The pair clashed for the second time at lightweight at UFC 257 on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi back in January, with Poirier stunning his rival - who came out of retirement for the third time - with a second-round barrage of punches that followed a debilitating series of brutal calf kicks and forced a sensational stoppage.
That victory was sweet revenge for Louisiana native ‘The Diamond’, who was stopped inside the first round during the duo’s original featherweight bout at UFC 178 in September 2014.
The rivalry has continued to simmer away over recent months, with plenty of barbs flying back and forth and a decisive third fight initially appearing in jeopardy following a row over McGregor’s proposed donation to Poirier’s Good Fight Foundation.
Tempers also flared at an extraordinary final press conference on Thursday night and again at the weigh-in the following evening.
Former two-weight world champion McGregor lamented his inactivity after suffering a third defeat in only his second UFC appearance since October 2018 and will want to set the record straight this evening while also earning himself another title shot.
The winner of this trilogy contest looks set to face new lightweight champion Charles Oliveira later this year. The Brazilian beat Michael Chandler at UFC 262 in May to claim the belt that had been vacant since the retirement of McGregor’s arch-rival Khabib Nurmagomedov.
McGregor vs Poirier date, UK start time and venue
UFC 264 takes place on Saturday, July 10, 2021 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, United States.
In the UK, the preliminary bouts start at 1am BST on Sunday, July 11, with the early prelims a couple hours before from 11pm. The main card expected to commence at 3am.
It will be an all-night affair for British fight fans, with the main event between McGregor and Poirier likely not getting underway until between 5am and 6am on Sunday morning.
McGregor vs Poirier TV channel and live stream
TV channel: In the UK, the UFC 264 main card is being shown live on BT Sport Box Office at a cost of £19.95.
The prelim fights are on BT Sport 2 from 1am, with the early prelims available to watch on streaming service UFC Fight Pass, for those with a subscription.
Live stream: Those with a BT Sport subscription will be able to watch live coverage of the prelim fights via the BT Sport website or app.
Coverage of the main card will also be available online to those that have purchased the event via the BT Sport Box Office app.
UFC 264 fight card in full
Dustin Poirier vs Conor McGregor (men’s lightweight)
Gilbert Burns vs Stephen Thompson (men’s welterweight)
Tai Tuivasa vs Greg Hardy (men’s heavyweight)
Irene Aldana vs Yana Kunitskaya (women’s bantamweight)
Sean O’Malley vs Kris Moutinho (men’s bantamweight)
Carlos Condit vs Max Griffin (men’s welterweight)
Niko Price vs Michel Pereira (men’s welterweight)
Ryan Hall vs Ilia Topuria (men’s featherweight)
Trevin Giles vs Dricus Du Plessis (men’s middleweight)
Jennifer Maia vs Jessica Eye (women’s flyweight)
Omari Akhmedov vs Brad Tavares (men’s middleweight)
Zhalgas Zhumagulov vs Jerome Rivera (men’s flyweight)
Hu Yaozong vs Alen Amedovski (men’s middleweight)
McGregor vs Poirier prediction
Both fighters will be itching to settle this rivalry with a defining victory in the octagon and battle Oliveira for the lightweight crown later in 2021.
Poirier executed his gameplan to perfection back in January, with those calf kicks inflicting plenty of damage and slowing McGregor to set up the ruthless flurry of punches that stopped him in his tracks.
But ‘The Notorious’ will now be desperate to avenge that loss and prove he still has what it takes to succeed at the very highest level.
McGregor’s arch-rival Khabib has said that the Irishman’s best hope is to make one of those trademark blistering starts where he simply overwhelms his opponent from the opening bell.
If he can do that, then a signature early stoppage is certainly not out of the question, while Poirier will no doubt be the favourite again the longer the contest continues.
This really could go either way, and we may well be going against the grain here, but we’re backing McGregor to come out firing with an emphatic early stoppage that reminds the world of his talent and capabilities.
McGregor vs Poirier weigh-in results
Both men tipped the scales at exactly 156lbs on Friday.
The lightweight championship limit is 155lbs, but an extra pound is afforded for non-title bouts in the UFC.
McGregor vs Poirier press conference
The second contest between McGregor and Poirier was notable for the huge amount of mutual respect shown between both fighters.
That certainly is not the case any longer, with Thursday’s press conference seeing the return of the outrageous, trash-talking and provocative McGregor of old.
“I’m going to go through his head, put holes in them and take it off its shoulders,” the Irishman - dressed in a plaid purple suit and sunglasses - taunted Poirier in front of a noisy crowd.
“He’s done here, this is it for him, this is the end of the road. Saturday night he’s getting walked around that octagon and put to sleep.”
McGregor also compared his rival to Buster Douglas, who recorded one of the greatest upsets in sporting history against Mike Tyson in 1990 before promptly losing the world heavyweight title to Evander Holyfield in his first defence eight months later.
“He’s Buster Douglas, he’s going to be known for that,” McGregor said. “It was a fluke win and I’m going to correct it on Saturday night.”
He also said: “He’s not in the same stratosphere as me. The man looks disgraceful up here. He looks frail at this weight now. The weight cut is getting to him. He’s going out on a stretcher in this fight.
“My mindset is I’m back on the building sites with a hard hat and two hammers in my hands. That’s my mindset. I’m not relishing in my past accomplishments. I’m back.”
McGregor even kicked out at Poirier during an intense final staredown, but ‘The Diamond’ seemed untroubled by such antics.
“The aura is not there anymore,” he said.
“You guys in the crowd, cheer it up, have some fun. But I see here in front of me a man that I defeated and I know I can defeat again.”
McGregor vs Poirier purse
Reports suggest that McGregor - who has a net worth of around $181million, per Forbes - could earn around $10m in total from this trilogy bout when it’s all said and done.
Meanwhile, Poirier has stated that he will earn “five to 10 times” more facing McGregor for a third time than he would have done by accepting the offer to fight again for the lightweight title, having previously been submitted by Khabib at UFC 242 in September 2019.
McGregor vs Poirier betting odds and tips
McGregor to win: 6/5
Poirier to win: 4/5
McGregor to win via KO, TKO or DQ: 2/1
McGregor to win via decision/technical decision: Between 10/1 & 11/1
McGregor to win via submission: 43/1
Poirier to win via KO, TKO or DQ: 2/1
Poirier to win via decision/technical decision: 15/2
Poirier to win via submission: 9/1
Draw or technical draw: 59/1
Odds (subject to change) via Betfair Exchange. Click here to find out more.