UFC 264 Live results and analysis: Conor McGregor vs. Dustin Poirier

iCrackStreamsJuly 11, 2021

LAS VEGAS — Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor will meet for a third time Saturday in the main event of UFC 264 at T-Mobile Arena, and a capacity crowd will be on hand for a card here for the first time since March 7, 2020.

Poirier stopped McGregor at UFC 257 in January via a second-round TKO. In 2014 at UFC 178, McGregor knocked out Poirier in under two minutes. This will be one of the most anticipated — and likely the most purchased — trilogy fights in UFC history. On top of the bad blood, UFC president Dana White has said the winner will fight for the UFC lightweight title next against champion Charles Oliveira.

Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier will complete their trilogy on July 10, and a lightweight title shot will be on the line in front of a capacity crowd in Las Vegas.

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UFC 264: McGregor vs. Poirier 3
• Saturday, July 10, T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas
Main card: 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+ PPV
Prelims: 8 p.m. ET on ESPN/ESPN+
Early prelims: 6 p.m. ET on ESPN/ESPN+

Subscribe to ESPN+ to get exclusive live UFC events, weigh-ins and more; Dana White’s Contender Series; and more exclusive MMA content.

Poirier (27-6, 1 NC) has won two straight and lost just once since 2016, a defeat in a lightweight title fight against undefeated all-time great Khabib Nurmagomedov. He is 10-2 (1 NC) since moving up to lightweight from featherweight in 2015. ESPN ranks the 32-year-old Louisiana native No. 2 in the world at lightweight.

McGregor (22-5) is the biggest star in the history of the sport. The Ireland native owns most of the promotion’s pay-per-view records. Forbes recently ranked him as the highest-paid athlete in the world over the past year. Inside the Octagon, McGregor was the first-ever UFC fighter to hold titles in two divisions at the same time, after beating Eddie Alvarez for the lightweight title in 2016 — while already holding the featherweight belt. McGregor, 32, has just one win and has only fought three times since the Alvarez bout.

In the co-main event, Gilbert Burns and Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson will face off in a battle of top welterweights. ESPN has Burns ranked No. 4 and Thompson ranked No. 5 in the world at 170 pounds. Burns (19-4), a 34-year-old from Brazil and fighting out of Florida, had a six-fight winning streak snapped in a welterweight title loss to Kamaru Usman at UFC 258 in February. The 38-year-old Thompson (16-4-1), a South Carolina native, has won two straight and has just two losses in his past 14 fights.

Also on the card, top prospect Sean O’Malley takes on debuting, short-notice opponent Kris Moutinho in a bantamweight bout, Irene Aldana and Yana Kunitskaya clash in a women’s bantamweight contender bout and Brazilian jiu-jitsu ace Ryan Hall returns to face blue-chipper Ilia Topuria.

Follow along as Brett Okamoto, Marc Raimondi and Jeff Wagenheim recap the action or watch on ESPN+ PPV.


Fight in progress:

Welterweight: Carlos Condit (32-13, 9-9 UFC, +160) vs. Max Griffin (17-8, 5-6 UFC, -190)


Results:

Welterweight: Michel Pereira (26-11, 4-2 UFC) defeats Niko Price (14-5 2 NC, 6-5 2 NC UFC) defeats by unanimous decision

Recap to come.


Men’s featherweight: Ilia Topuria (11-0, 3-0 UFC) defeats Ryan Hall (8-2, 4-1 UFC) by first-round KO

Facing one of the most unique styles in the sport, Topuria executed beautifully against Hall to come away with a first-round finish.

Topuria stalked Hall around the Octagon, but did so intelligently. He didn’t overcommit on the feet and refused to give Hall any opportunities to work his signature leg attacks. The finish came via punches and hammer fists at the 4:47 mark. It’s the second consecutive win Topuria has registered via first-round knockout.

Hall, 36, of Falls Church, Virginia, came out in his typical sideways stance. He kept Topuria, of Spain, at a distance with sidekicks and feints, but Topuria seemed very comfortable picking his shots when walking him down. Occasionally, Hall dove at Topuria’s legs with his signature Imanari roll. Topuria cleared his legs from danger each time, and when he saw an opening to land a shot, he took it.

It’s the first time Hall has lost since 2006. He’s had trouble booking fights with any consistency due to his unique style. Topuria moves to 3-0 in the UFC.

Okamoto

Watch this fight on ESPN.


Middleweight: Dricus Du Plessis (16-2, 2-0 UFC) defeats Trevin Giles (14-3, 5-3 UFC) by second-round KO

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Dricus Du Plessis needs just one punch to knock out Trevin Giles in their prelim bout at UFC 264.

Du Plessis was covering up against the cage after absorbing a straight right hand and a left hook, but when Giles moved in on him with a flurry, the South African unleashed a right hand of his own to finish the fight suddenly and violently. It was the 27-year-old’s fourth win in a row and 12th in his past 13, including two straight in the UFC.

The knockout, which came at 1:41 of Round 2, was Du Plessis’ seventh career KO. He has had finishes in all 16 of his victories.

Early on, Du Plesis had done his best work on the canvas. After he and Giles had stalked each other for the bulk of the first round, with Giles looking light on his feet and Du Plessis more plodding, the fight went to the mat. And Du Plessis got the better of the grappling scramble, twice gaining full-mount position. But he would have to wait until the next round for the finish.

“Every fight is different,” Du Plessis said. “My first one was a short-notice debut and was absolutely incredible. Now I’m on a Conor McGregor undercard. I told them I’m not an undercard fighter and they’re making a mistake putting me on the prelims. Hopefully I don’t see the prelims ever again. Before I came out, I told my team, ‘Let’s go say goodbye to the prelims. It’s main card from here.’

“I’ve proven to people that I have power in both hands. My first fight was a knockout with a left hook. I just knocked out a capable striker with a clean right hand, I’m happy I got that right hand finally. People need to start taking notice. You better watch out and keep those chins tucked because I’m either going to knockout you out or choke you.”

Giles, a 28-year-old from Houston, saw a three-fight winning streak end.

— Raimondi

Watch this fight on ESPN+.


Women’s flyweight: Jennifer Maia (19-7-1, 4-3 UFC) defeats Jessica Eye (15-10 1 NC, 5-9 1 NC UFC) by unanimous decision

Eye came alive late, almost drawing motivation from a nasty cut she sustained on her forehead late in the second round. But it was not enough.

Maia picked up a unanimous decision win (29-28, 29-28, 30-27) over Eye, a fellow former title challenger, in a solid striking performance. Maia’s Muay Thai striking and footwork was the difference early in the fight. Eye rallied in the third round with a hard combination and nice jab.

Near the end of the second round, Maia and Eye clashed heads, causing a gnarly cut on Eye’s forehead. It was gushing blood at the end of the second and third rounds, though Eye seemed undeterred — and perhaps even more motivated. However, Maia had already developed too much of a lead in the early rounds for Eye to overcome.

Maia, 32, came in ranked No. 4 in the world at women’s flyweight by ESPN. The Brazil native was coming off a unanimous decision loss to champion Valentina Shevchenko at UFC 255 in November. Eye, 34, has now dropped three in a row. The Ohio native, fighting out of Las Vegas, lost to Shevchenko at UFC 238 in June 2019 via a first-round head kick.

Raimondi

Watch this fight on ESPN+.


Middleweight: Brad Tavares (19-7, 14-6 UFC) defeats Omari Akhmedov (21-6-1, 9-5-1 UFC) by split decision

@BradTavares if it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t be where I am today probably wouldn’t even be in the UFC. He gave me a chance when no one else did. @Omari_Akhmedov you’re a warrior keep your head up #UFC264

— Dan “50k” Ige (@Dynamitedan808) July 10, 2021

According to UFC Stats, Tavares outlanded Akhmedov in total strikes 76 to 50, and he did an incredible job defending takedowns. Akhmedov, of Dagestan, managed to get him down twice, but Tavares, of Hawaii, popped back to his feet before Akhmedov could put together any offense.

Tavares finished the 15-minute bout strong, as he landed some good shots to Akmedov’s head and sought a finish. Tavares moved into a tie for second in all time UFC middleweight wins, with all-time great Anderson Silva. Akhmedov has lost two of his past three fights.

Okamoto

Watch this fight on ESPN+.


Men’s flyweight: Zhalgas Zhumagulov (14-5, 1-2 UFC) defeats Jerome Rivera (10-6, 0-4 UFC) by first-round submission

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Dricus Du Plessis needs just one punch to knock out Trevin Giles in their prelim bout at UFC 264.

Zhumagulov scored a knockdown with a short left hand, and when Rivera tried to wrestle him, the 32-year-old from Kazakhstan clamped on a guillotine that turned into a standing choke that produced his first UFC victory.

“I felt him going down and that’s why I tried to get a submission,” Zhumagulov said. “That’s my favorite submission.”

Zhumagulov absorbed some early punches and kicks, but when Rivera tried to ramp up the pressure, he paid the price. The end came just 2:02 into Round 1.

Rivera, who is 26 and from Santa Fe, New Mexico, has lost all four of his UFC fights, all within the past year.

Zhumagulov ended a two-fight losing streak.

— Wagenheim

Watch this fight on ESPN+.


Still to come:

Lightweight: Dustin Poirier (27-6 1 NC, 19-5 1 NC UFC, -130) vs. Conor McGregor (22-5, 10-3 UFC, +110)
Welterweight: Gilbert Burns (19-4, 12-4 UFC, +135) vs. Stephen Thompson (16-4-1, 11-4-1 UFC, -160)
Heavyweight: Tai Tuivasa (12-3, 5-3 UFC, -135) vs. Greg Hardy (7-3 1 NC, 4-3 1 NC UFC, +115)
Women’s bantamweight: Irene Aldana (12-6, 5-4 UFC, -120) vs. Yana Kunitskaya (14-5 1 NC, 4-2 UFC, +100)
Men’s bantamweight: Sean O’Malley (13-1, 5-1 UFC, -800) vs. Kris Moutinho (9-4, 0-0 UFC, +550)

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