We are now just two days removed from the UFC’s biggest card of this summer.
Conor “the Notorious” McGregor will face off against Dustin “Diamond” Poirier in the ultimate trilogy matchup that has been years in the making.
While it is not a title fight, this fight has the most at stake of any fight that the UFC has produced in the past year. Will McGregor win the trilogy and get a shot at the belt, or will he ride off into the sunset? Will Poirier win and get another long-awaited shot at lightweight gold? Let’s take a look at our final betting analysis for the big fight so you can be ready to wager against their UFC odds.
UFC 264: Poirier vs. McGregor 3: Updated Odds and Prediction
Road to UFC 264
These two fighters first met back in the fall of 2014 as a part of UFC 178, a fight in which McGregor would finish Poirier early with a flurry of punches to earn a technical knockout in round one.
That fight would help catapult McGregor into title contention, and from there, he went on to become the first UFC fighter to hold two division belts at the same time, a feat that has only been matched by Daniel Cormier, Amanda Nunes, and Henry Cejudo.
McGregor would have an amazing run, only losing one fight in the UFC versus Nate Diaz, until he took a long break to pursue the motherload of all pay-per-views when he participated in a professional boxing match versus Floyd “Money” Mayweather.
Since then, McGregor’s MMA career has not been the same. He has suffered two defeats to the legendary Khabib Nurmagomedov, and he would lose the second fight between himself and Poirier this January.
Mixed in between these matchups was a quick win against Donald Cerrone, which vaulted McGregor back into the spotlight for the time being.
The road to this trilogy fight has been much different for Dustin Poirier.
Since their first matchup at MGM Grand in 2014, Poirier has stuck it out in the UFC, racking up many impressive wins, especially after moving up to the lightweight division.
He holds UFC wins over Justin Gaethje, Anthony Pettis, and Eddie Alvarez, which all led him to his first title opportunity in April of 2019.
Poirier secured the Interim UFC Lightweight Championship with a victory over Max Holloway at UFC 236 but would then lose when trying to unify the belt against the previously mentioned Khabib Nurmagomedov the following September.
Since then, Poirier has been on a mission to recapture lightweight gold, and after a win versus Dan Hooker, Poirier and McGregor were slated to face off in their sequel, nearly 7 years removed from their first meeting.
This time Poirier got the better of McGregor, who did not look to be himself in the octagon. Poirier would break down McGregor with tactical leg kicks, and once he got McGregor gassed and to the cage, he would pound him with strategic one-two punches until the referee intervened and gave Poirier the knockout victory.
After that outcome, nothing could be more obvious than Dana White wanting to schedule a trilogy fight, one that will result in one of the biggest pay-per-views in UFC history and a huge payday for both fighters.
And that is exactly what he got done.
Poirier was offered an opportunity to fight for the vacant Lightweight Championship after Khabib Nurmagomedov’s retirement, but instead, he is betting on himself. He has obtained the UFC interim Lightweight belt before, but this time he wants to earn his way to an undisputed championship.
And potentially winning this trilogy and securing the bag while doing it is the most rewarding path, but a potential loss could bring doubts for his future title hopes.
For McGregor, his motivation for this fight holds a different significance.
After rummaging through the featherweight division earlier in his career, McGregor has faltered in recent years to win against top dog opponents. His last top-notch victory came when he defeated Eddie Alvarez in 2016.
This win will silence the haters and critics who think he has lost his confidence and mojo. Most believe that fame and money got to his head.
This weekend has seen a shift in books all around the world, and that is similar here at MyBookie.
Poirier has now become a bit more of a significant favorite sitting at -135 compared to McGregor, who holds plus odds for the first time since his last fight against Khabib at +105.
Odds have also changed slightly when looking at the projected length of the fight. Our book is heavily favoring the over at 1.5 rounds, placing the odds at -210 as of Thursday afternoon.
In a trilogy fight with so much on the line, both fighters will be coming in fired up, with chips on their shoulders, and with intense motivation.
Both fighters have compiled amazing resumes and deserve their shots to contend further for more hardware and championships, but only one man can come out victorious.
Looking back at their fight back in January, the clear difference between both fighters was confidence.
McGregor typically has more flare and build-up to his appearances, and that translates to his work in the octagon. Instead, he was more calm, cool, and collected, and in the octagon, he shied away from his typical fighting style.
Normally, McGregor is a very mobile and fluid striker, bouncing on his toes and changing direction in his karate-like stance. This was absent in his loss to Poirier, and it showed. Poirier was able to take advantage with strong leg kicks and his ability to take down and pin McGregor to the cage a few times, gassing out McGregor’s tank.
McGregor needs to come into this fight with more energy and confidence if he wants to outduel the Diamond.
For Poirier, the key is to stick to his signature leg kicks and continue to attack the stamina of McGregor. We have seen in the past that when McGregor runs out of gas, he gives up. It was evident in his fights against Nurmagomedov, and it was the case back in January.
If both fighters execute, then this should be one hell of a match, and we could see this fight be the longest of the trilogy.
Our normal instincts would tell us to go with Poirier in this final matchup, but there is just something about McGregor coming into this matchup that seems to mirror his old behavior from his dominant MMA days.
He has picked up his trash talk on social media, he has increased his training, and he is focused. A focused McGregor is one of the best technical strikers and fighters in the UFC’s history, and I think he will get back on top this Saturday.
Taking McGregor at plus odds is a great bet, and if bettors continue to side with Poirier, then the value could continue to increase.
I’m riding with McGregor to win this trilogy and get one last shot at UFC gold.