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UFC 264 Full Card Analysis and UFC Odds Conor McGregor Dustin Poirier

What the Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier Trilogy Means for MMA

The UFC 264 showpiece fight between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas is likely to be the most watched MMA pay-per-view contest of all time. Yet, there won’t even be a title on the line.

Seven Years in the Making

The final instalment of a trilogy that has spanned seven years, and began when both fighters were still taking their first steps to superstardom, is one of the most anticipated combat sport events of all time. Poirier skipped a title shot to make it happen, while McGregor is putting his reputation on the line at a crucial time in his career.

The fight comes just six months after the second fight between the two, which Poirier won three minutes into the second round and is expected to generate tens of millions in PPV revenue. Meanwhile, bookmakers could see record MMA wagering figures in the Conor McGregor vs Dustin Poirier betting markets. There is little to separate them at the bookmakers but the American will start as slight favorite at -125 (4/5), while McGregor is priced at 100 (evens).

Calculated Decision by Poirier

Poirier’s decision to accept a rematch rather than challenge lightweight champion Charles Oliveira for the title was probably an easy one. McGregor is still the biggest money draw in the sport and even if Poirier loses, he will likely earn more than he would have by taking on Oliveira. If he wins, however, his status and earning potential for a title match will be boosted considerably. He already has a reputation for being one of the bravest fighters out there and winning the trilogy would rank him amongst the legends of the sport.

Just the Beginning

MMA still has a long way to go to rival boxing in terms of popularity and earning potential but its trajectory has been remarkable. Rewind back to 15 years ago and the sport was still seen as an underground activity and had a dubious reputation for being little more than a glorified version of back-street brawling. Of course, that was never the case and it soon became clear that the sport had captivating appeal amongst a new generation of combat sport fans, and had huge growth potential.

The switch from cult to mainstream may have upset some purists but in reality it was inevitable. The emergence of McGregor as the sport’s first true superstar raised the profile of MMA to new levels but even he had to switch to boxing to earn his biggest pay-out to date. His recent fight with Floyd Mayweather bagged him a reported $85 million, while his opponent earned more than treble that. A rematch has already been discussed.

Despite that, the UFC is already a billion-dollar industry and MMA remains one of the fastest growing sports on the planet. It might not be too long before the sport is rivalling boxing in terms of box-office appeal. A new specialist UFC complex in Las Vegas featuring a hotel and fight venue just a short distance from the current UFC headquarters will be the next major step on that journey. But with McGregor’s career likely to wind down soon, the sport will be keen to unearth the next big superstar.

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