Dustin Poirier vs. Conor McGregor 3: UFC 264 odds and predictions

UFC 264 will finally settle the heated rivalry between Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor, as they engage in a trilogy fight that will likely decide who goes on to face lightweight champion Charles Oliveira.

McGregor starched Poirier back in September 2014 for the first-round TKO, before Poirier exacted revenge this past January by producing a second-round finish of 'Notorious.'

If McGregor's colorful display of antics during Thursday's press conference is any indication, MMA fans should expect nothing but fireworks between these two.

Who will win the rubber match and the supreme bragging rights that come with it? Here, the DAZN News team weighs in with predictions, followed by a look at the most updated odds for UFC 264: Poirier vs. McGregor 3.

Liam Happe

This fight has generated a lot of excitement because of the fireworks delivered by installments one and two. That they're tied heading into UFC 264 has also made for much more uncertainty among fans with regards to who will win.

That they claimed a stoppage each over the other has led to longer odds on fight three going the distance. However, it's also fair to say both men will be extremely wary of getting starched a second time by someone they have very well scouted, so perhaps a more cerebral encounter is upon us. 

Because of this, I'm tempted to stick a few quid on a McGregor win via decision. He had every reason to merely walk away from the sport a rich man with a superb legacy when January did not go his way, and to engineer a trilogy fight suggests he really does still have the drive and desire to put things right.

He should also be able to avoid walking into danger, so to speak, via the Poirier leg-kick strategy that proved his undoing last time out, now that he has seen (and felt it) first-hand. With a more gruelling training camp, additional determination and a more cautious approach, McGregor should be able to get his hand raised.

Winner: Conor McGregor via decision

Mark Lelinwalla

Conor McGregor was extra colorful with the antics and insults during Thursday's press conference, even throwing a kick at Poirier. In doing that, he fully abandoned the respect he showed Poirier during the buildup to their rematch in January and reverted to his wild self. Maybe it's what McGregor feels he needs to psyche himself up for this trilogy.

Through it all, though, Poirier showed a calm, cool about him.

I see McGregor exploding in the opening round and being successful in asserting instant offense before Poirier is able to thwart his efforts with a takedown that saps the Irish fighter's energy.

That takedown will also help open up a lane for leg kicks and that left hand that Poirier throws deceptively well to land. I believe the longer this fight lasts, the better it bodes for Poirier. I see McGregor's striking and pressure in the first two rounds doing damage, but not enough to throw Poirier off his game, which will include more takedowns and wrestling to McGregor's chagrin as he nips past his nemesis in the rubber match.

Winner: Dustin Poirier by split decision

Steven Muehlhausen

After Thursday's press conference, it appeared the magic of Conor McGregor was gone. The trash talk didn't work on Dustin Poirier and everything that came out of his mouth had the stench of someone who already looked defeated. 

But then Friday's ceremonial weigh-in happened, and you could see the nervous energy in Poirier. While McGregor wanted to get up and close personal one final time, it was the look of a calm and composed individual who had everything well under control. 

Beyond the mental warfare, what happened in January in their rematch at UFC 257 was an example of what inactivity can do to someone. The timing wasn't there for the Irishman and everything about his performance was off by a hair. Now returning a little less than six months later and for the first time since 2016, McGregor will compete twice in a calendar year. 

A sharp McGregor is a very good McGregor. 

Remember, Poirier is no slouch by any stretch. He's fantastic fighter who is great at everything. He's at the top for a reason.

This is going to be a strategic battle at the beginning and will end up being a dog fight when it's all said and done. An active and focused McGregor is very hard to beat. It's going to be a five-round war of attrition. 

McGregor is going to be able to stuff enough takedowns and check the leg kicks to use his vast striking prowess to bring home the victory.

Winner: Conor McGregor via unanimous decision

UFC 264 odds

BetMGM has the following odds on the UFC 264 main card as of Friday, July 9:

Dustin Poirier (-125)
Conor McGregor (+105)

Gilbert Burns (+135)
Stephen Thompson (-160)

Tai Tuivasa (-145)
Greg Hardy (+120)

Irene Aldana (-120)
Yana Kunitskaya (+100)

Sean O'Malley (-900)
Kris Moutinho (+600)
 

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