UFC 264 Preview

Conor McGregor will return to the Octagon this weekend much to the delight of Dana White and everyone else associated with the UFC. There has never been another MMA fighter with as much panache as The Notorious. He has millions of fans around the world due to his antics, and that leads to sold out crowds and dizzying PPV returns. That’s why McGregor’s trilogy with Dustin Poirier will headline UFC 264 even though there isn’t a title on the line.

Las Vegas will be the site of UFC 264 on Saturday, July 10, 2021. This promotion will take place at T-Mobile Arena just off the Vegas Strip. The preliminary card will be available on ESPN or Watch ESPN at 8 p.m. ET, while the main card will be a PPV event starting at 10 p.m. ET.

UFC 264 Betting Odds

Dustin Poirier -125

Conor McGregor +105

When these rivals met at UFC 257 back in January, it was clear that Poirier was the better fighter. Although he came into the bout as an underdog, Poirier controlled the action and eventually dealt McGregor his first knockout loss midway through the second round. McGregor has since explained away the loss by saying he was looking past Poirier, but it’s not like McGregor has been as dominant as he once was over the last few years.

The former featherweight and lightweight champion was completely steamrolled by Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229, and his only victory in the Octagon over the last four-and-a-half years was against Donald Cerrone. Cowboy has lost five of his last six fights, so that McGregor win doesn’t mean much. If another fighter had McGregor’s recent resume, he would be a much larger underdog than +105, so Poirier has to be the pick as a short favorite.

Gilbert Burns +145

Stephen Thompson -170

This is one of the more intriguing matchups (and betting lines) of the night. Gilbert Burns was the top contender in the welterweight division and won six straight fights before losing to Kamaru Usman at UFC 258 in February. Burns looked excellent and earned Performance of the Night bonuses for his first-round KO of Demian Maia and unanimous decision win over Tyron Woodley in 2020, yet he is a moderate underdog to Stephen Thompson.

Thompson has been with the UFC since 2012. He turned heads with smaller promotions at the start of last decade, and he ran his record to 13-1 before taking on Tyron Woodley for the welterweight belt at UFC 205. That bout ended in a draw, and he lost a majority decision to Woodley in the rematch at UFC 209.

His unanimous decision win over Jorge Masvidal was impressive considering what Masvidal has done since that loss, but Thompson lost to Darren Till and Anthony Pettis in his next two fights. Although he has defeated Vicente Luque and Geoff Neal since those defeats, Burns has a better pedigree and is worth the scratch as a dog.

Greg Hardy +110

Tai Tuivasa -130

A loss here might spell the end for Greg Hardy in the UFC. The former NFL All-Pro is a physical specimen, but he has struggled to make his mark. He has won just four of his eight matches in the UFC, and all four of those wins came against opponents who are no longer with the promotion. Hardy is an underdog to Tai Tuivasa though, as Tuivasa is 5-3 in the UFC.

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