No one brings in crowds like Conor McGregor. The Notorious is not only the biggest draw in combat sports, but the highest paid athlete in the world according to Forbes. McGregor fight nights are just different, and the Vegas Strip will be abuzz for the first time in almost 16 months when he takes on Dustin Poirier for the third time. This is one of the few non-title fights to ever headline a UFC card, showcasing that McGregor is still the biggest name in MMA even when he isn’t a title holder.
UFC 264 will be held at T-Mobile Arena off the Strip in Las Vegas, Nevada on Saturday, July 10, 2021. The early prelims will be broadcast exclusively on UFC Fight Pass starting at 6 p.m. ET, while the preliminary card will be available on ESPN and WatchESPN at 8 p.m. ET. The main card is available on PPV through WatchESPN and will start promptly at 10 p.m. ET.
Poirier vs. McGregor
In the first fight between these former lightweight champions back in 2014, McGregor made quick work of Poirier. He hit Poirier with a left hook that caused Poirier to drop, dealing him the first knockout loss of his career.
We saw Poirier avenge that loss at UFC 257 in January. He became the first fighter to deal McGregor a TKO loss, rattling the pride of Ireland with successive punches until Herb Dean stepped in to stop the fight.
This will be one of the most watched PPVs of the year. While this main event will mean a lot to both fighters, it means a lot more for McGregor considering his recent performances. McGregor was completely dominated by Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229, and his win over Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone at UFC 246 last January wasn’t that impressive considering Cerrone has lost five of his last six fights.
Burns vs. Thompson
These two welterweight contenders both have their sights set on a potential title fight with Kamaru Usman. Gilbert Burns got his chance at Usman back at UFC 258, and he suffered a third-round TKO defeat. Meanwhile, Stephen Thompson is out to earn a third shot at the belt after fighting former champion Tyron Woodley to a majority draw before losing a majority decision in the rematch.
Thompson has just one great win to his name. He scored a unanimous decision victory over Jorge Masvidal at UFC 217 in November 2017. However, Thompson also has recent losses to Darren Till and Anthony Pettis.
Burns racked up six straight wins before losing to Usman. He earned Performance of the Night bonuses for his first-round TKO of Demian Maia and unanimous decision win over Tyron Woodley in 2020, but the experts really like Thompson’s chances here.
Tuivasa vs. Hardy
Greg Hardy had a lot of success in the NFL. Hardy was named to the Pro Bowl and selected as an All-Pro in 2013, but numerous off the field issues led to him leaving the league. He announced that he would transition to MMA in 2016, and he created a lot of buzz when he joined UFC in 2019. Hardy has had some ups and downs with a 4-3-1 record in the UFC.
Although Tai Tuivasa doesn’t have nearly the same profile as Hardy, he knows about the ups and downs. Tuivasa won his first three UFC fights, and he scored a unanimous decision win over Andrei Arlovski at UFC 225. However, he lost his next three bouts, taking some of the luster off his start. This would be a chance for Tuivasa to p