UFC 264: McGregor vs Poirier Fight Picks

 

At UFC 264 McGregor and Poirier are going to dance for the third and final time. The Fanduel odds are a reflection of where the consensus seems to be on the potential outcome for this fight. Almost split straight down the middle. 

Dustin Poirier(-120) vs Conor McGregor(-102) 

Fanduel has Poirier as just a slight favorite to beat McGregor when a lot of people would believe the disparity in odds should be far higher in Poirier’s favor. Short-term memory and recency bias are incredibly prevalent in MMA. It isn’t about what happened in a contest, it’s just the result that everyone remembers. Yes, Poirier won the last outing just 6 months ago in spectacular fashion. But what many forget is that McGregor buzzed Poirier a couple of times in the first round. An inch or a step in a different direction and the outcome is completely different. Just because the fight went that way last time, doesn’t mean it’s going to happen again.

At the end of the day 

It’s hard to know if the McGregor of old is back, or long gone. Poirier has been consistent if anything, and in a rare turn of events, It feels like Poirier has the psychological edge going into this fight based on the demeanor of both fighters throughout fight week. McGregor got the one-hitter quitter power, Poirier is the technician. Although the desire in McGregor may not what it was, he still has some magic left

Pick: Conor McGregor 

Gilbert Burns (+140) vs Stephen Thompson (-172)

The co-main event is a fun fight. Fanduel favors Stephen “Wonder Boy” Thompson to win the fight over former title challenger Gilbert Burns. The classic striker vs grappler match-up is coming at a time in the welterweight division where the next title shot is up for grabs, a single impressive performance can secure the shot. If the fight hits the ground, it’ll be one-sided and it’ll be Burns all day. On the feet, It’s Wonderboy’s world, but Burns isn’t exactly a fish out of water in the striking realm. The Footwork of Wonderboy can keep him out of range and hard to locate. It is easy to imagine Burns having trouble getting Wonderboy to the ground, and getting picked apart along the way. 

 At the end of the day 

Burns is no slouch in the striking department but if this remains upright, it is tailor-made for Wonderboy to style on Burns. Thompson has good takedown defense, and will ultimately score the knockout win. 

Pick: Stephen Thompson

Tai Tuivasa (-144) vs Greg Hardy (+118)

Greg Hardy may not be the most technically sound heavyweight on the roster, but the man has serious power. Tuivasa has had his ups and downs in the UFC but edges Hardy in the experience department. Heavyweight MMA is wild, with big men and small gloves, more often than not someone is going down. This contest will likely be no different. Skill for skill, Tuivasa is the better fighter. But the better fighter doesn’t always win, especially when standing and trading in the heavyweight division. 

At the end of the day 

It’s perfectly reasonable to envision this one going one to either guy. Hardy moves very well for such a big man, but it’s Tuivasa who is more light on his feet and has better striking fundamentals and diversity in his tool belt. If Tuivasa can keep from getting reckless and protect his chin in the first round, he will be able to land something significant first and end the fight.

Pick: Tai Tuivasa 

Sean O’Malley (-950) vs Kris Moutinho (+590)

It’s hard to not be tempted by the Fanduel odds in this one. Although there is very good reasoning for the disparity in the odds, MMA is a crazy game and crazy things happen all the time. It’s not outside the realm of possibility that UFC newcomer Kris Moutinho shows up on Saturday night and does the highly unlikely. But make no mistake, there is very good reason Suga is the heavy Fanduel favorite. He has been preparing to fight for over a month versus Moutinho’s less than a week. He has a lot of experience under the bright lights in the UFC, his confidence is at an all-time high and his game continues to grow leaps and bounds. 

At the end of the day 

Moutinho is tough, but likely not ready for this test. O’Malley gets comfortable early, and that comfortability will be increased exponentially now that he is taking on a late notice replacement fight against a UFC newcomer.

Pick: Sean O’Malley 

Carlos Condit (+152) vs Max Griffin (-188) 

There are a lot of similarities between Condit in Griffin, both are tenacious, tough as nails fighters who bring the fight to their opponent. Condit is the more technical kickboxer and Griffin has better boxing skills and packs more power. The point that both fighters are at in their respective careers plays a part in this one. Condit’s Jiu-Jitsu is a lot better than most realize, and he is great off of his back. Griffin is on a serious tare right and it feels like it’s his time.

At the end of the day

Stylistically this has all the makings of a highly entertaining affair. Had this been Carlos Condit in 2014 vs Max Griffin in 2021, it would be Natural Born Killers’ fight to lose. But Griffin is highly motivated and this is the biggest fight of his career. Yhe extra desire within him at this stage will be a difference-maker. 

Pick: Max Griffin 

It’ll be interesting to see how this one shapes up. Is pique McGregor a thing of the past? Or is he going to go out there and put yet another feather in his cap, and set up for the next blockbuster fight in the process.

Are you ready to make your fight picks? Head over to fanduel and enter the fight night contest for this weekend!

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