UFC 264
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FSM Essential Preview: UFC 264 – McGregor vs Poirier



Time to settle this feud once and for all. McGregor vs Poirier in their third meeting to see who is the better man goes down this Saturday.


UFC 264
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Headlining UFC 263 will be one of the sports more interesting matchups as two familiar foes step inside the octagon to do battle one more time to face each other. Conor McGregor ( 22-5 19 KOs) takes on Dustin Poirier ( 27-6 13 KOs). Per UFC President Dana White, the winner will get the next shot at 155 lbs title.

The two first met back in 2014 at UFC 178. At that time, they both were up and comers in the 145 lbs division, McGregor was on a rocket ship to the top of the division with all the hype behind him as he was on a 3 fight win streak with the promotion. Poirier was an 11 fight veteran in the UFC and also riding a 3 fight win streak. With all the back and forth, bad blood, and hype surrounding the match-up, Conor made quick work of his opponent with a first-round TKO.

Both careers would go different paths after this matchup. McGregor would go on to be the first fighter in UFC history to hold two titles consecutively. He’d go on to have a boxing match with Floyd Mayweather and become the biggest star the sport has ever seen. Poirier would move up a weight class and turn into a completely different fighter. He has been 11-2-1 at lightweight, including 9 post-fight bonuses, and captured the Interim lightweight title. The two would find their own level of success in different forms, and they would see that it was inevitable that another go-around was in their paths once again.


UFC 264
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Their second bout came in January of this year at UFC 257. This time around, there wasn’t any bad blood. Both had become family men and fathers during their six-year run since their first bout. Both saw the other as a respectable opponent that is will provide them with a chance at going for the belt once again. But this duel saw Poirier come out on top as the victor as he would attack the Irishman’s legs with calf kicks which took Conor by surprise and limited his movement early.

This would give Dustin the opening to get his own TKO victory in the second round, as due to his leg being beaten down, Conor became a standing target that Poirier wasted no time in putting away. Immediately after, both fighters expressed the need for a rematch as McGregor wants to show that he is still one of the sport’s best fighters and that when focused, he’s the better fighter. Poirier understood that fighting Conor would give him another major payday, and a win would put him in a position to not only get a title shot but to be a star himself.

Which will we see? A Conor that finds his old groove back where he uses range, timing, angles, and hunts his opponents down for the kill? Poirier showing that he is at a point where no matter how the fight goes, he is on another level now that Conor can’t match? Calf kicks have been a huge difference-maker as of late for many fighters, and none more so put in the spotlight than when Poirier used them in their second bout. Will they be a factor once again? Can McGregor figure out a way to avoid them and maybe add them to his own arsenal? We saw him go with leg kicks in his rematch with Nate Diaz back at UFC 202. Fireworks are sure to fly when these two warriors step in the octagon once again.


There are plenty of interesting options to go with after this trilogy comes to an end.


UFC 249 - Coronavirus
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As stated, Dana White has already said the winner will get a shot at Lightweight champion Charles Oliveira. What happens to the one that loses? Well, for Conor, he has done so well and has so many avenues he can venture off into, many speculate if retirement isn’t out of the question? He’s set PPV records, won titles, made boatloads of cash, and has beaten some of the best during his time. Nothing wrong with walking away, spending more time with family, getting into other business venues, and possibly stepping in front of the camera and doing some acting. If he still has the desire to fight, he could step up to welterweight and take such opponents like Jorge Masvidal, with who he has shared bride words with in the past.

There is a slew of options within the 155 lbs division also he can face. Possibly step back into the boxing ring but coming off two losses might be a hard sell. If Poirier were to lose, he’d also have options within the division. On the Joe Rogan podcast, Poirier did suggest that before he hangs it up, he’d like to test himself at 170 lbs but would need proper time to add the necessary weight to take on bigger opponents. One option that’s on the table for both fighters is a showdown with Nate Diaz.

There is another trilogy for McGregor to finish off as the two have set records PPV-wise and given us seven of the best rounds to watch in MMA history. There’s also a story to see unfold if Poirier vs. Diaz were to happen. The two were set to face off in 2018 at UFC 230 in Madison Square Garden, but Poirier had to pull out due to a hip injury. Given how both fighters have racked up Performance and Fight of the Night bonuses matched up, they would give one battle for the ages.


There are some intriguing match ups to watch take place throughout the card.


UFC 264
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In the co-main event, Gibert Burns ( 19-4) is looking to bounce back after his failed attempt at UFC gold as he takes on Stephen Thompson (16-4), who’s looking to extend his win streak to 3 and put his name in the hat as a future challenger for the title in the welterweight division.

We will also see a heavyweight throw down as Tai Tuivasa (11-3 10 KOs) looks to get his third win in a row as he takes on former NFL standout Greg Hardy ( 7-3 6 KOs), who’s looking to step back in the win column and continue his growth in the sport of MMA.

Finally, Sean O’Malley ( 13-1 9 KOs) returns, former welterweight champion Carlos Condit ( 32-13) headlines the prelims, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu ace Ryan Hall ( 8-1) will be on the card along with several other exciting fighters in thrilling matchups.

Plenty of questions to be answered Saturday night at UFC 264.


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-Kalani Lua – Franchise Sports Media


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