It’s been a while since we were treated to two Conor McGregor fights inside six months – but that reality is almost upon us with fight week well underway ahead of UFC 264: Poirier vs McGregor 3.

Fight fans will be treated to a cracking card at the T-Mobile Arena overnight on Saturday 10 July, with Gilbert Burns vs Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson and Tai Tuivasa vs Greg Hardy the pick of the rest on the main card.

All the action will be exclusively live on BT Sport Box Office HD from 3am on Saturday night, after the prelims kick off proceedings on BT Sport 2 HD from 1am.

For more information on how to order this unmissable main event, check out our in-depth viewing guide here.

With so much to look forward to across what promises to be a memorable card, we’ve got you covered for the main talking points to look out for ahead of UFC 264: Poirier vs McGregor 3.

All or nothing for McGregor

There was a time in which it may have felt akin to blasphemy to suggest anyone other than Conor McGregor was the greatest fighter in the UFC.

Those days are over.

The Irishman no longer resembles the indomitable force that conquered two weight divisions.

Beaten handily by Khabib Nurmagomedov back in 2018, before being stopped in concussive fashion by Poirier last time out, the aura of invincibility that once enveloped Notorious has undoubtedly dissipated in recent years.

By his own admission, McGregor’s inactivity over the past five years has not helped; while the 32-year-old has been busy growing a lucrative business empire outside the octagon, his rivals have continued to master the craft of combat with countless days of hard work in the gym.

“If Conor is to beat Dustin Poirier that would be some feat... possibly the greatest feat of his career”
- Nick Peet

Few athletes embody that journey to the top more perfectly than Poirier – arguably one of the most improved fighters on the roster over the past five or six years.

Yet despite levelling the scores with McGregor in this thrilling rivalry, The Diamond remains hungry to go one step further and therein lies the problem for McGregor, the reason why the odds seem stacked against him to right the wrongs of that rematch in January.

“[He] has got so much to do here and I think if he does get his arm raised and we reconvene on July 11 to pick through the bones of that performance, I genuinely think we’ll be talking about Conor McGregor as one of the greatest of all time,” Nick Peet explained on UFC 264 Fight Week.

“Not just because of what he’s done outside the octagon in transcending the sport, but because of performances like this… after those five years he’s just had, to jump in to the three or four consecutive fights he’s had against top level opposition, if he’s to beat number one Dustin Poirier that would be some feat. Possibly the greatest feat of his career.”

Can McGregor write another chapter in one of the great UFC legacies – or will it prove one step too far to catch up to his lightweight contemporaries? 

Victory and vindication

Self-belief became synonymous with McGregor’s blazing ascent to superstardom – but Poirier is in no short supply of confidence either.

The Louisiana man turned down a shot at the vacant lightweight title in order to close out the trilogy, believing his claim to the 155lb throne will only be enhanced by a repeat performance against the Irishman on Saturday night.

For a man who has made his desperation to win the undisputed crown well known over the course of his storied career, it seems wild to bank that dream on a second successive win over one of the sport’s most dangerous operators.

But Poirier has done exactly that.

“I made the decision pretty easily, if I am the best in the world then I'm going to beat Conor and fight for the belt, it's like doubling down on yourself,” the 32-year-old told ESPN.

“I believe in my skills in fighting, I just doubled down and that's all it was”
- Dustin Poirier

“I'm a gambling man and I believe in my skills in fighting, I just doubled down and that's all it was.”

The fact Poirier will be sure to cash a major cheque also played a major part in prioritising the trilogy over the jewellery, he revealed.

“Me fighting for the belt, I wouldn't have got pay-per-view, I would have got a base salary of not even one third of my base salary for this fight, it just doesn't make sense because I'm a prize fighter.

“I don't want to put the UFC on blast, or put their numbers or the way we do deals out and make a big deal of it - but if I'm making five to ten times the amount of money to fight Conor again, I'm a father, a husband, I have priorities.

“I wouldn't have got pay-per-view for the title fight, Conor fight I had pay-per-view points built in, there's no question.  

“I'm fighting a little bit more free, I can just go out there and fight, whatever happens you can just perform your best and I think that helps me.”

One more win for Wonderboy?

We’ve got a fantastic co-main event in store at the T-Mobile Arena on Saturday night, as Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson looks to underline his championship credentials with a third straight win when he faces former title challenger Gilbert Burns.

Wonderboy has enjoyed something of a late career renaissance following a shock knockout defeat to Anthony Pettis in 2019.

That defeat – the first stoppage loss on his MMA ledger – left the 38-year-old at the wrong end of a miserable run of just one win in five fights and it looked a long way back for the lifetime martial artist.

But a pair of dominant, near punch-perfect, performances against Vicente Luque and Geoff Neal have revitalised the mild-mannered welterweight contender’s fortunes.

Now faced with the prospect of securing an unlikely third crack at the welterweight crown, Wonderboy knows he must pull out all the stops once again against a dangerous adversary in Burns.

“This guy, his last fight was the champ and he’s beaten some of the best guys in the division,” Wonderboy explained to BT Sport’s Adam Catterall this week.

“Man, I’m just glad and blessed he took this fight… a lot of guys weren’t even looking at me man. They were talking about me but they were keeping my name out of their mouth.

“Gilbert Burns said ‘I’m gonna do it’ so I’m like, heck yeah man. Hats off to that guy. It excites me to know that guy took the fight.

“I think I’m a bad matchup for any guy in the top five right now with my style and how difficult it is for anybody to prepare for me.”

Don’t blink!

Australia’s Tai Tuivasa faces off against American ex-NFL star Greg Hardy in the only heavyweight attraction at UFC 264 – but don’t be surprised if this fight produces the viral moment of the weekend.

Heavy-set slugger Tuivasa comes into the bout looking for a third straight win having seen off Stefan Struve and Harry Hunsucker inside one round in his previous two performances.

The 28-year-old, who has only gone the distance twice in 14 professional fights, has become something of a fan favourite with his antics outside the octagon and would only enhance his popularity with an explosive victory over the controversial Hardy.

Previously arrested and suspended from the NFL in relation to alleged assaults on his ex-girlfriend back in 2015, news of Hardy’s arrival in the UFC in 2018 generated some uncomfortable headlines for the promotion.

Inside the octagon however, Hardy has done his bit to excite the fans, racking up a 7-3-1 record with six victories inside the distance.

Looking to bounce back from defeat to Marcin Tybura last time out, the 32-year-old will want to seize the moment on the biggest stage of them all at UFC 264.

The Suga Show

We’ll not beat around the bush here: expect show-stopping violence from ‘Suga’ Sean O’Malley to open up the pay-per-view card on Saturday evening.

Already making a name for himself as a man with a penchant for the walk-off knockout, the 26-year-old will want to deliver more of the same when he takes on promotional newcomer Kris Moutinho.

Moutinho, a late replacement after the injury withdrawl of Louis Smolka, is 2-2 in his last four fights including two knockout losses – a fact that will not have escaped O’Malley's attentions as he eyes another spectacular stoppage.

Confident as ever, the Montana man has already promised to deliver something memorable, telling his YouTube followers: “I’m feeling good, man, best shape of my life. Really, what I’m dealing with right now is to try and figure out how I want to knock this kid out.

“It needs to be something crazy. It can’t just be an easy right hand from Suga land, it’s gotta be something insane.

“It needs to be never before done. Tim and I are going to brainstorm fight week, something crazy.”

You won’t want to miss this!