MMA’s supreme important individual is in a position to flee it encourage for a third time. Conor McGregor returns to the Octagon on Saturday evening in Las Vegas when he faces Dustin Poirier in a trilogy bout from the T-Mobile Area that tops a loaded UFC 264 wrestle card. The two met honest six months ago with Poirier scoring revenge in a stupendous second-round TKO. This came after the 2 first met in 2014 with McGregor scoring the principle-round TKO on his upward thrust to superstardom.
McGregor, the broken-down two-division champion and supreme pay-per-see map in MMA history, will face off against broken-down intervening time gentle-weight titleholder for a third time in the principle match of what ought to be an racy summer blockbuster match.
As we map closer to the festivities, let’s score a more in-depth hang a look at the supreme storylines to score glance of.
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1. Conor McGregor puts his recognition on the toll road in a intelligent risk/reward proposition
Shimmering the competitor deep within McGregor, the brash Irish important individual who will flip 34 one week after UFC 264, it became as soon as a ways from a shock that he so vehemently sought a rematch against Poirier honest six months after shedding by the spend of TKO for the principle time in his profession of their second meeting. McGregor did the identical component following an upset loss at welterweight to Nate Diaz in 2016 and received a thrilling (no longer to indicate grueling) rematch by majority resolution honest 5 months later. This time, nonetheless, brooding about McGregor’s age and his total inaction since his combating height of 2016 (honest three fights in 5 years), it’s price debating whether or no longer a second loss to Poirier will get rid of the “Notorious” one from the elite ranks for correct. A defeat would hurry away McGregor honest 1-3 over his final four fights. It might perhaps well perhaps furthermore hurry away him with the identical file total as a steady-weight for the length of his profession. Certain, given McGregor’s important individual power, there would be no limit to the mountainous-establish opponents soundless out there to him ought to he lose as soon as again to Poirier, but it would be no longer easy to have faith followers might well perhaps ever score him extreme again as a exact title contender or the leisure larger than a combating important individual. A victory, on the a bunch of hand, would likely propel McGregor encourage into a third shot at the 155-pound title (currently held by Charles Oliveira) and revive his mark in a formulation that might well perhaps likely conceal buoyant to the game at clear.
2. There might be a ways more on the toll road than honest a paycheck for Dustin Poirier on this trilogy wrestle
Without expect, it might be well-known that Poirier made a strategic resolution no longer to wrestle for the promotion’s vacant gentle-weight title this spring after UFC in the end stripped the retired Khabib Nurmagomedov of the belt in favor of accepting the instant third wrestle with McGregor for the cash and standing that contains it. In theory, ought to Poirier defeat McGregor a second consecutive time this weekend, a straight away title shot would likely be his reward anyway as Oliveira currently sits atop the division following his vacant title seize in Would possibly perhaps perhaps perhaps over Michael Chandler. However a victory furthermore boosts the 32-one year-faded Poirier in a bunch of methods as he continues to gash out a legendary profession that most ceaselessly falls below the radar simply because he below no instances held an undisputed UFC title. Since his hurry encourage as a lot as gentle-weight in 2015, Poirier is 11-2 including victories over McGregor, Max Holloway, Eddie Alvarez, Justin Gaethje, Anthony Pettis, Dan Hooker and Jim Miller. Add in that he is the real fighter to enact McGregor by the spend of strikes and score conceal of what a that you just might be in a role to imagine second victory over the identical fighter might well perhaps attain for Poirier via inserting him come the top of certain lists including the real lightweights in UFC history and the supreme UFC opponents to below no instances seize a championship. Poirier is furthermore closing in on some a bunch of weird and wonderful golf equipment as a victory this weekend would give him 20 for his profession below the UFC banner, which supreme seven a bunch of opponents hang completed including all-time greats treasure Georges St-Pierre, Jon Jones and Michael Bisping. The glossy UFC file for wins is held by Donald Cerrone with 23, which Poirier has a more-than official shot at breaking. At this point, Poirier’s resume is so stable — including an intervening time title seize over Holloway at 155 pounds in 2019 — that he might well perhaps furthermore just no longer basically desire the validation of fixing into a chunky champion in methods that Bisping did unhurried in his profession to stable Corridor-of-Popularity online page.
3. Can Stephen Thompson stable but any other shot at the welterweight title at 38?
Or no longer it’s a intelligent expect to ponder given he is the real 170-pound fighter in official title contention who has but to face champion Kamaru Usman. At 38, there isn’t very any longer any expect Thompson’s window is closing, but a victory in Saturday’s co-critical match over an constantly awful Gilbert Burns might well perhaps cancel him an racy future option for every Usman and the UFC ought to the defending champion defeat Colby Covington a second time. Certain, Leon Edwards is more deserving and is hungry to redeem his 2015 defeat to Usman that spawned his glossy seize poke. However Edwards is likely going to be compelled to wrestle all any other time — doubtlessly in a grudge match against Jorge Masvidal — provided that UFC brass is so ineffective build on giving Covington a title rematch. That might well perhaps birth a door for Thompson ought to he seize and attain so impressively. “Wonderboy” has a sneaky mountainous resume in the division regardless of below no instances successful the title and he came as terminate as one might well perhaps reach in a pair of title bouts against Tyron Woodley final decade where he became as soon as compelled to accept an exhilarating map and a majority resolution defeat.
4. How considerable longer can the Greg Hardy experiment in the heavyweight division proceed?
On condition that the embattled broken-down NFL All-Pro is honest 4-3 (1 NC) since making his UFC debut, one would have faith his map forward for getting featured placement on PPV playing cards would be at the encourage of us ought to he lose to no longer easy-hitting Tai Tuivasa. Hardy, soundless honest 32, has confirmed proper enchancment with his hanging, critically early in fights when he is most awful. However his ground sport soundless honest is no longer there and his stamina remains in expect in the later rounds. Given Tuivasa’s lack of wrestling, this is also the supreme matchup for Hardy to appear mountainous. Or no longer it’s furthermore one where he would be disastrously knocked out given the skill for this one to be a shootout. Hardy’s supreme performance up to now is soundless his misplaced to title contender Alexander Volkov, no longer due to what he did offensively, but more the stubbornness he showed in no longer permitting this form of foul opponent to contend with or enact him with any cancel of ease. Whereas an argument can constantly be made that heavyweights are given an extended leash on account of how continuously they weak unhurried in age, it is no longer easy to imagine the classic public will proceed to care about Hardy unless he can cancel a sizeable jump forward on this wrestle.
5. Niko Tag vs. Michel Pereira has the skill for some loopy and stress-free theater
After foundation his UFC profession in 2019 as more of a carnival enchantment given his risk taking and antics every within and out of the cage, Pereira has rebounded effectively from a pair of self-inflicted defeats to change into a intelligent long-time length shadowy horse in the welterweight division. The 27-one year-faded Brazilian has received two straight and appears as if he has in the end figured out easy suggestions to harness and channel his unbelievable athleticism to change into a well-rounded menace. But it’s the timing of Pereira’s reformation that makes this matchup with a wild card such as Tag all the more attention-grabbing. Despite a file of 6-4 (2 NC) since first arriving within the Octagon in 2016, Tag is supreme identified for his skill to flip any wrestle against any form of opponent into absolute chaos. The 31-one year-faded native of Florida is as unpredictable as they reach and each one amongst his UFC bouts hang either seen him ranking a enact or score spectacularly stopped whereas trying to attain so. Can Tag entice Pereira encourage into his wild methods? Have to he conceal successful, the outcomes might be nothing looking spectacular.