The world-famous Vegas Strip is back, and this summer’s hottest event is fight weekend, July 9-10th. For the first time in over a year, Las Vegas and T-Mobile Arena will be holding UFC 264 at full capacity. Selling out in a matter of weeks, fans have had this pay-per view marked on their calendar since the lineup was first announced. Built around the main event and trilogy fight of Dustin Poirer and Conor McGregor, UFC 264 main card also includes some of the biggest stars, legends, and up and comers in the business and is bound to be one of the most historic events in fight history.
Sean O’Malley vs Kris Moutinho
Coming off a highlight-reel knockout back in March, bantamweight Sean O’Malley (13-1) is ready to step back in the octagon with UFC newcomer Kris Moutinho (9-4). After an undisclosed injury caused O’Malley’s original opponent, Louis Smolka, to withdraw from the fight, the UFC scrambled to find a new opponent to ensure “The Suga Show” stayed on the main card. O’Malley has promised fans another jaw-dropping knockout and wants to finish the fight early so that he can continue his climb into the UFC’s top-15 bantamweights.
Irene Aldana vs Yana Kunitskaya
The UFC has already announced that women’s bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes will be defending her title at UFC 265 against Julianna Pena. But with how dominant Nunes is, fans already want to know who is next. The answer to that question could be #4 Irene Aldana (12-6) or #5 Yana Kunitskaya (14-5, 1 NC). Neither woman has had a shot at the champion, but a statement performance from either could leave UFC president Dana White with no other option than to put them next in line.
Tai Tuivasa vs Greg Hardy
You can not have a fight card without two hard-hitting heavyweights. Right? A matchup like this almost guarantees blood and a body ending up on the octagon floor. Tuivasa (12-3) and Hardy (7-3) combined for a total of 16 knockouts in 18 victories. Unfortunately, a win over the other won’t put either man in contention for the UFC heavyweight title, but it could mean an enormous climb up the division ladder and a crack inside the top-15.
Gilbert Burns vs Stephen Thompson
Two of the most genuine fighters in the UFC, square off inside closed doors for UFC 264 co-main event. Both men going into Saturday’s fight are in a must-win situation, as the line for a chance at UFC welterweight champion Kamara Usman continues to get longer week by week. A unique karate style brought by Thompson (16-4-1) and an exhausting jiu-jitsu style brought by Burns (19-4) has this fight at the top of fan’s lists for the potential fight of the night.
Dustin Poirier vs Conor McGregor
The main event at UFC 264 is not your typical trilogy. Tied at one apiece, a lot is at stake for both fighters. In the past few years, the UFC has seen the tides switch between the careers of Conor McGregor (22-5) and Dustin Poirier (27-6, 1 NC). Poirier has matured into one of the top fighters in the business and McGregor has fallen to a place where his love for fighting is being questioned.
A loss on Saturday night could be the end of the dominant McGregor era and possibly the end of his fighting career. A win for “The Notorious One” could prove that he still has what it takes to be a top competitor in the division and also line him up to be the next fighter that has the potential to strap the lightweight gold around his waist.
Whenever you are matched with another fighter that has stardom like McGregor you are immediately overlooked, even if you dominated him in your last fight. Dustin Poirier earned his title shot months before taking his rematch with McGregor in January, early this year. After tying the rivalry, he made the tough decision of putting his title hopes on the back burner so he could finish what he started. Another win over McGregor, not only builds Poirier’s already impressive resume but allows him to move on and give his full attention to the current UFC lightweight champion, Charles Oliveria. Just like the co-main event, if Poirier loses he falls back into the mix of contenders where he will have to fight his way to the top for another chance at the belt.
With a jam-packed main card like UFC 264, don’t wait to start your fight weekend until Saturday. Starting Thursday, the UFC will be kicking things off with their fighter press conference inside T-Mobile Arena, where the event will be open to the public. Doors open at 4:00 p.m PT, an hour before the press conference start time – 5:00 p.m. PT. On Friday, the UFC invites you back inside T-Mobile Arena where the ceremonial weigh-ins will take place. Fans can watch the fighters square off one last time before they meet each other inside the octagon on Saturday. Ceremonial weigh-ins are free to the public and doors open at 3:00 p.m. PT.