Tag Archives: Conor McGregor

Fights to make in 2022 – Conor McGregor vs Nate Diaz 3

After the absolutely incredible fight year that was 2021, 2022 is promising to be bigger, better and badder than ever before in the UFC.

There will be title fights, shocking upsets, incredible wars and new rivalries created throughout the year, but there are some that already spilling over from this year.

With that, weโ€™re going to name you ten fights that the UFC should make in 2022 at some point to give the fans the ultimate fight experience.

It feels like something that’s been spoken about for years, but there has arguably never been a better time to make the Conor McGregor vs Nate Diaz trilogy fight.

Their first fight was stumbled upon by pure chance during McGregor’s incredible rise to – excuse the pun – notorious status in the sport. It was at a point in his career where he genuinely would fight anyone, anywhere and at any weight.

Diaz was a big name for his street demeanour, but he wasn’t quite a ‘needle mover’ yet. By the time their rematch rolled around, that was totally different though.

With both guys coming off successive defeats and not involved in any sort of title picture in their respective divisions, then you may as well set it up.

McGregor’s defeats to Dustin Poirier at UFC 257 and UFC 264 showed that he is still an elite striker, but Poirier’s well-roundedness was able to win the day in the end on both occasions.

While Diaz is an excellent grappler in his own right, he is a guy who will look to pressure his opponent on the feet and just straight bang it out.

That would suit McGregor greatly as a comeback fight, with his leg unlikely to be tested too much due to the boxing-heavy approach that Diaz likes to take to his fights.

It’s a fight that could easily headline a pay-per-view card and would likely be the highest-selling card of the year if it happened. Add to the fact that it could happen at either 155-pounds or 170-pounds and you have plenty of possibilities going forward.

Ultimately, this would be a fight for the fans. There’s no real implications behind it other than one of them getting bragging rights and back into the win column. For the other, the end is probably nigh.

The ultimate fan encounter between the two biggest stars in the sport, make it happen Uncle Dana.


Conor McGregor reveals expected return date

The UFC won’t be without the Notorious one for much longer, after Conor McGregor revealed when he expects to be able to compete once again.

The former two-weight world champion is coming off the back of successive losses for the first time in his career, following defeats to Dustin Poirier at UFC 257 and UFC 264 in July.

However the most recent loss was marred by a gruesome leg injury at the end of the first round which forced the fight to be stopped by doctors.

McGregor landed a kick to the body of Poirier but his shin caught the elbow of ‘Diamond’. As he placed his foot back down to throw a strike, his leg broke under his weight and he collapsed to the canvas in pain.

The doctor stopped the fight but McGregor was adamant that he would return for revenge against Poirier, who made it 2-1 in their trilogy after previously earning a KO win in January.

After months of back and forth with several people on social media, McGregor was now revealed that he expects to be cleared for full sparring in April and should be able to return to action soon after.

The 33-year-old had immediately been earmarked for a return in the summer of 2022 following his injury, but there had been reports that his recovery had been going better than expected.

It now seems that those reports were wide of the mark though, with the timeline for his recovery seemingly in line with initial expectations.

His next fight is up in the air though. His wish for an immediate fourth bout with Poirier seems unlikely given that he will be challenging for the lightweight championship on December 11th, while Justin Gaethje is already essentially confirmed as being next in line for the winner of that fight with Charles Oliveira.

Beneil Dariush and Islam Makhachev are confirmed to be fighting each other in February now, which leaves open potential bouts against Michael Chandler or even Max Holloway for the summer.

Is Conor McGregor vs Max Holloway 2 the fight to make?

It seems as though Conor McGregor has taken a particular interest towards the the man that many have dubbed as ‘the best boxer in the UFC’ in Max Holloway recently.

After his brilliant win over Calvin Kattar on Fight Island in January, Holloway watched on as McGregor was knocked out for the first time in his career by Dustin Poirier just a week later at UFC 257.

McGregor’s attentions were firmly on Poirier for their trilogy fight at UFC 264, which he lost due to doctor’s stoppage when he broke his leg at the end of the first round.

Ever since then, ‘Notorious’ has been vocal on social media about his next bout. He has claimed several times that he wants to fight Poirier again, insisting that they have unfinished business despite ‘The Diamond’ dominating the first round of their fight before his injury.

He’s also had online jousts with the likes of Nate Diaz, Jorge Masvidal, Kamaru Usman and even recently agreed to fight Michael Chandler at some point too.

But it now seems as though McGregor has taken his attentions solely to ‘Blessed’, who earned another Fight of the Night performance award with a brilliant win over Yair Rodriguez at UFC Vegas 42.

Throughout the night, McGregor was constantly taunting Holloway online about his new tag of ‘best boxer in the UFC’, claiming someone who has also absorbed the most head strikes in UFC history can’t be the best boxer in a series of now deleted tweets.

He went so far as to post a video on his Twitter account of him pacing back and forth around his living room, staring at the TV while the camera was focused on Holloway for his introduction in that fight.

Following Holloway’s win, he claimed that he was on the shortlist for a fight with McGregor and that he would welcome a rematch against the former duel-weight champion. But is that the fight to make for both fighters and the UFC?

Their first fight back in 2013 went somewhat under the radar. It was the first time in the UFC that McGregor didn’t get a finish, but despite a torn ACL suffered in the first round was able to earn a unanimous decision victory.

Since then Holloway has been on a tremendous run and has become one of the most popular and effective fighters in the companies history.

Conor McGregor punches Max Holloway in their UFC featherweight bout at TD Garden on August 17, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts.

The two men in question are arguably the best boxers in the company, with great counter-striking and power in McGregor’s company while Holloway is by far the best ever when it comes to volume and body work.

The match-up would be unique, with Holloway’s record of never having been knocked down in his 29 professional fight career being put on the line – while McGregor’s new leg and always waivering cardio would get tested again.

It’s a fight that would undoubtedly have the fans absolutely buzzing, as two crowd favourites go head-to-head in what would be sure to be a stand-up fight for the most part.

But realistically, it doesn’t make much sense. Holloway has earned himself a featherweight title shot now after back-to-back wins since defeats to Alexander Volkanovski, while McGregor in on back-to-back losses and just one win in the last five years.

Opponents Conor McGregor and Max Holloway face off during the UFC weigh-in inside TD Garden on August 16, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts.

Not to mention that the fight would have to see someone come out of their favoured weight-class, with Holloway competing at 145lbs (with one defeat at 155lbs) and McGregor preferring to fight at 155lbs (despite only one win in the UFC in that division).

Business-wise though, it’s bound to appeal to them. If Volkanovski puts up some resistance to fighting Holloway having beaten him twice fairly recently, then finding McGregor an opponent that is main-event worthy and keeps him out of the title picture could really work.

If both fighters were keen for the bout to happen, as it seems they are, and there were viable options for the alternatives, then it’s very real that a fight takes place in 2022.

If it did, you could probably take it to the bank that it would be the highest selling pay-per-view event of the year for the UFC.

Conor McGregor agrees to fight Michael Chandler in 2022

Lightweight may have it’s next big match up for the new year after Conor McGregor verbally agreed to fight Michael Chandler in 2022.

Chandler was involved in the fight of the night, and one of the best fights of the year, at UFC 268 as he dropped a unanimous decision to Justin Gaethje to make it back-to-back defeats in the UFC.

McGregor is currently recovering from his broken leg suffered at UFC 264 as he fell to Dustin Poirier for a second time in a row at the event.

But despite the defeat on Saturday night, it seems that Chandler already has his eye on his next bout and called out McGregor on Twitter in a respectful manner on Monday.

Chandler posted a tweet that simply said ‘2022’, with a photoshopped image of himself and McGregor facing off.

With the internet buzzing about the potential match-up, McGregor logged in to verbally accept the bout. He said in a response, “I’m down at some stage for sure. Great fight the other night Mike, congrats!”

McGregor and Chandler both fought on the UFC 257 card in January, with Chandler earning a debut win against Dan Hooker via first-round knockout while ‘Notorious’ was stopped by Poirier in the second round.

The Irishman has made it clear that he wants to fight Poirier again once he is medically cleared from his freak injury, although the Louisiana native could be the lightweight champion at that point as he challenges for the belt at UFC 269 next month.

That would make an immediate rematch difficult for the UFC to make, with the likes of Justin Gaethje and Islam Makhachev both very deserving of a title fight in their own right.

It would allow the UFC to enter McGregor back into contention, with a win over Chandler likely allowing him to leapfrog some big names to set up the fight because of his status.

But after back-to-back defeats for both guys, this is a fight that would make a lot of sense for both and would absolutely get the fans excited.

Booking the UFC lightweight division after UFC 268

After UFC 267 and UFC 268 took place in consecutive weeks, the lightweight division has moved significantly forward in terms of the title picture.

After such a long period of domination by Khabib Nurmagomedov at the top of the mountain, it took a while for Dana White and the UFC to move on from him and help the division forward.

But with the title fight at UFC 262 which saw Charles Oliveira crowned champion, we finally got movement. Now, the UFC has finally stepped forward.

At UFC 267 it was Islam Makhachev who took the headlines at 155lbs. The man who is regarded as the heir to Khabib’s throne by the man himself took on Dan Hooker in a fight that many expected to be the toughest of his career.

Instead, Makhachev walked through the New Zealand native with an immediate takedown and then a nasty kimura lock to earn a first-round submission win.

It means a nine-fight win streak and a move up to fourth in the UFC rankings, with many believing he is now the obvious next contender for the title against the winner of UFC 269’s main event between the champion Oliveira and Dustin Poirier.

One person who didn’t believe that however was the man who is currently ranked at number two – Justin Gaethje.

Gaethje took on Michael Chandler at UFC 268 on Saturday night and in the undoubted fight of the year (and my personal favourite fight ever) went to war, with the belief that a win earned him another shot at the belt.

In a stunning back and forth bout where both men were hurt several times, ‘The Highlight’ came out victorious via a unanimous judge’s decision – his first since time going the distance since 2014.

But those results and performances have given the UFC a headache-and-a-half going forward. How does the UFC book the division now for 2022? We’ve had a go at doing it ourselves.

Winner of Oliveira/Poirier vs Islam Makhachev

This shouldn’t be controversial at all, but Makhachev absolutely deserves the next title shot.

A nine-fight win streak, beating excellent guys along the way and now starting to add finishes to his resumรฉ too. He has the skillset to really cause a problem for either guy and both would be fresh match ups. Not to mention that he’s never had a title shot before.

Loser of Oliveira/Poirier vs Justin Gaethje

It may seem harsh to give Gaethje someone coming off a loss, but it makes sense. Gaethje’s last fight before the Chandler war was a title shot in which he was largely dominated, so to go straight back in for the belt after just one fight seems unfair when Makhachev exists.

Just like Robert Whittaker up a few divisions, Gaethje should beat the top guys and earn the spot back. A win over either Oliveira or Poirier after their title fight would mean he has no equal in terms of deserving a title shot.

Beneil Dariush vs Michael Chandler

Beneil Dariush reacts after defeating Tony Ferguson in their lightweight bout during the UFC 262 event at Toyota Center on May 15, 2021 in Houston,...

The forgotten man in the top five is Dariush, but he has a huge claim to being close to the title too. Currently on a seven-fight win streak after dominating Tony Ferguson at UFC 262, Dariush took some time away for his family with his wife pregnant.

But come 2022 he is likely to be ready to trade leather again, and who better than the former Bellator champ? Dariush only has the one marquee win, so may need to be built up a little more for a title shot and a win over Chandler would absolutely do that.

For Chandler, it’s a chance to put this most recent defeat behind him but also a reward for such a good performance despite the result. His stocks will have only risen with that fight, so there’s no harm in this match-up.

Conor McGregor vs Rafael Dos Anjos

Rafael dos Anjos of Brazil and Conor McGregor of Ireland face off during the UFC 197 on-sale press conference event inside MGM Grand Hotel & Casino...

You can’t talk about lightweight without mentioning Conor McGregor but after back-to-back losses to Poirier at UFC 257 and UFC 264, the UFC should have him fighting someone slightly lower down in the rankings.

Dos Anjos is desperate for another run at the title at 155lbs, but his first reign with the belt put him on a collision course with the Notorious one, until a broken foot ultimately led to the now legendary McGregor-Diaz feud.

There is a back-story for the company to build on, animosity to fuel McGregor, a payday for Dos Anjos and the chance to work their way up the rankings for both fighters. It just makes sense.

Why it’s time for the UFC to move on from Conor McGregor and Jon Jones

It’s been a while, granted, but Jon Jones and Conor McGregor are back in the news for their antics outside of the octagon yet again.

After back-to-back KO defeats to Dustin Poirier this year, with the most recent at UFC 264 ending in a broken leg for ‘Notorious’, the Irishman was back in the limelight for an altercation with rapper Machine Gun Kelly at the MTV VMA awards last month.

Jones on the other hand hasn’t fought since February 2020 when he was controversially given the nod in a tight fight with Dominick Reyes at UFC 247. He relinquished his light heavyweight title after that fight in order to move up to the heavyweight division, but payment disputes with the company mean he is yet to debut at the biggest weight class despite being named publicly as the number one contender to the title.

But Jones was back in the public eye for all the wrong reasons last week, when he was arrested following his induction into the UFC Hall of Fame for his fight with Alexander Gustafsson.

‘Bones’ Jones was arrested on a domestic violence charge as well as injuring and disabling a vehicle after his fiance was seen with blood on her lip and clothes. She told police that he “pulled her hair a little bit” and witnesses claim she was “scared” of potentially seeing Jones again according to the police report.

For both fighters, it’s the latest in a long list of incidents that have taken outside the cage that have put a negative spin on their careers in mixed martial arts.

Inside the octagon, their greatness is undisputed. McGregor was of course the first ever two-weight simultaneous champion in the company’s history and is their biggest cash cow, with seven of their top ten highest ever selling pay-per-view events featuring him in the main event.

Jon Jones Makes A Vow In First Comments After Recent Arrest

Jones is regarded by many as the greatest of all-time with a record of 26-1 (1 no contest), with his only defeat coming by way of disqualification in a fight in which he completely dominated from start to end. He held the light heavyweight title on and off for ten years, only losing it after trouble with the law, USADA or relinquishing it.

But there comes a point where there is a changing of the guard in the cage but also outside of it, and it’s time for the UFC to create new stars and faces of the company to send these two to the rear-view mirror.

McGregor’s aura has gone anyway, with three defeats in his last four fights and all by stoppage too. Fans are no longer watching him to see him blow opponents away or even watch him get his mouth shut, they’re watching for the circus that comes with him and that’s not good for the UFC.

Jones is a tougher situation because despite his close-run wins over Thiago Santos and Reyes, he is still winning. A move up to heavyweight offers fresh match-ups, fresh rivalries and fresh opportunities which fans will absolutely love, but at what point do the UFC say enough is enough?

Conor McGregor arrest: UFC star arrested in Miami for strong-armed robbery  and criminal mischief | The Independent | The Independent

As Daniel Cormier reminded everyone already, there is a code of conduct in the UFC. It’s just up to them to enforce it. It’s safe to say that if this was anyone not named Jon Jones or Conor McGregor then the UFC would have cut ties a long time ago.

Now though, they must make a decision. Carry on as if nothing has happened and just cash in for as long as they can on star names, or build up new mega-stars who can take over the throne as the top guys in the company and give them far less grief.

Israel Adesanya, Max Holloway and Brandon Moreno have shown that it is possible to be a super popular, mega star in the mixed-martial arts world and not cause problems with the law. The UFC are a big enough brand and entity now that they don’t need to rely on one or two stars anymore.

Cut ties and lead by example. Do the right thing.

Conor McGregor got smoked and is done at the top level after UFC 264

The biggest trilogy fight in UFC history had arguably the most unfortunate end we’ve ever seen in a big fight, but we still saw more than enough to know how the fight was probably going to go.

The UFC 264 main event fight between Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor went only one full round, before the doctor stopped the fight between rounds after ‘Notorious’ suffered a broken leg with ten seconds remaining.

But what we saw in the previous 4:50 of the round was more than enough to convince me, and many others, that the former two-weight simultaneous world champion is done at the highest level.

McGregor started hard and fast, opening the round with spinning back kicks to the body and then started firing kicks to the legs of Poirier. ‘Diamond’ stayed calm though and saw out the first wave of attacks, although Conor did land a big left hand.

Poirier responded with a chain of punches himself which forced McGregor to clinch, which led to a takedown from Poirier and essentially the rest of the fight. Poirier took him down, avoided the guillotine attempt and then landed two minutes worth of ground and pound with vicious elbows and punches.

He let McGregor up before a freak accident saw him plant his foot badly and snap his tibia bone to end the fight.

Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier grapple in their lightweight bout during UFC 264 at T-Mobile Arena on July 10 in Las Vegas, Nevada, United States.

While the former lightweight and featherweight champion exclaimed after the fight that “this isn’t over”, and Dana White confirmed that the UFC would likely make yet another rematch between the two fighters once the Irishman has fully healed I’m not convinced it’s something we need to see again.

As far as I’m concerned the first fight between them is now irrelevant. It was seven years ago, in a different weight class and it was two completely different men.

The January fight however was relevant. McGregor won the opening round in my eyes, but when he landed that left hand flush that normally puts people away – Poirier didn’t disappear. Poirier fired back with strikes of his own, grappled and landed the eventually lethal leg kicks.

In this fight, it was more of the same. Anyone who has followed McGregor’s career knows that he isn’t really someone who grows into fights. He starts at a super high, sharp standard and steadily declines as it goes on. Poirier is arguably the opposite and that showed.

Poirier took his best shots, fired back and troubled McGregor and then beat him up until the round ended. Had the leg break not happened, it’s hard to think that the fight wouldn’t have continued to unfold in the same manner and while he may not have got the finish I can’t see how McGregor overcomes that and turns the tables to beat Poirier over the course of a fight.

His period to take over the lightweight division was immediately after he won the title, but instead he chased money. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that either, he chose the security of his family over fighting because his legacy was already secured, but he missed his chance.

The hunger isn’t there, the levels have been upped and he has been left behind. As a fan, I’d love to see McGregor just walk away and maybe pursue boxing or just continue with his business ventures. If he was to return to the UFC, it should absolutely not be against Poirier or any of the top contenders because he isn’t at that level anymore and there is no need.

If he must return, give him the Diaz trilogy. A fight that is purely ego and pride, that fans will enjoy and get behind but doesn’t actually mean anything for the division it takes place in.

UFC 264: Poirier vs McGregor 3 – Results (Highlights)

**Hu Yaozong vs Alen Amedovski was cancelled just before the card started due to COVID-19 protocols.


Zhalgas Zhumagulov def Jerome Rivera via Submission (Guillotine), Round 1 (2:02)

Good start to the fight from Rivera as he uses that long reach advantage to stab some kicks into the gut. Zhumagulov starts throwing some nice overhand right hands and is moving well but Rivera is putting the pace on him. Zhumagulov lands a nice left hook that drops Rivera and then synches up a nasty looking standing guillotine and forces the tap! Huge win!

Brad Tavares def Omari Akhmedov via Split Decision (28-29, 29-28 x2)

Great start to the fight from Tavares as he uses his boxing well to light Akhmedov up nice and early. A nice exchange in the pocket and Tavares comes out on top of it. Nice low kick from Akhmedov but Tavares counters with a nice right hand. Akhmedov shoots in for a takedown and after a bounce on the cage gets it, but Tavares bounces straight back up. A few more takedown attempts but Tavares denies them all and lands some nice strikes in the exchanges to end the round. 10-9 Tavares.

Akhmedov steps into the second round with a nice jab and then a takedown attempt and while he gets him down he can’t hold him there and Tavares gets back up early. Tavares starts landing some heavy leg kicks and Akhmedov is feeling it. Nice jabs from Tavares but now Akhmedov is landing some heavy leg kicks of his own. Tavares steps in for a clinch and lands a big knee to the face, followed by a heavy low kick again. Akhmedov goes for another takedown but Tavares defends it well and should claim that round too. 20-18 Tavares.

Fast start to the final round from Tavares but staying patient with the volume of strikes, just pressing forward and forcing Akhmedov backwards. Tavares throws a heavy leg kick that drops Akhmedov, then lands another big one as he gets back to his feet. Great movement from Tavares and his jab is landing clean too. Akhmedov goes for a takedown but Tavares stuffs it brilliantly. Final minute and Tavares has rocked him! Big strikes just miss but Akhmedov is stumbling. Tavares lands a nice kick to end the round, great fight. 30-27 Tavares.

Jennifer Maia def Jessica Eye via Unanimous Decision (29-28 x2, 30-27)

Interesting start as both women stay standing and Eye is landing really well. Nice kicks and some good hooks but Maia fires back too with a big knee up the middle. Eye lands some more short strikes and is just too fast so far. Some nice shots from Eye land and send Maia stumbling backwards and then Eye goes for a takedown and ends the round on top. 10-9 Eye.

Another good start from Eye as she continues to walk forward and lands short shots and apply pressure to Maia, who is being forced to fight on the back foot. Eye throwing some nice leg kicks but Maia is responding with a nice one-two up the middle that is landing well and often. Maia is pushing the pace now and landing big strikes. An accidental clash of heads opens up a massive cut on the head of Eye as the round ends. 19-19.

Final round and Maia is staying patient and not going straight for the cut. Lots of short strikes again but Eye is coming forward and landing some decent hooks and leg kicks of her own. Maia is doing really well to land the right hand and counter Eye’s pressure on the back foot. Big strikes from Maia as she applies heavy pressure herself with Eye bleeding heavily now. Great scrap, 29-28 Maia for me


Dricus Du Plessis def Trevin Giles via Knockout, Round 2 (1:41)

A very tense start to the fight for both guys as they both show lots of feints and bouncing on their feet. Du Plessis throwing some leg kicks to get some score with the judges and just misses with a flying knee. Du Plessis goes for the takedown against the cage and gets it, then passes into mount immediately. He starts targeting submissions but Giles defending fairly well and scrambling to safety. Du Plessis ends up back on top and looks for a big elbow but ends the round on top. 10-9 Du Plessis.

Good start to the round from Giles as he steps forward looking to land big heavy strikes early on. Du Plessis staying patient and avoids a big flying knee but backs up to the cage after landing a nice left hand. He throws a left jab that misses then throws a big right hand that lands flush and puts Giles out! He lands some follow up punches but this one is all over! What a knockout!

Ilia Topuria def Ryan Hall via Knockout, Round 1 (4:27)

Very tense start to the fight with Hall backing up against the cage and Topuria pressuring him. Hall throws a big spinning back kick that lands well. He starts rolling for emenari rolls but Topuria is avoiding them all and doing really well to skip out. Several minutes pass of Hall rolling for legs but missing, and then Hall goes for another spin kick. Topuria catches it and forces Hall to the ground, then lands some heavy shots that put Hall out! Huge win for Topuria!

Michel Pereira def Niko Price via Unanimous Decision (29-28 x3)

Slow start to the fight as Pereira lands a nice jab and Price starts to go for some takedowns against the cage. Pereira defends well against the cage and starts firing off some big shots and his speed is troubling Price. Some superman punch attempts just miss but Pereira is doing well to keep attacking with volume. Rolling thunder attempt to finish the round and it’s 10-9 to the Brazilian.

Second round and Pereira is coming out strong, throwing a nice body kick that hurts Price. He goes on the attack and starts throwing some heavy strikes and gets Price down to the ground. Pereira starts looking for an americana submission but Price defends it, so Pereira starts raining down strikes instead. Price is just about surviving and Pereira moves to his back looking for a choke, but Price is able to roll out and get back to his feet before the round ends. 20-18 Pereira.

Final round and Price is pouring on the pressure nice and early as he sees Pereira is tiring. Price landing some big shots and Pereira just doesn’t have the same pop to his counters or movement in his legs anymore. Price pouring it on and landing some big strikes but Pereira is surviving. Nice left hand from Pereira but Price keeps coming forward. He goes all out before the end of the round but it’s likely not enough. 29-28 Pereira for me.

Max Griffin def Carlos Condit via Unanimous Decision (29-28 x2, 30-27)

Hugely impressive start to the fight from Griffin as he lands some heavy leg kicks early that are getting big reactions from Condit. Griffin keeping a big pace and is doing lots of work on Condit who just can’t get going at all. Griffin landing some big strikes and Condit is in trouble! Griffin goes for the finish but Condit survives and the round ends. 10-9 Griffin, potentially even a 10-8.

Second round and Condit has come out and is walking forward and Griffin has slowed down considerably. Condit more willing to take the strikes as he comes forward and Griffin has so far completely stopped with the leg kicks. Condit continuing to step forward and landing some nice strikes but Griffin not getting hurt too much and is trying to counter. Condit lands a few more as the round ends, 19-19.

Griffin coming out much more aggressive in the final round and landing some nice jabs. Few big haymakers from Griffin are getting through, and Condit is being forced to back up now as he starts to tire. Condit starts firing back with some heavy body shots and a right hand, but Griffin throws a couple of leg kicks to snap the momentum immediately. Nice right hand again from Griffin and Condit backs up, so Griffin goes for the takedown and keeps the fight there until the round ends. 29-28 Griffin for me. Great fight.


Sean O’Malley def Kris Moutinho via Knockout, Round 3 (4:33)

Solid start to the fight from O’Malley. Suga is pushing the pace and landing some really nice jabs. Lots of heavy strikes landing but Moutinho stepping forward and looking for a right hook. O’Malley continues with the jabs and hooks through the guard and he is beating Moutinho up badly. Big right hook lands and drops Moutinho and then he goes for a spin kick that just misses. Lots of strikes and Moutinho is getting pieced up. O’Malley throws a pull right cross counter and drops Moutinho! He goes for the guillotine submission but time runs out. 10-8 O’Malley.

Second round and O’Malley is doing more of the same, just landing heavy strikes and really beating Moutinho up. Moutinho keeps storming forward though and is just missing with his right hooks. O’Malley smashing hooks and jabs through the guard but starting to tire. Moutinho keeps going forward and is talking to O’Malley and surviving the beating somehow. 20-17.

O’Malley comes out in the third round firing once again but Moutinho is just a zombie coming forward. O’Malley throwing knees, kicks, strikes and uppercuts but Moutinho is talking to him and smiling. O’Malley is fading but still throwing beautiful jabs and combinations. As the round comes into the final 30 seconds O’Malley lands a huge combination and Moutinho is hurt! He’s still standing but the referee waves it off after an accumulation.

Irene Aldana def Yana Kunitskaya via Knockout, Round 1 (4:35)

Good start to the fight from Kunitskaya with some kicks to counter the boxing attack of Aldana early on. Kunitskaya goes for a spinning wheel kick and then clinches up looking for a takedown, but Aldana defends it really well. Aldana slips a charge and lands a big right cross to the nose and then a jab, then lands a beautiful left hook to the body that hurts Kunitskaya. Some good jabs and slips and then she lands a big left hand again that drops Kunitskaya. Aldana rains down ground and pound but Kunitskaya tries to survive it by holding her hands for control. Aldana gets on top of her, slams big strikes into her face and the referee steps in to end it! Huge performance from Aldana!

Tai Tuivasa def Greg Hardy via Knockout, Round 1 (1:07)

Tuivasa comes out and lands some heavy leg kicks to start that Hardy immediately feels and struggles with. They start going wild with strikes and Hardy tags Tuivasa bad! He rushes in for the finish but Tuivasa counters with a crazy left-hook that puts Hardy out!!! Wow! What a knockout!!

Gilbert Burns def Stephen Thompson via Unanimous Decision (29-28 x3)

Very cagey start to the fight from both guys as they look to feel each other out. Burns steps forward with some looping hooks but Thompson avoids and moves out of range once again. Burns shoots in for a takedown against the cage and after a stalemate gets the fight down. He holds top position for the remainder of the round without landing too much damage. 10-9 Burns.

Thompson comes out more on his toes and lands some good side kicks and lots of body shots to keep Burns at distance. Some nice right hands and Burns bites down on his mouthpiece to fire back but Thompson is out of the way swiftly. More kicks from Thompson and as the round comes to an end Burns gets Thompson down once again and lands some decent strikes but that’s a Thompson round. 19-19.

Final round and Burns comes out hot and heavy ready to go. Nice right hand lands and then Burns shoots for the takedown and gets it around halfway through the round. Burns sits on top of Thompson and applies pressure, with good ground and pound and just staying heavy to take what should be a decision win for him. 29-28 Burns.

Dustin Poirier def Conor McGregor via Doctor Stoppage (Broken Ankle), Round 1 (5:00)

McGregor comes out and lands two sharp spinning kicks to the body followed by his teet kick. Poirier coming forward but McGregor slams some hard leg kicks into him to slow him down. Poirier responds with a couple of his own but McGregor going for the kicks. McGregor lands a nice left hand but Poirier responds with a combination that seems to buzz McGregor. McGregor clinches and Poirier goes for the takedown, but McGregor looks to sink in a guillotine choke. Poirier avoids and starts slamming in some heavy ground and pound shots, big elbows to McGregor who’s hurt! Poirier piling on the pressure and looking for a finish but McGregor is surviving for now. Poirier lets McGregor back up and he throws a punch that misses but as he plants his back foot his leg gives way and snaps! Poirier lands some shots on McGregor while he’s down as the round ends.

McGregor tells the referee and doctor his leg is broken and the doctor waves the fight off immediately! What an anti-climax to a crazy fight and trilogy!

UFC 264: Poirier vs McGregor 3 – Main card predictions

The biggest trilogy fight in UFC history arguably is finally upon us as Dustin Poirier takes on Conor McGregor to break the deadlock between them at UFC 264.

McGregor knocked Poirier out in their first fight back in 2014, but Poirier got his own back in January at UFC 257 with a knockout win of his own to level it up at 1-1. The winner of this bout is highly likely to challenge for the lightweight title in their next bout, so the stakes could not be any higher.

In the co-main event we have a huge welterweight contender fight too as former title challengers Gilbert Burns and Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson go head-to-head with each other to try and climb towards another shot against Kamaru Usman in the near future.

Also on the card is the return of ‘Suga’ Sean O’Malley as he opens up the main card, while the prelims are full of exciting bouts too.

Last time out at UFC Vegas 30, we went 12/6 with two perfect picks for our selection for a not so good outing. That took us to 352/554 (63.54%) with 160 perfect picks (45.45%) since starting up.

We’ll look to improve that with this huge 13 fight card, and after starting with the early prelims here and the rest of the prelims here, here are our main card picks.

Sean O’Malley (13-1) vs Kris Moutinho (9-4) – (Bantamweight/135lbs)

A fun fight to open up the main card as ‘Suga’ returns to action against short-notice opponent Kris Moutinho, making his UFC debut. O’Malley bounced back from the first defeat of his career to Marlon Vera at UFC 252 with a stunning knockout win against Thomas Almeida at UFC 260, while Moutinho has won his last two including most recently in May.

O’Malley is a phenomenal striker, with quick kicks and bricks for hands as well as his excellent jiu-jitsu skills too. Moutinho is a good striker too, with good front kicks and a nice right cross to go with it. His issue in this fight is going to be the speed difference, where O’Malley absolutely blows him out of the water.

He’s too fast, too strong and too precise and this is more of a showcase fight for O’Malley than anything else.
PICK – Sean O’Malley via Knockout, Round 1

Irene Aldana (12-6) vs Yana Kunitskaya (14-5) – (Bantamweight/135lbs)

A very fun fight in the women’s bantamweight division between two potential title contenders in the near future. Aldana lost her last fight, getting dominated by Holly Holm while Kunitskaya has won her last two in a row via decision against Julija Stoliarenko at UFC Vegas 6 and Ketlen Vieira at UFC Vegas 19.

Aldana is a very good boxer, with a good reach and a great left hook that knocked out Vieira in the past. She’s quite one dimensional though and Kunitskaya is very good at battling against her opponents strengths since she is so well rounded herself. She has good punches and kicks and some good takedown abilities, much better than Holm at least who dominated Aldana on the ground.

That leads me to believe that Kunitskaya will be able to do the same and if she can avoid getting hit clean and hard early on, but I’m not sure she will.
PICK – Irene Aldana via Decision

Tai Tuivasa (12-3) vs Greg Hardy (7-3) – (Heavyweight/220-265lbs)

The big boys are on the card once again as the heavyweights take up the midway point of the main card. Tuivasa had lost three-in-a-row but has since bounced back with big knockout wins over Stefan Struve at UFC 254 and then Harry Hunsucker at UFC Vegas 22. Hardy on the other hand won two in a row including a KO win over Maurice Greene at UFC Vegas 12 before getting KO’d himself by Marcin Tybura at UFC Vegas 17 last time out.

Tuivasa is a juggernaut who has legitimate one-punch knockout power but he also has a great calf kick to set up his big right hand and okay cardio for a heavyweight. Hardy is ever improving and has good power in his hands too, but is still struggling with pacing himself in fights and often blows his load in the cage. Both guys have the power to put the other away but I trust Tuivasa’s chin more than Hardy’s and he paces himself better too.

Overall it won’t be the highest quality but there will be bombs thrown and I expect Tuivasa to land one on Hardy’s chin that sends him to a new realm of consciousness.
PICK – Tai Tuivasa via Knockout, Round 2

Gilbert Burns (19-4) vs Stephen Thompson (16-4-1) – (Welterweight/170lbs)

An absolute banger of a bout at welterweight in a real contender bout at 170lbs between Burns and Wonderboy. Burns went on a six-fight win streak to earn himself a title shot against Kamaru Usman at UFC 258 but he was knocked out in the third round by his former teammate. Thompson on the other hand has overcome a bad run to win his last two, including a dominant win over Geoff Neal at UFC Vegas 17.

Burns is a jiu-jitsu fighter predominantly but he has recently fallen in love with his hands and has terrific power in both his fists for a knockout, while Thompson is a karate-style fighter who uses excellent footwork to move and his long range to score points on his opponent. Burns is at a disadvantage in height and reach and that means he has to come forward to close the distance, which is where Thompson is at his best.

He hasn’t been taken down in over four years and his striking looks crisper than ever before, so I think this could end up being quite a one-sided decision win for ‘Wonderboy’.
PICK – Stephen Thompson via Decision

Dustin Poirier (27-6) vs Conor McGregor (22-5) – (Lightweight/155lbs)

The biggest fight of the year so far for the UFC and there isn’t a title in sight as Poirier and McGregor look to end their stalemate once and for all. Poirier is currently on a run of seven wins in nine (one no contest) with the only defeat coming to Khabib Nurmagomedov, and his most recent wins coming over Dan Hooker at UFC Vegas 4 and McGregor himself in January. ‘Notorious’ has actually lost three of his last six stretching all the way back to 2016.

Poirier is a boxer with good grappling skills and some solid kicks too as seen in the most recent bout between the two. McGregor on the other hand is a sensational kickboxer who took a more boxing heavy approach last time out to his detriment. It’s the same fight as six months ago in reality, with the difference going to be who makes the better adjustments from that bout.

The crowd being back will be a boost for McGregor but Poirier is legitimately one of the all-time great lightweights ever and he seemed to be able to take Conor’s left-hand in the first round last time. If he can do that again, the longer the fight goes the better it is for Poirier and I see him taking a unanimous decision win in a scrap that will send fans home happy.
PICK – Dustin Poirier via Decision

Planning out 2021 for the UFC lightweight division

The lightweight championship is no longer vacant as the ‘Do Bronx’ era began at UFC 262 when Charles Oliveira knocked out Michael Chandler in Houston, Texas.

The 31-year-old made it nine wins in a row at 155lbs with a second round stoppage, after surviving a scare in the first round to become the 11th undisputed world champion in the organisation’s history to take over from Khabib Nurmagomedov.

While the belt is now occupied, the division is far from settled with so many top contenders immediately ready to challenge and ensure he isn’t just a paper champion.

So how does the division play out going forward? Oliveira is the champion and seems ready to take on all comers but the top six ranked guys can all be paired up together but what is the best way to do it, so that the next contender makes sense?

Well the obvious next contender is the winner of the Dustin Poirier vs Conor McGregor trilogy at UFC 264.

The two fought back in 2014 in the featherweight division, with Notorious getting the first round knockout win en route to his stunning title win over Jose Aldo before claiming the lightweight crown from Eddie Alvarez.

They met again in January of this year in a rematch but this time at 155lbs, with a very different result. Poirier used calf kicks brilliantly to destabilise McGregor’s movement and while the Irishman landed some big shots, ‘Diamond’ was able to come through them this time and eventually get a huge knockout win of his own in the second round.

Opponents Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor pose face off for media during the UFC 257 press conference event inside Etihad Arena on UFC Fight Island...

That win should have seen Poirier challenge for the title in his next bout, but instead he opted to take the money fight with McGregor for a final trilogy bout – something he was praised for by UFC president Dana White.

Poirier is the most deserving man in the division for a title shot and McGregor is still without a doubt the biggest name in the sport, despite winning just once at lightweight in his entire UFC career. It’s the obvious fight to make, with Poirier’s run undeniable if he wins again while McGregor would be “back” and would be the fight Oliveira wants too as his first defence.

Justin Gaethje is still waiting in the wings for an opponent after his defeat to Khabib back at UFC 254, and the perfect choice for him could be the man who is looking to break into the top five once again – former champion Rafael Dos Anjos.

The Brazilian was the champion at 155lbs once upon a time and after a venture into welterweight where he was successful until his lack of size paid dividends against the elite of the division, he moved back down.

Since returning he got a big win over Paul Felder on short notice to push himself into the top ten and stylistically would prove a good match up against Gaethje. Both guys have a great grappling background, but are excellent strikers on the feet too and would prove to be excellent competition for one another.

Justin Gaethje of the United States celebrates after defeating Tony Ferguson of the United States in their Interim lightweight title fight during UFC...

Neither have fought since the back end of 2020 and would both be available to make a fight happen any time soon, although whether Gaethje would be willing to go against the number six ranked guy is up for debate.

The other option for Gaethje is a fight against UFC 262’s other big lightweight winner, Beneil Dariush. The Iranian dominated Tony Ferguson to a unanimous decision win in the co-main event to break into the top five and with Gaethje ranked at number two it’s certainly a fight that would make sense.

The issue with that, is that Dariush is expecting his first child next month and told everyone in his post-fight interview with Joe Rogan that he doesn’t expect to come back to the cage until the end of the year or even early next year.

That would mean over a year out of the cage for Gaethje, which isn’t something that he’s likely to be happy about. For that reason, the UFC can look to pair Dariush up with the beaten challenger Chandler in their next fight as they both look to get to the top of the mountain again.

Chandler would be afforded the chance to recover from the vicious knockout he suffered, but also keep himself in the picture with a fight against a top five guy knowing that a win could set him up to get back into title contention as soon as possible.

Charles Oliveira of Brazil holds the belt after defeating Michael Chandler during their Championship Lightweight Bout at the UFC 262 event at Toyota...

So we have a mini tournament bracket that has Oliveira as the champion, with the winner of Poirier vs McGregor getting the next title shot. Gaethje vs Dos Anjos and Dariush vs Chandler, with the winners fighting each other potentially to see who would fight the winner of the original title fight.

Who’s in?