UFC 264 – Poirier vs. McGregor 3 – Preview, Predictions, Betting, TV Coverage

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Dustin Poirier will face off against the Notorious Conor McGregor in the highly-anticipated trilogy set to take place at the T-Mobile Arena Las Vegas this Saturday.

After McGregor was shockingly dispatched by the Diamond in the second round of their rematch back in January, the Irishman has a lot to prove coming into this fight, which is one of the biggest trilogy match-ups in UFC history.

In the Welterweight Division, Stephen ”Wonderboy” Thompson will face off against number four ranked Gilbert Burns.

While Bantamweight contender Sean O’Malley will try to continue his form with a win over newcomer Kris Moutinho.

Dustin Poirier vs. Conor McGregor

Back in January, Mcgregors return to the octagon was meant to be a monumental occasion for the Irishman. Signed to a fight with a man he already humiliated back in 2014, most assumed he would repeat his feat and stop Dustin in the first round, dust himself off and set up the rematch with Khabib.

Wrong! Not only was Conor stopped, but he looked void of ideas, respect and one-dimensional in his approach. From the start of the first round, McGregor was neutralised with Poirier’s debilitating calf kicks, limiting his mobility and from doing so, took away McGregor’s power and fluidity that he is synonymous with.

This is the first time since his iconic 2016 fighting season since McGregor has competed more than once. Logging a mere 40 seconds in 40 months prior to his second bout with Poirier.

With his second fight in one year coming up, and with the same opponent. Should a fully re-focused and re-energised McGregor appear, Poirier will be in trouble.

Dustin on the other hand is a great spot coming into this fight, confident, knowing what he did to McGregor last time will be an advantage. He was able to withstand that left hand that knocked him out in 2014, but that was at Featherweight and neither man is the same fighter they were 7 years ago.

Since his defeat to McGregor all those years ago, Dustin has been on an incredible run of the Lightweight Division, boasting a 7-1 record, only losing to Khabib. He is by far the best Lightweight on the planet as it stands.

Many questions about both fighters will be answered come Sunday morning but with everything on the line for McGregor, if he loses two fights in a row for the first time in his career, his time as an elite fighter will be over.

Last 5 Fights:

Dustin Poirier: WWLWW

Conor McGregor: LWLWW

Prediction: Dustin Poirier by 3rd Round TKO

Betting: 

McGregor: EVS

Poirier: 4/5

Gilbert Burns vs. Stephen Thompson

Two of the best Welterweight contenders will meet in the octagon on Saturday night to lay claim to the next title shot. With the fight being labelled ”Jiu-Jitsu vs Karate”.

Burns is coming into this fight after getting his first title shot in February against champion Kamaru Usman. The teammates turned rivals had a competitive bout before ”The Nigerian Nightmare” composed himself and showed why he is the pound for pound best fighter in the world, stopping Burns in the thrid-round.

He faces a veteran in Stephen Thompson, who is also hoping to get that shot at gold. Wonderboy came close on two occasions during his duology with former champion Tyron Woodley in 2016 and 2017 but came away empty-handed.

His form after them two brawls saw the riddle that is Wonderboy saw him outclass Jorge Masvidal before losing to Darren Till by decision and then being knocked out cold by Anthony Pettis.

The 38-year-old looked as if his time was up, but has come back with wins over Vicente Luque and Geoff Neal to re-establish himself as a main contender in the stacked 170-pound division.

Wonderboy is the only man in the top 5 who has not challenged Usman yet, a win over Burns will earn him a spot closer to what would surely be his last chance at capturing UFC gold.

A win for either man will earn them a shot, and with contenders coming and going at Welterweight. This fight could set up a Hollywood finish for the end of the year.

Last 5 Fights:

Gilbert Burns: LWWWW

Stephen Thompson: WWLLW

Prediction: Stephen Thompson by Decision

Betting:

Burns: 6/5

Thompson: 4/6

Tai Tuivasa vs. Greg Hardy

The Heavyweight Divison in the UFC is returning to its former glory as of late and with Australian brawler, Tai Tuivasa returning after his TKO win over Harry Hunsucker back in March. He will face the American footballer turned mixed martial artist to boost his way up the rankings.

Tuivasa started off his UFC career with a 100% record, before hitting a purple patch of three defeats by finish, decision and submission. Coming back after a year on the sidelines and winning his next two fights.

Hardy on the other hand looks out of his depth at times. Losing his last fight by TKO to Marcin Tybura in a mediocre affair. A win over Tuivasa will grant him higher opposition in the future.

Last 5 Fights

Tai Tuivasa: WWLLL

Greg Hardy: LWWLNC

Prediction: Tai Tuivasa by First Round KO

Betting:

Tuivasa: 8/11

Hardy: 11/10

Irene Aldana vs. Yana Kunitskaya

Top 10 Bantamweight challengers Irene Aldana will face off against Russian wrestler Yana Kunitskaya to skyrocket up the rankings.

Number 6 ranked Aldana will hope to get back to winning ways after being outmuscled by former champion Holly Holm back in October of last year.

The Mexican came into the fight winning 5 of her 6 bouts, mostly by decision and with a rare KO.

Russian Kunitskaya is on a two-fight win streak, both by decision. She looked unstoppable in both of those wins. Deservedly rising up the rankings and a win over Aldana should put her in the top 5.

Last 5 Fights:

Irene Aldana: LWWLW

Yana Kunitskaya: WWLWW

Prediction: Yana Kunitskaya by Decision

Betting:

Aldana: 4/5

Kunitskaya: EVS

Sean O’Malley vs. Kris Moutinho

The hype around ”Sugar” Sean O’Malley since his appearance on season 2 of Dana White’s Contender Series was almost McGregor like at times.

After redeeming his first-ever career loss in August 2020 against Marlon Vera due to his own issues, he rebounded nicely against Thomas Almeida with a stunning KO finish in March.

The 26-year-old has obtained four bonus’s in his last four fights, he could be the next big thing.

Kris Moutinho is an unknown fighter, boasting a 9-4 record, and winning his last 2 fights by stoppage.

This is a fight where O’Malley should come out with the victory in stunning fashion, except for a walk-off finish.

Last 5 Fights:

Sean O’Malley: WLWWW

Kris Moutinho: WWLLW

Prediction: Sean O’Malley by First Round KO

Betting:

O’Malley: 1/9

Moutinho: 11/2

Carlos Condit vs. Max Griffin

Former Welterweight contender Carlos Condit is seen as the dark horse of the division. Competing in the George St.Pierre era and now in the present day, he is a withered veteran who has seen his fair share of defeats.

The 37-year-old ”Natural Born Killer” is coming off a two-fight win streak, after losing his prior five fights, three of those losses by submission. He is on the way out and should consider retirement if he loses his next fight.

Similar to Condit, Max Griffin is on a two-fight win streak, with his last fight in March, winning by KO in the first round.

Last 5 Fights:

Carlos Condit: WWLLL

Max Griffin: WWLLW

Prediction: Max Griffin by 3rd Round TKO

Betting:

Condit: 6/4

Griffin: 8/15

Niko Price vs. Michel Pereira

This could be one of the main contenders for Fight of the Night with both fighters known for their ruthless and brawl to the wall approach to their fighting styles.

Price is coming off a controversial No Contest result vs Donald Cerrone back in September off last year. Never gaining a consistent run of wins since 2016.

Pereira is coming off a two-fight win streak against average opposition. He is more entertaining with his theatrics in the octagon rather than his actual fighting skill, with cartwheels, flips and handstands implemented into his game.

While Price has earned a Performance of the Night bonus in four of his last five victories.

Whatever the result is, it should be an extremely entertaining fight to watch.

Last 5 Fights:

Niko Price: NCLWLW

Michel Pereira: WWLLW

Prediction: Michel Pereira by Unanimous Decision

Betting:

Price: 5/4

Pereira: 8/13

Trevin Giles vs. Dricus Du Plessis

Middleweight challengers Trevin Giles and Dricus Du Plessis will square off in the octagon after their original bout was cancelled back in March due to visa issues.

After making his UFC debut in 2017, Giles has a 5-2 record with the company and is currently on a 3-fight win streak. He is an athletic specimen with great power and is well-developed in all disciplines.

Du Plessis on the other hand is coming off a victory in his UFC victory over Markus Perez by a first-round KO.

Where this fight could be won is experience. Giles has gone the full three rounds of each of his last nine bouts, while the 27-year-old Du Plessis is yet to go the distance in his career as of yet.

Last 5 Fights:

Trevin Giles: WWWLL

Dricus Du Plessis: WWWLW

Prediction: Dricus Du Plessis by 2nd Round Stoppage

Betting:

Giles: 10/11

Du Plessis: 5/6

Ryan Hall vs. Ilia Topuria

Virginia native Ryan Hall will return to the octagon after over two years out of the octagon. He will go into this fight on an incredible eight-fight win streak after his debut professional loss all the way back in 2006.

Extended absences in the octagon usually mean’s a defeat is imminent, but with Hall’s intense wrestling game he could prevail here.

However, he faces off against a rising star in the 145-pound division in llia Topuria who hold a 9-0 professional record. Winning his last two fights under the UFC umbrella.

Last 5 Fights:

Ryan Hall: WWWWW

Illia Topuria: WWWWW

Prediction: llia Topuria by First Round Submission

Betting:

Hall: 15/8

Topuria: 2/5

Jennifer Maia vs. Jessica Eye

Both fighters are former Flyweight title challengers for current champion Valentina Shevchenko’s, losing both title fights in dominating fashion.

The two fighters have done well to stay in contention after their most recent defeats. Although Maia did submit challenger Joanne Calderwood prior to her loss to Shevchenko.

Jessica Eye’s last fight was back in January at UFC 257 where she was outclassed by Calderwood and before that lost on the judge’s scorecards to Cynthia Calvillo.

This matchup is between two Top 10 Flyweights in a division that had talent but has been overshadowed by Shevchenko’s dominance.

Last 5 Fights:

Jennifer Maia: LWLWW

Jessica Eye: LLWLW

Prediction: Jennifer Maia by 3rd Round TKO

Betting:

Maia: 1/2

Eye: 13/8

Omari Akhmedov vs. Brad Tavares

Veteran Middleweight’s Omari Akhmedov and Brad Tavares will go head-to-head on Saturday.

Akhmedov has been on a good run of form before his six-fight unbeaten streak was halted by a decision loss to Chris Weidman. The 33-year-old Russian brute defeated British fighter Tom Breese in his last bout.

Tavares has been seen as one of the many gate-keepers of the Middleweight division. Losing to current champion Israel Adesanya and a devastating KO loss to Edmen Shahbazyan in 2019.

He took two years off and returned with a unanimous decision at UFC 257 in January but looks the shell off the fighter he once was.

Last 5 Fights:

Omari Akhmedov: WLWWW

Brad Tavares: WLLWW

Prediction: Omari Akhmedov by Split Decision

Betting:

Akhmedov: 5/4

Tavares: 4/7

Zhalgas Zhumagulov vs. Jerome Rivera

Flyweights are set to face-off against one another as Kazakhstan’s Zhalgas Zhumagulov will meet American Jerome Rivera.

After coming off four impressive victories outside of the UFC he signed with the company, since then he has gone 0-2 by decision. He fought hard in both encounters and was unlucky to not get the nod on both occasions.

Rivera came into the UFC with a unanimous decision victory over Luis Rodriguez during the 2020 Contender Series. Since then, he has lost his last 3.

The fight is too close to call, but the closer the fight, the better it is.

Last 5 Fights:

Zhalgas Zhumagulov: LLWWW

Jerome Rivera: LLLWW

Prediction: Jerome Rivera by 2nd Round Stoppage

Betting:

Zhumagulov: 2/7

Rivera: 5/2

Hu Yaozong vs. Alen Amedovski

Saturday’s highly anticipated card will kick off with the Middleweight clash between Hu Yaozong vs Alen Amedovski on the Preliminary Card on ESPN+.

Both fighters are coming into this fight still looking for their first victory in the UFC, coming off losing efforts in their last bouts.

Yaozong is only 3-2 as a professional, and at the age of 26 he still has a lot to improve on, however, he has not been able to get his feet off the ground in the promotion.

33-year-old Macedonian Alen Amedovski started his career with an impressive 8-0 record, since signing with the UFC, Amedovski has lost his last two but did enjoy 8 knockouts in a row.

Whoever loses, will get their marching orders and be cut from the company, so it is a winner take all fight.

Last 5 Fights: 

Hu Yaozong: LLWWW

Alen Amedovski: LLWWW

Prediction: Alen Amedovski by First Round KO

Betting:

Yaozong: 11/10

Amedovski: 8/11

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