U.F.C. 264: Conor McGregor vs. Dustin Poirier Live Updates

July 10, 2021, 9:11 p.m. ET

Price just blew his nose and blood sprayed out. Watch to see if that affects him later in the fight.

July 10, 2021, 9:04 p.m. ET

Lightweight champion Charles Oliveira is seated close to the octagon in a gold-and-black jacket. He’ll be watching McGregor vs. Poirier closely — U.F.C. President Dana White said the winner is next in line to challenge for the division title.

July 10, 2021, 8:51 p.m. ET

It’s still early, but seeing a decent amount of empty seats here at T-Mobile Arena. Interested to see how that changes as the main event draws closer.

July 10, 2021, 8:47 p.m. ET

Hall tried to get the fight on the ground with the continued rolls and it backfired. Topuria pounced on him and got the TKO finish with hammer fists.

Ilia Topuria knocked out Ryan Hall in their featherweight bout with a flurry of hammerfists and rights.

July 10, 2021, 8:37 p.m. ET

The knockout punch from Du Plessis could not have been any more flush.

July 10, 2021, 8:25 p.m. ET

Giles laid on the canvas for about two minutes and needed to be helped up to sit on a stool by officials. Du Plessis landed that knockout shot so cleanly because Giles mistakenly kept his hands down.

Dricus Du Plessis dropped Trevin Giles with a huge right hand in the second round.

July 10, 2021, 8:13 p.m. ET

Jennifer Maia, left, won a unanimous decision over Jessica Eye.
Credit…Gary A. Vasquez/USA Today Sports, via Reuters

In the final fight of the early prelims, Jennifer Maia outlasted Jessica Eye by unanimous decision in a fight that remained close throughout. Eye was the more aggressive fighter early on, but Maia landed enough big shots down the stretch to come away with a much-needed win.

It was a huge victory for Maia, of Brazil, as she came into the night on the heels of a loss to Valentina Shevchenko.

Maia and Eye accidentally butted heads in the second round, opening a huge gash to Eye’s forehead that had blood pouring down her face as the fight went on.

July 10, 2021, 8:04 p.m. ET

Jennifer Maia celebrates with a Brazilian flag around her shoulders as she earns a unanimous decision over Jessica Eye. A couple rounds were indeed close. But, she said through an interpreter, “I was really confident that I had won that fight.”

July 10, 2021, 8:00 p.m. ET

I cannot overstate how hard these M.M.A. fighters hit. Television cameras do not accurately depict it.

July 10, 2021, 7:54 p.m. ET

Maia and Eye clashed heads in the second round and it opened up a nasty gash right on the forehead of Eye.

July 10, 2021, 7:40 p.m. ET

This fight between the flyweights Jennifer Maia and Jessica Eye could probably happen much higher on the card, but the U.F.C. and ESPN clearly want a few extra viewers for the early bouts. Also, Maia and Eye have both been trending in the wrong direction — combined they have lost five of their last seven fights.

July 10, 2021, 7:36 p.m. ET

They just showed Mel Gibson walking in the bowels of the T-Mobile Arena, sporting a full beard of gray.

July 10, 2021, 7:30 p.m. ET

Brad Tavares defeats Omari Akhmedov in a split decision — and looks a little stunned as he talks to Joe Rogan in the octagon after the fight. The fighters were both bloodied when they embraced after the last round.

July 10, 2021, 7:07 p.m. ET

Donald J. Trump attended a U.F.C. fight at Madison Square Garden while he was president in 2019.
Credit…T.J. Kirkpatrick for The New York Times

The third fight between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier is expected to be one of the biggest sporting events of the year, and perhaps just as alluring as the fight itself is the spectacle of celebrities expected to be in attendance to watch two of the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s biggest stars face off.

The U.F.C.’s president, Dana White, told TMZ that former President Donald J. Trump would be in Las Vegas on Saturday night as McGregor and Poirier complete their trilogy at U.F.C. 264.

White said that Trump will sit right behind him on the floor near the octagon.

“He don’t care,” White said on TMZ, adding that Trump will not be “hiding in a box somewhere. That’s not his style.”

The former president, who is a longtime friend of White’s, is a known mixed martial arts fan. He attended U.F.C. 244 in 2019, where he received a chorus of both boos and cheers as he entered the event.

McGregor, 32, a brash and theatrical fighter from Dublin, Ireland, has expressed support for Trump in the past, sending a tweet last year calling Trump a “phenomenal president.”

Trump is just one of a long list of celebrities expected to be in attendance at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, including the comedian Dave Chappelle, the pop star Justin Bieber, the country singer Garth Brooks, the Nets star Kevin Durant and Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.

July 10, 2021, 6:47 p.m. ET

Beautiful technique on that standing guillotine choke by Zhumagulov. His arm was in deep.

July 10, 2021, 6:43 p.m. ET

Time for the first fight of the night: the flyweights Zhalgas Zhumagulov and Jerome Rivera are in the octagon. The early prelims were supposed to start a bit earlier but with a bout canceled because of the virus, it has taken a little while to start the action.

July 10, 2021, 6:26 p.m. ET

Hu Yaozong and Alen Amedovski stood face to face during the ceremonial weigh-ins on Friday, but their fight was canceled because of coronavirus protocols.
Credit…Gary A. Vasquez/USA Today Sports, via Reuters

Just before the start of the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s biggest event of the year, the coronavirus caused a small hiccup.

One of the early fights on the U.F.C. 264 card, a preliminary bout between the middleweights Hu Yaozong and Alen Amedovski, was canceled because of Covid-19 protocols, U.F.C. officials said.

ESPN was first to report the development. The card, headlined by a highly-anticipated trilogy fight between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier, will continue with 12 scheduled bouts.

July 10, 2021, 6:07 p.m. ET

Fans flocked to see the fighters during the ceremonial weigh-ins on Friday.
Credit…Gary A. Vasquez/USA Today Sports, via Reuters

U.F.C. 264 takes place Saturday night at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The early preliminary fights start at 6 p.m. Eastern, and the main pay-per-view card will begin at 10 p.m. McGregor and Poirier most likely will not fight until around midnight.

At a news conference Thursday, the U.F.C. president, Dana White, said the event had already generated the most pay-per-view buys in the company’s history, and he expects more the night of the fight.

It will be televised by ESPN+ with a purchase price of $69.99. Fans who do not already have an ESPN+ subscription can buy a bundle that includes the fight and a year of the service for $89.98.

The early prelims, starting at 6 p.m., will be carried by ESPN+ and UFC Fight Pass and include four bouts. The preliminary card of four fights starts at 8 p.m. and will be carried on ESPN and ESPN+. The main card includes five bouts.

July 10, 2021, 6:07 p.m. ET

The two men first fought in 2014 at 145 pounds. It was McGregor’s fourth fight in the U.F.C., and experts viewed Poirier as his toughest opponent at that stage. But McGregor won almost effortlessly, striking Poirier with a left hook and then exerting finishing punches while Poirier lay on the ground, stopping only when the referee, Herb Dean, intervened.

Eight years later, the two fought at 155 pounds, at “Fight Island” in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, in January. This time, McGregor landed clean shots but Poirier absorbed them. Poirier viciously attacked McGregor’s legs, wobbling his base. By the end of the first round, McGregor’s lead leg looked red and swollen.

Poirier used that strategy again in the second round and backed McGregor against the fence. He landed a hook to McGregor’s nose, causing him to fall to the ground, where Poirier finished him with punches.

White said the winner of the third fight would be next in line to challenge the lightweight champion, Charles Oliveira.

July 10, 2021, 6:06 p.m. ET

Conor McGregor, left, and Dustin Poirier will fight in the main event of U.F.C. 264.
Credit…Zuffa Llc, via Getty Images

McGregor entered the U.F.C. in 2013 and quickly garnered attention through his trash talk, confidence and flashy style. He backed up those characteristics in the octagon by quickly dispatching most of his opponents, usually by delivering a powerful blow to his victim’s head with his left hand.

McGregor, of Ireland, became the first athlete in U.F.C. history to hold two belts simultaneously, winning the featherweight and lightweight championships through knockouts and prompting others to chase similar dual-belt aspirations.

He and Floyd Mayweather completed a crossover boxing match in 2017, which profited McGregor a guaranteed $30 million. He has fought in the U.F.C. only three times since, losing two of those contests.

July 10, 2021, 6:05 p.m. ET

Poirier, left, beat McGregor in January with a knockout.
Credit…Jeff Bottari/USA Today Sports, via Reuters

During McGregor’s long layoff from U.F.C., Poirier competed against some of the toughest fighters in the lightweight division. Poirier, who entered the U.F.C. in 2011, captured the interim lightweight championship in 2019 and earned wins against quality competition in Anthony Pettis, Justin Gaethje and Max Holloway.

Poirier, a native of Louisiana who trains in Florida, started a charitable organization with his wife, Jolie, called the Good Fight Foundation, to help underserved communities in Louisiana.

July 10, 2021, 6:05 p.m. ET

Gilbert Burns, left, a jujitsu specialist, faces Stephen Thompson, a karate fighter, in the co-main event of U.F.C. 264.
Credit…John Locher/Associated Press

The co-main event features two stout 170-pound welterweight contenders in Gilbert Burns and Stephen Thompson. Burns boasted a six-fight win streak, then in February challenged the champion Kamaru Usman for the title. Burns landed a solid strike in the first round, but Usman won via technical knockout in the third round.

Thompson earned two title fights against the then-champion Tyron Woodley, but lost in a decision and had a draw. Since then, he has won three of his last five fights, including two in a row. The matchup pits Burns, a jujitsu specialist, against Thompson, who is known for his karate striking.

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