Conor McGregor returns, again, after only a six month wait this time, at UFC 264 this Saturday from Las Vegas. The quick return probably has to do with the fact that losing doesn’t sit well with him and he’s in a hurry to avenge his January loss to Dustin Poirier. Will he exact his revenge and win the rubber match in this trilogy? Read on, dear reader, for here are my UFC 264 predictions.
UFC 264 Predictions
All odds courtesy of PointsBet
Dustin Poirier (-130) vs Conor McGregor
And my answer is…. no, I don’t expect Conor McGregor to successfully avenge his UFC 257 loss to Dustin Poirier. Poirier showed that he is just a better all-around mixed martial artist than McGregor in that fight, and I don’t expect the six months leading up to Saturday’s fight having changed that fact at all. While McGregor will be dangerous for the first round and a half, he pretty much runs out of gas past that point, at which time I expect Diamond to finish him.
Stephen Thompson (-160) vs Gilbert Burns
This feels like a tailormade matchup for Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson. He should be able to pick apart Gilbert Burns from distance, and his distance control and strong defensive wrestling should keep the jiu-jitsu ace off of his legs (as well as stop him from landing a powerful knockout shot). This could be an opportunity for Thompson to score a highlight-reel knockout and finally get himself a crack at Kamaru Usman and the UFC Welterweight Championship.
Greg Hardy (+112) vs Tai Tuivasa
He’s a hard guy to root for, but I’m taking the exiled NFL star Greg Hardy to beat Tai Tuivasa in this battle of beefy bois. While his cardio is lacking, and he is still a work-in-progress, I think his athleticism and power can win this one for him.
Yana Kunitskaya (-110) vs Irene Aldana
We’ve got ourselves a virtual pick ’em (Irene Aldana is currently at -120) in what could be a #1 contender’s match in the women’s bantamweight division. Yana Kunitskaya looked fantastic in her last fight, and I expect the same from her here against Aldana.
Sean O’Malley (-900) vs Kris Moutinho
Not much value in ‘Sugar’ Sean O’Malley here at -900, but he’s the pick to win against overmatched, last-minute replacement, UFC rookie Kris Moutinho. O’Malley’s striking is just too good to lose this one realistically.
Max Griffin (-190) vs Carlos Condit
While the legendary Carlos Condit has looked good in his last couple of fights, I don’t expect that to continue in this fight against Max Griffin. Griffin seems to have figured things out and is peaking, winning his last two, violently.
Michel Pereira (-170) vs Niko Price
The People’s Main Event. These two welterweights bring a crazy, fan-friendly striking style into every fight they are in. I’m going with the better grappler Michel Pereira, who is on a nice two-fight win streak. I’m setting the over/under on cartwheels performed in this fight at 1.5.
Ryan Hall (+195) vs Ilia Topuria
We go from two dynamic strikers to two grappling wizards. However, there are levels to this game, and Ryan Hall is a cut above all others when it comes to BJJ. With an improving striking game, I think he’s good value at almost twice our money.
Dricus du Plessis (-125) vs Trevin Giles
Dricus du Plessis’s striking and power is going to cause problems for ‘The Problem’ Trevin Giles. And if it goes to the mat, du Plessis has the grappling chops to get a W, too.
Jennifer Maia (-200) vs Jessica Eye
A battle of former title challengers headlines the early prelims portion of Saturday’s card. I’ll go with the Brazilian to bounce back after losing to the champ Valentina Shevchenko last time in the cage. But this fight is closer than the odds hint at.
Omari Akhmedov (+140) vs Brad Tavares
I’m counting on Omari Akhmedov’s strong wrestling to make him a live dog here, but he also has heavier hands than Brad Tavares, which will come in handy.
Zhalgas Zhumagulov (-371) vs Jerome Rivera
Two flyweights looking for their first UFC win lock up here. I’ll take Double Z, as I think he’s better everywhere in the cage. But, once again, I don’t like the line here.
Hu Yaozong (+112) vs Alen Amedovski
Two more fighters still looking to have their hands raised in victory in the UFC cage, plus two guys coming off extensive time off (almost three years for Hu Yaozong; almost two years for Alen Amedovski). Yaozong’s size and youth gives him the nod from me.
Overall Record: 446-371
Return on Investment: -(12.9)%
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