UFC 264: Poirier vs. McGregor 3: Elite martial artist predictions

UFC 264 is official and features a big rubber match between the sports two greatest lightweights – Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor.

Check out MyBookie’s UFC 264 odds and fight props for your wagering pleasure.

Each fighter can claim greatness against the other, but Poirier won the most recent skirmish at UFC 257 in January, using the patented calf kick to immobilize the Notorious One en route to a second-round TKO victory.

On paper, the advantage may lie with “The Diamond,” but McGregor, despite not being very active against top fighters lately, has proven in the past he can perform when he needs a big win.

A cursory glance at the McGregor era finds impressive victories of top flight opponents like Nate Diaz (in the rematch), Jose Aldo, and Eddie Alvarez.

But many fans are wondering: Is Conor hungry enough in 2021?

This is a special predictions story. For UFC 264, we invited several combat sports athletes, champions, and personalities for their exclusive thoughts on the main event. They are:

UFC LIGHTWEIGHT JOHN MAKDESSI (18-7-0) – Thanks to John’s sponsors BullNutrition and Bullwear

3-TIME WUSHU WORLD CHAMPION ELAHEH MANSOURIAN

Check out Mansourian in her movie called Platform, which debuted on July 9 in American theatres. It’s an inspirational story about the Mansourian sisters of Iran and their struggles to become world champions in the martial art of Wushu. (Editor’s Note: We have an interview feature with Elaheh Mansourian which will be published next week.)

BLACK. BELT MARTIAL ARTIST AND ‘AMERICAN FIGHTER’ MOVIE DIRECTOR SHAUN PAUL PICCININO 

Check out our feature interview with Piccinino and his movie American Fighter here. Piccinino also revealed he is working on City Lights, a sequel to his popular Netflix movie A California Christmas.

WORLD LETHWEI WOMEN’S BANTAMWEIGHT CHAMPION SOURIS MANFREDI

 

Scroll down to the end to read their thoughts on Dustin Poirier vs. Conor McGregor.

Kenai Andrews checks in with his thoughts on the card.

Editor’s Note: Odds are accurate at time of posting and are subject to change before event. Visit MyBookie for latest information.

UFC 264 FIGHT PASS PRELIMS (6:15PM ET/3:15PM PT)

HU YAOZONG (3-2-0) (+118) VS. ALEN AMEDOVSKI (8-2-0) (-138)

Andrews: Both fighters struggling to get their first octagon win. Yaozong has a six-inch height advantage but I think Amedovski has fought better competition and will bounce back here for the decision.

Andrews Prediction: Alen Amedovski via UD

Editor’s Note: This fight has been pulled due to COVID-19.

ZHALGAS ZHUMAGULOV (13-5-0) (-370) VS. JEROME RIVERA (10-5-0) (+299)

Andrews: Rivera is on the bubble with three straight losses. He needs to get the fight to the ground, which could be a tall order against Zhumagulov, who has never been submitted and can strike too.

Andrews Prediction: Zhalgas Zhumagulov

OMARI AKHMEDOV (21-5-1) (+150) VS. BRAD TAVARES (18-6-0) (-178)

Andrews: Both guys have been in the UFC a long time. This one could go either way but I’m going with Akhmedov to eke out a decision.

Andrews Prediction: Omari Akhmedov via UD

JENNIFER MAIA (18-7-1) (-200) VS. JESSICA EYE (15-9-0) (+168)

Andrews: Eye has lost three of her last four bouts, albeit to top-notch competition. Eye needs to pile up the striking points to win. And while Maia could not penetrate Shevchenko’s defences, she has good enough striking and the ability to get the fight to the ground against Jessica.

Andrews Prediction: Jennifer Maia via UD

UFC 264 PRELIMS (8PM ET/5PM PT)

TREVIN GILES (14-2-0) (+107) VS. DRICUS DU PLESSIS (15-2-0) (-125)

Andrews: Giles has the experience edge but Du Plessis won his debut. Should be a close one but Du Plessis will get the decision.

Andrews Prediction: Dricus Du Plessis via UD

RYAN HALL (8-1-0) (+207) VS. ILIA TOPURIA (10-0-0) (-250)

Andrews: This should be a good battle. Topuria is dangerous on the ground but has shown good striking in his recent bouts. Hall has the experience factor. Have to go with Hall to use that experience to grind out a close decision.

Andrews Prediction: Ryan Hall via UD

NIKO PRICE (14-4-0, 2NC) (+154) VS. MICHEL PEREIRA (25-11-0, 2NC) (-181)

Andrews: Periera better not play around here. Get the win and bounce or else Price will make you pay. Pereira has gotten the message and should prevail.

Andrews Prediction: Michel Pereira via UD

CARLOS CONDIT (32-13-0) (+174) VS. MAX GRIFFIN (17-8-0) (-208)

Andrews: Condit has recent wins over some vets, but I think Griffin unloads here.

Andrews Prediction: Max Griffin via TKO

MAIN CARD (10PM ET/7PM PT)

SEAN O’MALLEY (13-1-0) (-909) VS. KRIS MOUTINHO (9-4-0) (+624)

Andrews: Moutinho is replacing Louis Smolka on short notice and is making his debut. As long as O’Malley comes prepared, he should be to walk out with the finish.

#4 IRENE ALDANA (12-6-0) (-113) VS. #5 YANA KUNITSKAYA (14-5-0) (-103)

Andrews: Aldana missed weight and is an inch taller and needs to keep the fight standing. We have seen Kunitskaya work on the ground so I wouldn’t be surprised if she won, but I have to go with Aldana to use what she learned from fighting Holly Holm.

Andrews Prediction: Irene Aldana via UD

TAI TUIVASA (11-3-0) (-140) VS. GREG HARDY (7-3-0, 1NC) (+120)

Andrews: We’ve seen Tuisava buckle from the strikes of Junior Dos Santos.  He has the style for a Greg Hardy knockout.

Andrews Prediction: Greg Hardy via TKO

#2 GILBERT BURNS (19-4-0) (+123) VS. #6 STEPHEN THOMPSON (16-4-1) (-144)

Andrews: I like Burns who is a good grappler but can het close enough to use it against Wonderboy. It is a three round bout, which favours Thompson.

Andrews Prediction: Stephen Thompson via UD

#1 DUSTIN POIRIER (27-6-0, 1NC) (-120) VS. #5 CONOR MCGREGOR (22-5-0) (-110)

Andrews: Poirier is hungrier and has the confidence of winning the last fight, plus he has the calf kick. McGregor says he is prepared and.I think he will be better, but the calf kick once again will play a role in his defeat.

Andrews Prediction: Dustin Poirier via TKO

American Fighter movie director Shaun Paul Piccinino: I think Conor is going to take it. My reasoning is he is a cerebral fighter and always learns from his losses and adapts better then almost any other fighter. The big question mark is, does he still have the fire and desire after now being a 100-millionaire… and is the loss enough to bring that fire back.

Piccinino Prediction: Conor McGregor via TKO

3-time Wushu world champion Elaheh Mansourian:  I think Conor is going to win. He is a very hard worker. He quit for awhile and then he came back stronger. I really think he is going to win, plus I am a big fan of him so from the bottom of my heart he is going to win.

(Editor’s Note: Special thanks to Venera Films founder Garineh Nazarian for translating)

Elaheh Mansourian Prediction: Conor McGregor via TKO

World Lethwei women’s bantamweight champion Souris Manfredi: A tricky matchup! Again, if Conor isn’t starving then Poirier wins. If he is starving, he can shock the world with a nasty knockout out of nowhere. But, I guess it’s more Poirier’s time.

Souris Manfredi Prediction: Dustin Poirier via TKO

John Makdessi Prediction: Dustin Poirier via TKO

Enjoy the fights.

@kenaiandrews

KenaiAndrewshttps://www.mmacrossfire.com
Kenai is a former Postmedia Network online news and sports editor. He is the Editor-in-Chief for MMA Crossfire.

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