One of the biggest MMA fights of the year is nearly upon us. UFC 264 is set to emanate from the T-Mobile Arena on Saturday night in Las Vegas with an incredible main event atop a loaded fight card. Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier will meet to complete their trilogy after both men picked up knockouts in the first two meetings. The fight has many people heading to their sportsbooks to get in on the action.
The combatants first met in 2014 on McGregor's rise to superstardom when the Irishman scored a first-round TKO of Poirier, who was also a rising contender in the featherweight division at the time. Then, the two met seven years later in January in the lightweight division with Poirier evening the score with a second-round TKO of his own. Now they look to put the final touches on this rivalry in arguably the biggest PPV event of the year.
The card also features the return of welterweight title contenders when Stephen Thompson and Gilbert Burns meet in the co-main event. The two fighters have come up short in their bids to become champion three times, but both are still within range of getting another crack with a win on Saturday. Plus, bantamweight knockout artist "Suga" Sean O'Malley is back when he faces UFC debutant Kris Moutinho to open the PPV festivities.
There was a bit of controversy on the scales for one of the undercard fights on Friday. Women's bantamweight Irene Aldana missed the mark by 3.5 pounds for her scheduled bout with Yana Kunitskaya set for the main card. It's the second straight time that a Kunitskaya opponent has missed this badly, but the first miss by Aldana in her career. The fight will still go forward with Aldana forfeiting 30% of her purse to Kunitskaya.
William Hill Sportsbook has you covered with every angle of UFC 264 to get in on the action, from straight bets, props, parlays and much more. We're going to give you a few options to consider with this card from our favorite moneyline play, prop play and parlay play. Let's take a closer look at those picks now.
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Best moneyline pick
Tai Tuivasa -150 vs. Greg Hardy
Tuivasa has three UFC losses, those coming via submission to Sergey Spivak, decision to Blagoy Ivanov and TKO to Junior dos Santos. We haven't seen any indication that Hardy is on the level of any of those three men, even a faded dos Santos. The deciding factor here may be cardio. Tuivasa went three hard rounds with Andrei Arlovski in their fight, remaining aggressive even late in the bloody war. Hardy, meanwhile, has faded badly when fights get tough, including a complete collapse in his loss to Marcin Tybura in his most recent outing. Tuivasa's leg kicks should break Hardy down, and as Hardy fades, Tuivasa will come on strong to pick up the win.
Best prop pick
Dustin Poirier via KO, TKO, DQ or submission +130
It's hard to imagine that McGregor could completely overhaul his game in a matter of months since the January rematch. His stance needs to change to avoid the leg kicks, he has to be ready for Poirier to possibly look to grapple and he has to have the endurance to deal with Poirier's pace. McGregor can talk all he wants about having "focused on MMA" instead of boxing in this camp, but Poirier has been focusing on MMA against a line of killers while McGregor has been off doing his own thing and occasionally playing retiree. The dare made by McGregor to Poirier to not shoot for a takedown also speaks to a lack of confidence if the fight doesn't go down in very specific ways. McGregor has been stopped in all five of his pro losses, so if you're taking Poirier, go with the line that covers any form of finish to get a better number than you'll get on a straight moneyline pick.
Best parlay pick
Alen Amedovski, Jennifer Maia, Michel Pereira +316
You can get your night off to a good start by taking Amedovski over Hu Yaozong in the opener of the early prelims. It's an odd fight featuring both men on two-fight losing skids and with a lot of inactivity. Amedovski hasn't fought since September 2019, while Yaozong has been out of action since November 2018, largely because he tested positive for performance enhancing drugs. Amedovski has the big experience edge and has looked like a far more dynamic fighter in his career while currently sitting at -135, a steal of a line.
Maia is set to face Jessica Eye. Eye has had an incredibly tough slate of opponents in her UFC career, which somewhat explains her 5-8 record in the Octagon. The other takeaway from her record is that higher-end opponents tend to beat Eye. Eye also has two of her five UFC wins by split decision, showing a further inability to reliably impose her will on an opponent. Maia is the better fighter here and more capable of executing a gameplan.
Pereira completes the parlay here as a high volatility fighter whose shortcomings have kept his price to -160 against Niko Price. The bad loss against late replacement opponent Tristan Connelly is well in the past now with Pereira on a two-fight win streak. He had to go into the third round in both fights, which certainly eases the concerns of Pereira fading so badly against Connelly. Price has been alternating between wins and losses for three years now, not going to the scorecards in that stretch. Price will come out fast, but Pereira's tricks should allow him to survive the early danger and take over before using his more dynamic game to find a way to take over the fight.
Who wins Poirier vs. McGregor 3? And which fighter is a must-back? Visit SportsLine now to get detailed top picks on UFC 264, all from the UFC insider who's up nearly $9,500 on MMA picks in the past year, and find out.