Rest assured, the trilogy fight between Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor at UFC 264 was about much more than bragging rights.
While the victor would take the edge in the pair’s career series, there was the distinct possibility that a lightweight title shot was on the line. UFC President Dana White had all but confirmed it in the build-up to Saturday’s PPV card, and it was the only fight that made sense. With Khabib Nurmagomedov retired and Charles Oliveira installed as champ, the winner of Poirier vs. McGregor 3 was the front-runner in the title hunt. Justin Gaethje was coming off a loss, Tony Ferguson’s days as a contender appeared over, and Beneil Dariush just couldn’t seem to buy the type of recognition that a shot at gold in the UFC’s deepest division required.
So while McGregor’s persona was the selling point of the trilogy, the title implications made the UFC 264 main event a very relevant fight.
In the co-main event on Saturday, Gilbert Burns and Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson threw down in another pairing with title implications for their respective division. Colby Covington might appear to have the next title shot at welterweight, Leon Edwards might have the best argument, but a win for Thompson might just be enough to lock up a shot should either of those fall through.
Following UFC 264 on Saturday, don’t miss the post-fight press conference — the live stream of which can be found above.