Dustin Poirier will face Conor McGregor at UFC 264 in Las Vegas on Saturday in one of the year's most highly anticipated fights.

The trilogy bout take place at the T-Mobile Arena with a 100 per cent crowd capacity.

"I am so happy to finally be able to say: Vegas is back," UFC president Dana White said when the fight was announced in April.

McGregor had previously claimed the bout was off during an expletive-laden exchange on Twitter and that heated build-up has continued.

Poirier took victory in their previous showdown at UFC 257 in January in Abu Dhabi with a second-round knockout, after which McGregor conceded the result was "a tough one to swallow".

McGregor, who described his opponent's performance three months ago as "phenomenal", stopped the 32-year-old American in 106 seconds in their first encounter in September 2014.

The former two-weight world champion, who is also 32, has not won a UFC bout since January last year.

Fight build-up has been as entertaining you would expect, with McGregor aiming a kick at Poirier as the duo went head to head at the pre-fight news conference on Thursday.

Here are some of the best quotes from the event which took place with both fighters and a large crowd.
 

FIGHTING TALK FROM MCGREGOR

McGregor did not hold back when he explained what he planned to do with Poirier.

"I'm gonna go through his head, put holes in and take it off his shoulders - that's the goal here!

"He's done here, this is it for him. This is the end of the road. 

"Even after that last fight saying, 'Oh I don't love this [fighting] anymore' - he knew what was coming, he knew the smacks he took.

"Saturday night he's getting walked around that octagon like a dog and put to sleep."

POIRIER RESPECTS PUNICHING POWER

And Poirier did not dismiss the threat posed by the Irishman.

"I think he has a big advantage in some areas like his punching power.

"That's been worked on for years, and I'm sure some of it's God gifted, his timing is very good, but I truly believe he is a well-rounded martial artist.

"But he's so successful in those areas that he doesn't have to go in there and shoot for a takedown because he believes he's going to finish the fight on the feet.

"He doesn't have to play jiu-jitsu because he's so confident in what's been working for him, he's knocked out a bunch of greats. Don't fix it if it's not broken, I truly believe he is a well-rounded fighter."

MCGREGOR PROMISES CAREER NIGHT

A crowning moment for McGregor came when he defeated Eddie Alvarez in November 2016 to become the first UFC fighter to be world champion in two weight divisions simultaneously.

He insists there is better still to come from him.

"I'm an evolution of that guy. I'm better than that man. I feel like I've come full circle and I look forward to showing it.

"That night was widely regarded as the single greatest performance in UFC history. This performance on Saturday night, I'm going to top it."

POIRIER DOUBTS THAT IS POSSIBLE

But Poirier does not think McGregor is the same force he once was.

"For me, the aura's not there anymore. Not anymore. 

"A very dangerous fighter sitting right there for sure but I see a man. 

"You guys in the crowd, cheer it up, have fun. But I see a man that I've defeated and know that I can defeat again."

 

MCGREGOR COMPARES POIRIER TO BUSTER DOUGLAS

James 'Buster' Douglas achieved one of sport's greatest upsets by beating Mike Tyson in 1990 but immediately lost his next fight and his titles to Evander Holyfield.

McGregor says the same fate awaits Poirier.

"He's going to be known for that [like Buster Douglas].

"It was a fluke win and I'm going to correct it on Saturday night. It's on now."

POIRIER SAYS HE IS DIFFERENT

McGregor was asked by a fan why he was being so confrontational with Poirier in the build up to this fight after showing significant respect to his opponent around their second bout.

Poirier interjected with a put down, saying "Because he got knocked the f*** out!" before going on to criticise the falling quality of McGregor's trash talk.

"He was not McGregor fast but McGregor sleep. Respect to him and everything that he's done [but his trash talk is] f*****g weak. 

"I don't hate anybody up here. I'm in a different place mentally. 

"I am straight business. I've never really had that hype pushed. I know who I am. I'm the same guy and it's easy to be me.

"I knew this [rematch] was next. As soon as I got to my hotel room that night [in January], I knew this was next. I've kind of been preparing for this fight since that fight ended."

TALE OF THE TAPE

Poirier has 27 wins, six losses and one no contest on his record, while McGregor has 22 wins and five defeats.

Both men are southpaws, 5' 9" and 155 lbs, though McGregor has the reach advantage (74” to 72”).

In their last fight, Poirier attempted more significant strikes than McGregor (91 to 66).

He also landed more, 52 per cent compared to 43 for the Irishman.

McGregor landed 25 times, 23 to the head and just twice to the legs, while Poirer made an impact in both areas, with 30 significant strikes to the head and 18 to the legs.

Dustin Poirier will face Conor McGregor at UFC 264 in Las Vegas this year.

The much-anticipated trilogy fight will take place at the T-Mobile Arena on July 10, UFC president Dana White confirmed on Wednesday.

"I am so happy to finally be able to say: Vegas is back," he said in a video posted on social media.

"This summer, Las Vegas is back open for business and on July 10, UFC 264 will be at the T-Mobile Arena at 100 per cent capacity.

"This card will be headlined by the third fight between Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor."

The update comes after McGregor claimed the bout was off on Monday during an expletive-laden exchange on Twitter.

Poirier claimed victory in their previous showdown at UFC 257 in January in Abu Dhabi with a second-round knockout, after which McGregor conceded the result was "a tough one to swallow".

McGregor, who described his opponent's performance three months ago as "phenomenal", stopped the 32-year-old American in 106 seconds in their first encounter in September 2014.

The former two-weight world champion, who is also 32, has not won a UFC bout since January last year.

Khabib Nurmagomedov has thanked Dana White and the UFC for their support and understanding as his retirement was confirmed.

Khabib, who boasts a 29-0 record in the UFC, announced after his most recent victory against Justin Gaethje last October he was quitting the sport.

The fighter's father and coach, Abdulmanap, passed away earlier in 2020 and Khabib said: "There's no way I'm going to come here without my father."

UFC president White retained hope of changing his star performer's mind, but he accepted defeat on Thursday.

White posted on Twitter following a meal with Khabib that he was "officially retired".

The UFC chief also thanked for the Russian for his efforts, and those feelings of gratitude were reciprocated by Khabib in his own social media post.

"It was a good dinner with some great people," he wrote on Instagram. "@danawhite thank you so much brother and the entire @ufc team for the opportunity to prove myself, you guys have changed many live forever because of this sport.

"Dana - I'll never forget your attitude towards me, my father did not forget and my sons will remember you. Today there was a real conversation between real men.

"Also thank you to all team, sparing partners (sic) and all fans. I hope you will accept my decision and understand me."

UFC president Dana White said Khabib Nurmagomedov is "officially retired" as he thanked the unbeaten star.

Khabib stunningly announced his retirement after beating Justin Gaethje to defend the lightweight title at UFC 254 in October last year as he improved to 29-0.

White had retained hope of Khabib returning to the UFC, previously talking up the Russian trying to reach a flawless 30-0 record.

But White used Twitter on Thursday to end hopes of a blockbuster comeback for Khabib.

White wrote, with an accompanying picture alongside Khabib: "29-0 it is.

"He is officially retired. It was incredible to watch you work @TeamKhabib.

"Thank you for EVERYTHING and enjoy whatever is next my friend."

Khabib had fuelled speculation he could make a return to the octagon earlier this week.

The undefeated champion posted a photo to Instagram, alongside former UFC co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta, with the words: "It was good to see you Lorenzo.

"@danawhite send me location."

Kamara Usman will defend his welterweight title against Jorge Masvidal in front of a full crowd at UFC 261 on April 24.

Not since the start of the coronavirus pandemic in March 2020 has a UFC card gone ahead without a cap on crowd numbers, but that will change in Jacksonville, Florida next month.

Usman's rematch with Masvidal headlines a stacked line-up at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena, where 15,000 fans are set to attend for two other title fights, including women's flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko's bout with Jessica Andrade and the women's strawweight battle between champion Zhang Weili and Rose Namajunas.

VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena previously hosted the first three UFC shows following a two-month hiatus in May due to COVID-19, though they went ahead without fans behind closed doors.

"I have been waiting a year for this day to tell you: We are back," UFC president Dana White said in the video via Twitter on Monday.

Jacksonville mayor Lenny Curry tweeted: "@danawhite, @GovRonDeSantis, and I will continue to demonstrate that Florida is poised to safely host signature sporting events watched globally. Welcome back to Jacksonville @ufc. Let's go @danawhite."

Usman (18-1), who defeated Gilbert Burns via a third-round TKO last month, has made history in the UFC.

The Nigerian-born fighter has won 13 consecutive fights – the most in UFC welterweight history.

Usman defeated Masvidal (35-14) by unanimous decision at UFC 251 in Abu Dhabi last July, though the latter was a late replacement after Burns had tested positive for coronavirus.

UFC president Dana White believes "there's still a chance" Khabib Nurmagomedov will come out of retirement to fight in the octagon.

Khabib stunningly announced his retirement after beating Justin Gaethje to defend the lightweight title at UFC 254 in October last year as he improved to 29-0, though the 32-year-old remains the champion.

White has retained hope of Khabib returning to the UFC, previously talking up the Russian trying to reach a flawless 30-0 record.

Conor McGregor continues to eye a Khabib showdown, while Dustin Poirier – who stunned the former via TKO at UFC 257 – has declared himself the champion.

Speaking ahead of UFC 259, White told reporters he is set to meet with Khabib.

"We're going to have dinner on Saturday or Sunday and just talk and see," White said.

"I think a lot of these fights have to play out in that division. From [number nine] all the way up to number one, they're incredible fights. You can mix or match them any way you want and they're really good fights."

White added: "Let some of these play out to see who will fight next for the title. I think if Khabib is interested, he'll take the fight.

"You don't see Khabib saying, 'Leave me alone. Stop asking me'. So there's still a chance. That's the way I look at it."

Dana White revealed Khabib Nurmagomedov told him he was "so many levels above" his rivals, making it unlikely the undefeated star will come out of retirement.

Khabib (29-0) sensationally retired after beating Justin Gaethje in October last year.

White has been pushing for the Russian to return for a 30th fight, but that seems unlikely to happen.

After Dustin Poirier stunned Conor McGregor, the UFC president revealed he had a conversation with Khabib.

"I did talk to Khabib," White said.

"He said to me, 'Dana, be honest with yourself, you know I'm so many levels above these guys, I beat these guys.'

"I don't know, I don't know, but it doesn't sound very positive so we'll see.

"I told you guys before he won't hold the division up. He already retired, he's basically retired, I'm the one that's been trying to get him to do one more."

White confirmed McGregor and Poirier would likely fight for the lightweight title if Khabib did not return.

UFC president Dana White said he is meeting with Khabib Nurmagomedov as he presses the retired star for one more fight.

Khabib stunningly announced his retirement from the octagon after beating Justin Gaethje to defend the lightweight title at UFC 254 in October as he improved to 29-0, though the 32-year-old remains the champion.

White has retained hope of Khabib returning to the UFC, previously talking up the Russian trying to reach a flawless 30-0 record.

As Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier prepare to clash at UFC 257 in Abu Dhabi on January 23, White told ESPN: "I'm obviously meeting with him [Khabib] because I think that he should fight again.

"Look at what he did to Justin Gaethje. Look at what he's done to every opponent he has faced.

"I think he should fight again and I'm going to press him as hard as I can for one more."

White added: "As a promoter, you always want to see the best guys in the world, but at the same time, when a guy wants to retire, he probably should.

"The difference with a guy like Khabib is he's been through so much, and losing his dad was a major blow to him. Yet, his dad wanted him to hit 30-0.

"No matter what you think of Conor personally, Conor McGregor is not only one of the best in the world, but one of the best to ever do it. And right now, he's as focused as he's ever been.

"I don't know if this is going to be the same Conor after the Poirier fight, but if this Conor sticks around for the next year, how do you not do Khabib vs. Conor again?"

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