao. It was revealed the fight was nearly done but the Irishman wanted to get one fight in and picked Poirier because he was a southpaw, just like Pacquiao. It ultimately didn’t go his way, and now everything I’ve heard from some of the Irishman’s teammates is he’s fully focused and seems like the old Conor McGregor that knocked out Jose Aldo and Eddie Alvarez.
Poirier, however, had the right game plan back in January as McGregor was too stiff on his leg and he chopped it down with the leg kicks. Yet, it wasn’t a perfect fight by any means, as he got hit hard a few times and lost the first round. He will have to make some more adjustments as there’s no question this will be a better version of McGregor.
Poirier & McGregor Stats
This is such a hard fight to call as both men have paths to victory and each other’s strengths are the other fighter’s weaknesses. McGregor is known for his strong start, and throughout his career, Poirier has been known to be a slow starter and gets rocked in the first two minutes quite often. If the Irishman can catch him early, it will be a quick night of work at the office for him. However, the longer the fight goes, Poirier will start taking over as McGregor gasses after two to three rounds while Poirier can go five rounds hard.
Ultimately, I expect this to be a very competitive back-and-forth fight where both McGregor and Poirier have moments in the fight. Yet, I do think this will be a different McGregor that is prepared for an MMA fight and will get back to his kick-heavy approach that leads to a third-round TKO win.
Pick: Conor McGregor (+105)
Does Burns Get Back Into the Win Column?
Gilbert Burns vs Stephen Thompson is the classic grappler vs striker matchup.
Thompson is one of the best strikers in MMA as he uses his karate style to outpoint his opponents and usually win decisions. Burns, meanwhile, is a jiu-jitsu ace who has started to develop his striking more and has legit power as we saw in his last three fights. However, being able to get inside of Thompson’s kicks will be easier said than done.
Burns & Thompson Stats
This is such a fascinating matchup for me, but I like Thompson to get the win. Although Burns has a big right hand and has the better grappling, I don’t think he’ll be able to get “Wonderboy” down. Thompson has a very impressive 78 percent takedown defense, while Burns only lands 35 percent of his takedowns.
Given that I don’t think this fight will hit the mat on the feet, Thompson is such a technical striker that he’ll be able to use his jab and kicks to piece up Burns and not let the Brazilian land the big power shot. I expect that to be the case for the entire three rounds, and Thompson wins a clear-cut decision. The odds are also a very good price as I personally lined him as a -175 favorite.
Pick: Stephen Thompson (-157)
Other UFC 264 Picks:
- Tai Tuivasa (-139): A heavyweight fight is always hard to call, but we have seen Hardy gas after one round. Tuivasa should be able to survive the first and then get the TKO in the second or third.
- Irene Aldana (-120): Aldana is the better striker, but her takedown defense is a worry. I think the Mexican will be able to keep it standing to win a decision.
- Sean O’Malley (-900): O’Malley’s opponent is just 2-2 in his last four and has been finished in his last four. -900 is way too high of a price but look for a prop on O’Malley to win by KO/TKO and could even sprinkle him to do it in the first and second round.