UFC 264: Poirier vs. McGregor 3 Main Card Betting Odds, Preview, and Prediction
The rubber match is set between the UFC’s two biggest lightweight competitors in Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor for UFC 264, which also features a stacked slate of huge fights. Let’s take a closer look at each of the fights on the main card of UFC’s next marquee event on July 10 at the T-Mobile Arena in Sin City.
Read on for our odds, preview, and predictions for the main card of UFC 264: Poirier vs. McGregor 3 below. And for all the latest news and updates in and out of the Octagon, head on over to Nitrogen Sports Blog after this.
UFC 264 Betting Odds and Preview
Where: T-Mobile Arena, Paradise, NV
When: Saturday, July 10, 2021, 10:00 PM ET
Where to watch: ESPN+
Main Event: Lightweight Bout
Dustin Poirier (-109) vs. Conor McGregor (-116)
Dubbed as “The Trilogy,” UFC 264’s main event is one for the ages, as Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor square off for the third time after each fighter registered a win over the other.
Poirier, who evened up his series of bouts against McGregor with a decisive TKO victory this past January at UFC 257, has a direct line in becoming the next challenger to Charles Oliveira’s recently-won lightweight title vacated by Khabib Nurmagomedov with a win over his next foe. “The Diamond” held the weight class’ interim title in April 2019, only to lose it to the undisputed champ in Nurmagomedov.
Meanwhile, former concurrent lightweight and featherweight champion McGregor needs a statement victory in his rubber match against Poirier to reclaim his throne amongst the UFC’s elite. The 32-year-old brash Irish pugilist has two losses in his three fights since 2018, though, including being a victim to Khabib’s rampage in the division as well.
Co-Main Event: Welterweight Bout
Gilbert Burns (+121) vs. Stephen Thompson (-156)
Another UFC fighter that recently came up short in a title bout is third-ranked welterweight Gilbert Burns, who just was outclassed in three rounds by welterweight champ Kamaru Usman last February in UFC 258. Before that loss, however, Burns was on a six-fight win streak, with “Durinho” securing victories over Tyrone Woodley and Demian Maia. Both of those wins earned him Performance of the Night bonuses as well.
But speaking of stellar performances, “Wonderboy” Stephen Thompson has been on quite a solid tear of his own. Thompson, currently ranked fourth in contention to Usman’s crown, is on a two-fight win streak. Both were unanimous-decision wins over Geoff Neal and Vicente Luque, with the 38-year-old kickboxer earning Performance of the Night against the former and Fight of the Night honors in the latter.
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Tai Tuivasa (-141) vs. Greg Hardy (+111)
Another fighter who’s on a two-fight win streak is Aussie Tai Tuivasa, who knocked out towering UFC veteran Stefan Struve before notching his 11th professional win over Harry Hunsucker via TKO in the first round this past March. Tuivasa may be in for a surprise, though, as his next opponent was feared on the gridiron as much as he is now in the Octagon.
Former NFL defensive end Greg Hardy is coming off a loss to Marcin Tybura last December; his first knockout loss in his career. Nevertheless, the one-time Pro Bowl selection has a respectable 7-3 professional MMA record to date, which sizes up rather well against favored Tuivasa’s 11-3 mark (5-3 in the UFC).
Women’s Bantamweight Bout
Irene Aldana (-137) vs. Yana Kunitskaya (+108)
The lone showdown featuring the UFC’s femmes fatales on the main card will likely decide the next challenger to Amanda Nunes’ bantamweight belt, as Irene Aldana and Yana Kunitskaya square off in the Octagon against one another for the first time.
Aldana recently met her match in Holly Holm last October, with Holm securing a unanimous-decision win over the 33-year-old Mexican. Three of her recent losses were against the promotion’s more notable veterans such as Holm, Raquel Pennington, and Katlyn Chookagian, which is probably the main reason why she’s still a slight favorite to win her match in UFC 264.
Meanwhile, Kunitskaya improved to 4-2 in the UFC, as the “Foxy” fighter from Russia is on a two-fight win streak with a couple of UD victories over fellow upstarts Kelten Vieira and Julija Stoliarenko. Kunitskaya’s fighting style is more diverse than most fighters in her class, being adept in the arts of Muay Thai, Taekwondo, Gaidojutsu, and hand-to-hand combat by way of professional Russian military training known as ARB.
Sean O’Malley (-500) vs. Louis Smolka (+344)
It’s been a rather bittersweet run of late for “Sugar” Sean O’Malley, who was dropped in the first round by Marlon Vera last August for his first professional defeat in 14 fights. He did, however, bounce back with a third-round knockout of Thomas Almeida this past March.
The rainbow-haired O’Malley needs more than lucky charms to put him back in the UFC’s bantamweight standings, though, as 29-year-old Louis Smolka is no pushover. Smolka secured a convincing second-round KO victory against Jose Alberto Quinonez last December for his 17th professional win. Although, “Da Last Samurai” is just 3-2 in the Octagon since making his debut for the promotion in late 2018.
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*All stated odds are subject to change without prior notice.