Dustin Poirier vs Conor McGregor 3: Last roll of the dice for Mystic Mac

UFC 264 will see Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor dance for a third time.

"The Diamond" sent shockwaves through the MMA world by avenging his 2014 defeat to McGregor and knocking him out in the second round earlier this year.

Planet Sport Bet is currently backing Poirier to repeat at around 5/6 while McGregor is the slight underdog at 20/21.

Best bets

Less than three rounds completed 1/2.

Conor McGregor round one 9/2.

Dustin Poirier to win by KO/TKO/DQ/Technical Decision 15/8.

The rise and fall of McGregor

"We're not here to take part, we're here to take over."

Those were the famous words of a fresh-faced Irish fella named Conor McGregor in 2014 after knocking out Diego Brandao at UFC Fight Night.

Take over he did indeed.

McGregor backed up his talk with crushing wins over Dustin Poirier, Dennis Silver and Chad Mendes before beating MMA legend Jose Aldo to become featherweight world champion.

Following an epic duology with Nate Diaz, the "Notorious" dispatched Eddie Alvarez in 2016 to become the first fighter to hold two titles simultaneously in UFC history (featherweight and lightweight).

With his stock at an all-time high, McGregor took part in the most lucrative crossover fight of all-time against Floyd Mayweather in 2017. Lacing the gloves up, McGregor entered the boxing world and hardly disgraced himself as he went 10 rounds against somebody regarded as the greatest of his generation.

The pay-per-view generated more than $500million in revenue and did 4.3 million sales in the US, 200,000 short of Mayweather's record with Manny Pacquiao. It saw McGregor earn $100million.

Conor McGregor has had his problems with the law
Conor McGregor has had his problems with the law

After a two-year hiatus from the UFC and a couple of court cases, McGregor marked his return by taking on arch-rival Khabib Nurmagomedov in 2018. The fight had gathered momentum following McGregor's bus attack after UFC 223.

The 32-year-old picked up a hand truck trolley and threw it at the moving bus, shattering the window and injuring two people onboard in Ray Borg and Michael Chiesa. Khabib would dominate their lightweight encounter, submitting McGregor in the fourth round with a neck crank to inflict the fourth defeat of the Irishman's career.

Despite confirming his retirement soon after, McGregor would make his long-awaited comeback in 2020 against Donald Cerrone. It was a statement of intent as McGregor knocked "Cowboy" out inside 40 seconds, breaking his orbital bone and nose in the process.

McGregor decided to fight Poirier for a second time in 2021 having previously beat him in 2014 inside the opening round. Despite a strong opening round, Poirier did something no other fighter had been able to do before: KO Conor McGregor.

Can McGregor bounce back?

Poirier is perhaps the most improved fighter in UFC today but the trilogy fight all depends on the condition of McGregor. The winner will be in line to challenge Charles Oliveira for the lightweight title.

A former plumber in Dublin, McGregor is now the richest athlete in the world, according to Forbes. Like the late, great Marvelous Marvin Hagler once said - it's tough to get out of bed to do roadwork at 5am when you've been sleeping in silk pajamas"

With two defeats in his last three MMA fights, how much does McGregor have left in the tank?

The stats that matter

Known for his punching prowess, McGregor has finished 19 of his 22 victories via KO/TKO, 14 of which came in the opening round. Victories include Poirier, who lost to McGregor inside the first two minutes of their 2014 contest.

McGregor won his first seven UFC fights in succession but has lost just as many as he has won in his last six. He has tapped out twice in the octagon and four times overall, including to Khabib and Diaz.

If there is a standout weakness to McGregor's game then it is to chokes and armlocks. With just one submission win in 27 bouts, it is highly unlikely that McGregor wins this by a takedown and Planet Sport Bet reflects this at around 35/1.

Poirier fights under the UFC banner for the 27th time and can tie Michael Bisping, Jon Jones and George St-Pierre if he can make it 20 wins.

The American already has more bonus checks than the trio mentioned with 12 of his cage performances earning him extra money from the boss Dana White.

Poirier has gone the full distance on two occasions, won inside the opening round six times and scored four wins in round two. He also dealt with Justin Gaethje in the fourth round to earn a title tilt at Khabib.

Both men have lost to Khabib. Poirier tasted defeat at UFC 242 in 2019 via submission (rear-naked choke) in the third round while McGregor tapped out to a neck crack 12 months before in round four.

Where's the value?

At 32, it is crazy to say this but McGregor has miles on the clock and is now a veteran of the game. A win and it is red panty night again for the former two-division ruler but a loss will all but end McGregor's credentials at elite level.

Conor McGregor returns this weekend in a must-win fight
Conor McGregor returns this weekend in a must-win fight

Without sitting on the fence (but we are) this fight could go either way. The rematch may have ended in crutches for McGregor but he did nearly KO him in the first round and while it isn't the McGregor of old, the last thing to go in a fighter is his power. McGregor is 9/2 to win the first round.

Poirier can exploit the weaknesses of McGregor in this fight and if he weathers the storm of the first five minutes then he can cash in and earn a second win over the UFC legend. He is 15/8 to win via KO/TKO/DQ/Technical Decision.

Either way, the fight is not expected to last the full five rounds and it is 1/2 that it ends within three rounds.

When is Poirier vs McGregor 3?

Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor meet for the third time on July 10 at UFC 264.

How can I watch it?

The fight will be distributed by ESPN PPV in the US while UK fans can watch it through BT Sports Box Office. The main card will begin at 10pm ET and 3am GMT for fans in the UK.

Where is it?

The T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. It is a sell-out with 20,800 tickets being sold in seconds. Literally seconds.

What's on the line?

For McGregor, his career. The winner will be in line to fight for world honours at lightweight.

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