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

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.

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.

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


Fight in progress:

Lightweight: Dustin Poirier (27-6 1 NC, 19-5 1 NC UFC, -130) vs. Conor McGregor (22-5, 10-3 UFC, +110)

Here we go. Foggy Dew has hit. Conor McGregor walking out now for the UFC 264 main event. The crowd is deafening. A ton of energy here in Las Vegas. This is truly a massive fight. One of the highest profile trilogy fights in UFC history.

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

Marc Raimondi, ESPN Staff Writer17m ago

McGregor walks out with no shirt, in his Venum fight shorts and an Irish flag. He roars into the camera as soon as he’s shown on screen.

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

Marc Raimondi, ESPN Staff Writer15m ago

Boos for Poirier as he walks out mixed with cheers. He’s coming in to James Brown — The Boss.

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

Marc Raimondi, ESPN Staff Writer13m ago


Results:

Welterweight: Gilbert Burns (20-4, 13-4 UFC) defeats Stephen Thompson (16-5-1, 11-5-1 UFC) by unanimous decision

Gilbert Burns is a multiple-time jiu-jitsu world champion. Stephen Thompson is a former kickboxing world champion. Both have evolved into well-rounded mixed martial artists, but in the end the grappler went back to his roots to impose his will.

Burns, fighting for the first time since being knocked out by UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman in February, put himself in contention for another shot and nudged Thompson out of line by earning a clear unanimous decision in the UFC 264 co-main event — also known as the appetizer for Dustin Poirier vs. Conor McGregor 3 — on Saturday night at T-Mobile Arena in Las vegas.

Burns (20-4) had a key takedown midway through Round 3 to sew up the win, right after Thompson had hurt him and appeared to be swinging the fight his way. After getting his third takedown of the fight, Burns was unable to get a submission but controlled Thompson on the canvas until the final horn.

All three judges scored the bout 29-28 for the 34-year-old Brazilian, who is No. 4 in ESPN’s welterweight rankings.

The fifth-ranked Thomspon (16-5-1) had moments of success on the feet, but never severely compromised his opponent and saw a two-fight winning streak come to an end.

— Wagenheim


Heavyweight: Tai Tuivasa (13-3, 6-3 UFC) defeats Greg Hardy (7-4 1 NC, 4-4 1 NC UFC) by first-round KO

Greg Hardy thought he had Tui Tuivasa hurt. And maybe he did. But he didn’t have him hurt enough.

Hardy, 32, suffered the second knockout loss of his career, as Tuivasa, of Sydney, put him down with a counter left hook just 67 seconds into their heavyweight fight at UFC 264. The finish came after Hardy rocked Tuivasa with a right hand and aggressively moved forward for a finish. Tuivasa regained his footing and threw the perfect two-punch counter to put Hardy on his back.

— Okamoto

Read the full story.


Women’s bantamweight: Irene Aldana (13-6, 6-4 UFC) defeats Yana Kunitskaya (14-6 1 NC, 4-3 UFC) by first-round TKO

The UFC’s top Mexican fighters are on a roll.

Less than a month after Brandon Moreno became the first Mexican-born fighter to win a UFC title, Aldana took out Kunitskaya via TKO at 4:35 of the first round. Aldana dropped Kunitskaya with a beautiful left hook and then finished with hard left hands on the ground.

Afterward, Aldana quoted her countryman.

“Like Brandon said, maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow — but someday I’ll be champion,” Aldana said in her postfight interview.

Coming in, ESPN had Aldana ranked No. 6 and Kunitskaya at No. 7 in the world at women’s bantamweight. The victory could propel Aldana to a major contender fight in the women’s 135-pound division.

Aldana, who has great boxing, landed her jabs early, bloodying Kunitskaya’s face. Kunitskaya attempted to bully Aldana in the clinch, but when things were at striking distance Aldana let her hands go and things were over shortly thereafter.

Aldana, 33, has won three of her last four and six of her last eight. Fighting out of Guadalajara, she now has two finishes with her boxing in her last two victories. Aldana weighed in Friday at 139.5 pounds, 3.5 pounds over the women’s bantamweight non-title limit. She was fined 30% of her purse.

Kunitskaya, a 31-year-old Russia native fighting out of Florida, had a two-fight winning streak snapped.

— Raimondi

Watch this fight on ESPN+.


Men’s bantamweight: Sean O’Malley (14-1, 6-1 UFC) defeats Kris Moutinho (9-5, 0-1 UFC) by third-round TKO

O’Malley ended up getting the knockout of Moutinho he wanted, but it took absolutely everything he had to do it — and even then, some felt the fight shouldn’t have been stopped.

O’Malley earned the TKO stoppage at 4:33 of the third round, when referee Herb Dean elected to step in during a lengthy O’Malley flurry in the center of the Octagon. Despite the fact O’Malley landed a career-best 249 strikes in the bout, Moutinho never stopped moving forward and protested the stoppage afterwards.

Moutinho, who trains out of Massachusetts and took the fight on short notice, was clearly not in O’Malley’s league when it came to skill, but he never backed down in the bantamweight contest. He walked through O’Malley’s counter jab, piston right hand, front kick, head kick — O’Malley never seemed too discouraged by it, but he did seem surprised.

The closest O’Malley came to a decisive finish prior to the TKO was a knockdown late in the opening round. Although the finish likely took longer than he had hoped, O’Malley was always in control. He expertly slipped Moutinho’s punches throughout the bout and stayed out of harm’s way.

O’Malley was supposed to fight Louis Smolka on Saturday, but Smolka withdrew due to staph infection. O’Malley, a 26-year-old out of Glendale, Arizona called out the UFC’s No. 4-ranked bantamweight Rob Font after the win.

— Okamoto

Watch this fight on ESPN+.


Welterweight: Max Griffin (18-8, 6-6 UFC) defeats Carlos Condit (32-14, 9-10 UFC) by unanimous decision

Griffin exploded out of the gate, blitzing Condit at the start of the fight with relentless kicks to both legs, then dropping him late in Round 1 and swarming in pursuit of a finish. But Condit regained calm and survived.

Competing in the 46th fight of a pro career dating back 19 years, Condit understands that a three-round bout is not a sprint, even if his opponent tries to make it one. He turned things around in Round 2, and as the fight went into its final five minutes, it was Griffin who was called upon to prove his mettle. He did.

Griffin, who is 35 and from Sacramento, California, took charge in Round 3 and earned his third straight victory (30-27, 29-28, 29-28), extending a turnaround from a spell of four losses in five fights.

Condit, the 37-year-old former UFC interim champion from Albuquerque, New Mexico, saw a two-fight winning streak come to an end. That short run of success had broken him out of a skid that had reached eight losses in 10 fights.

— Wagenheim

Watch this fight on ESPN+.


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

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Michel Pereira is on another level, attempting a backflip knockout on Niko Price at UFC 264.

Price and Pereira embraced after the bell sounded, following a back-and-forth display of violence from both men. Price told Pereira “75K” for the $75,000 performance and fight of the night bonuses being given out by the UFC on Saturday night. Moments later, Pereira put Price on his shoulders in celebration.

For two men who tried to knock each other unconscious with punches, kicks, knees and elbows, it was quite the display.

Pereira had his way early, but a bout that was billed as perhaps the most exciting on the card delivered in the end. Pereira came away with a unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) in an expectedly wild bout.

In the first round, Pereira stayed on the outside, using his reach advantage well. He landed hard jabs, big combos and nice front kicks to the body. Pereira took Price down in the second round and used a back flip — yes, that’s correct — to get into mount, where he looked for a key lock and some ground and pound.

Price was able to get up and end the round strong, though, which was foreshadowing for the third round. Pereira looked a bit gassed, and after recovering from a low blow, Price attempted to pour it on with combinations and blows in the clinch. But Price could not get the finish and Pereira hung on for the win.

Pereira, 27, has now won three consecutive fights after back-to-back losses. The Brazil native, who lives in Las Vegas, has dialed back some of his flashier techniques and the result has been mostly positive. Price, a 31-year-old Florida native, is winless in three straight.

— Raimondi

Watch this fight on ESPN+.


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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1:00

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

Tavares beat Akhmedov to the punch all night as he stayed busy with the jab and low leg kick. The kicks were particularly effective. Akhmedov’s movement was visibly compromised by the third round. Two of the judges scored it 29-28 for Tavares, while a third had it 29-28 for Akhmedov.

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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Zhalgas Zhumagulov submits Jerome Rivera standing up in the first round of their bout.

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+.




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