SGG UFC 264
UFC 264 will head back to its home in Las Vegas, Nevada this Saturday night and will be headlined by the much-heralded trilogy fight between #5 ranked Conor McGregor (22-5) and #1 ranked Dustin Poirier (27-6). The trilogy fight is set to be the biggest event in Combat Sports this year. Trilogy fights are always the most entertaining ones. Both fighters know each other extremely well and oftentimes there is bad blood between each other.
In their rematch in January, Dustin Poirier shocked the world and scored a TKO in round 2 of their five round main event bout. McGregor took a different approach in the weeks leading up to that fight. He played the “nice guy” and showed respect leading up to the fight. Ultimately that did not work out for him as he was hit with some nasty punches that finished him that night.
Dustin Poirier showed why he believes he is the best Lightweight (155 lbs) in the world on that night. “The Diamond” had the option to fight for the title after defeating Conor but chose the wise route — fight McGregor again to improve his stock and make the most money he will ever make from one fight. Poirier will be entering into the trilogy winning six of his last seven fights.
Dustin Poirier is the -130 favorite and Conor McGregor is a +110 underdog. Looking back on the first and second fight is always a smart way to go about betting a third fight between the same fighters. Though, it may be tough to take much from the first fight as it was at 145 lbs and was 7 years ago. Ultimately, Conor knocked out Dustin in the first round and was officially en route to his “Champ Champ” status. Some notes to take away from the second fight are that Conor seemed to be comfortable boxing Dustin but did not have an answer for Poirier’s leg kicks. If Conor can adapt to the leg kicks and potentially change his stance, we could have a very entertaining fight on our hands.
Analysis & Picks
This will be the first fight that McGregor will be the betting underdog since his title fight against Khabib Nurmagomedov in 2018. I believe the odds are fair and Poirier proved that he deserves to be in the same octagon as McGregor. Conor is the slightly better boxer and will do what he can to keep the fight standing. Poirier has the advantage of knowing that Conor will be worried about leg kicks because of the last fight and that might allow Poirier to expose other areas of Conor’s game. This is a massive fight and I think that is the disadvantage to fighting Conor McGregor, he brings all the eyeballs and elevates the magnitude of every fight. This should be a great matchup and I believe that it’s almost a coin flip for who will come out a winner. I will take my chances with McGregor as he is the underdog and is known for his ability to adapt and improve after a loss.
Conor McGregor +110
O/U Rds 2.5 – Under (-155)
In the co-main event, #2 ranked Gilbert Burns (19-4) will take on #4 ranked Stephen Thompson (16-4-1) in a three-round Welterweight (170 lbs) fight. This is a great co-main event where two very different fighting styles will clash. Thompson is on a two fight win streak and is coming into this fight “just happy to be fighting an opponent ranked higher than me”. Gilbert Burns is coming off a loss to his former teammate Kamaru Usman in the Main event Welterweight Championship at UFC 258. Prior to that, Burns was on a 6 fight win streak. Burns believes he is still just one big win away from fighting for the title again. Thompson comes into this fight as a -160 favorite and Burns a +140 underdog. Thompson has the reach and length and has many different shots to throw at you. Burns is a more compact guy who has excellent grappling abilities. In what should be a great fight, I believe Thompson’s kickboxing stance will throw off Burns too much and I think he will get the victory.
Stephen Thompson -160
O/U 2.5 Rds – Over (-145)
In the fight that will open up the main card, Sean O’Malley (13-1) will be fighting Kris Moutinho (9-4) in a bantamweight (135 lbs) fight. This is Moutinho’s first UFC fight and it may be a rude awakening seeing Sean O’Malley across the octagon from him. O’Malley has a sizable reach and height advantage. Moutinho took this fight on very short notice as Louis Smolka had to pull out of the fight because of a staph infection. O’Malley is a -900 favorite and Moutinho is a +600 underdog. I see another flashy knockout win for Sean O’Malley in a fight that seems to have a wide talent difference.
Sean O’Malley KO/TKO/DQ -280
O/U Rds 1.5 – Over (+140)