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Significant Stats | UFC 264: Poirier vs McGregor 3

Use Significant Stats To Preview Some Of The Top Match-Ups On UFC 264: Poirier vs McGregor 3

(All stats according to UFC’s Record Book as of July 7, 2021, and only include active athletes in their respective division unless noted otherwise)

Main Event: Dustin Poirier vs Conor McGregor

Dustin Poirier

Key Stats: 7 KO/TKO wins (tied 1st all-time among LW), 6.44 strikes landed per minute (3rd all-time among LW), +1.51 striking differential (4th)

What It Means: Poirier is a vicious, intelligent striker with a layered and diverse attack. His body and leg kicks come hard and fast, and it’s all a means to set up his smooth and powerful boxing. Poirier’s best punches are his hooks, which he’ll rip to the body and the head in the same combination. His check hook is a good sign of when he has his opponent’s timing as well.

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*Conor McGregor

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Israel Adesanya and Marvin Vettori Full Interview | UFC 263: Adesanya vs Vettori 2
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Key Stats: 1.81 knockdowns per 15 minutes (5th all-time), 5.32 strikes landed per minute, 67% takedown defense

What It Means: “The Notorious” McGregor’s left hand is the stuff of legend at this point, and he has full faith in his ability to crack his opponent with the right, accurate shot to end the night. His setups are beautiful, though. Of late, he likes to paw his left hand out before throwing a hard, angled jab followed with the patented cross. He also likes to deploy front kicks to the body and spinning back kicks when he is flowing.

UFC 264 FREE FIGHTS: Dustin Poirier vs Eddie Alvarez 2 | Conor McGregor vs Nate Diaz 2 | Conor McGregor vs Dustin Poirier 1 | Dustin Poirier vs Conor McGregor 2

 

What to Look For in the Fight: The biggest question coming out of the rematch was how McGregor could and would adjust to the low calf kicks Poirier rode to victory at UFC 257. Whether he chooses to adopt less of a lead-leg heavy stance or opts to counter hard over the top when Poirier throws the kick, McGregor can’t eat those like he did last time. Granted, before that, McGregor looked, sharp, fast and powerful with his hands and did a tidy job of returning to his feet after Poirier took him down early. Watch for another Poirier shot just to mix things up and slow McGregor down, but both men have shown high fight IQ in rematches, and this trilogy bout should bring the best and most nuanced performances out of them.

Co-Main Event: Gilbert Burns vs Stephen Thompson

Gilbert Burns

Gilbert Burns Hopes To Be Calmer, More Controlled | UFC 264
Gilbert Burns Hopes To Be Calmer, More Controlled | UFC 264
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Gilbert Burns is fully focused on Stephen "Wonderboy" Thompson, but he knows a win at UFC 264 puts him in great position to earn a second title shot sooner than later.


Key Stats: 3.22 strikes landed per minute, 2.08 takedowns per 15 minutes, 0.7 submissions per 15 minutes

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What It Means: A dangerous jiu jitsu ace, Burns’ standup has continuously improved to the point of almost reaching the same levels of fight-ending ability. His hands are powerful, especially when he unwinds for a big hook near his opponent’s ear, and his excellence on the ground allows him to throw with more abandon.

Stephen Thompson

Stephen Thompson's Top Head Kick Knockouts | UFC 264: Poirier vs. McGregor 3
Stephen Thompson's Top Head Kick Knockouts | UFC 264: Poirier vs. McGregor 3
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Key Stats: 7 total fight night bonuses (tied 1st), 10 knockdowns landed (tied 1st), 78.1% takedown defense (8th)

What It Means: One of the finest strikers to compete in the UFC, “Wonderboy” and his karate-based style has befuddled the some of the best at 170 pounds. His ability to shift in and out of range, move laterally and set traps throughout a fight is elite, and he’s shown the strength and technique to keep a fight on the feet when his opponents shoot on him for takedowns. Walking Thompson down is a difficult task as he is so deft at hitting his shots and angling out.

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What to Look For in the Fight: The simplest way to brand this fight is “jiu jitsu (Burns) vs karate (Thompson),” but in mixed martial arts, it all comes to a head. Burns’ power is real night-ending stuff, but whether he can land that big shot on Thompson, and how Thompson eats that shot, is the key component. “Wonderboy” thrives on an opponent chasing him down, and he is more than capable of peppering Burns from the outside before unleashing a creative and stunningly fast kick up top.

Other Fights to Watch (Irene Aldana vs Yana Kunitskaya, Dricus Du Plessis vs Trevin Giles)

Irene Aldana

Fighters You Should Know | UFC 264: Poirier vs. McGregor 3
Fighters You Should Know | UFC 264: Poirier vs. McGregor 3
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Key Stats: 736 significant strikes landed (1st all-time among WBW), 5.52 strikes landed per minute (4th all-time among WBW), 84.4% takedown defense (1st all-time among WBW)

 

The Trilogy Concludes July 10 | Order UFC 264: Poirier vs McGregor 3

 

What It Means: Aldana is a smooth and strong striker with good hands and range management. She is smart in the way she puts combinations together, and her physicality and technique allow her to fend off opponents when they try to shoot for takedowns or keep her against the fence.

Yana Kunitskaya

Yana Kunitskaya of Russia punches Ketlen Vieira of Brazil in a bantamweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on February 20, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Yana Kunitskaya of Russia punches Ketlen Vieira of Brazil in a bantamweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on February 20, 2021 in Las Vegas, NV (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

Key Stats: 49.6% control time percentage (2nd all-time among WBW), 57.7% significant strike accuracy (1st all-time among WBW), +2.07 striking differential (2nd all-time among WBW)

What It Means: Kunitskaya is a physically strong fighter who can really grind out a fight against the fence. She is good at maintaining control and dominant position against the Octagon, wearing on opponents as the fight goes into the deeper rounds. She also has a diverse striking game. She will mix elbows and kicks into exchanges to give opponents a lot to think about.

What to Look For in the Fight: This is a quality matchup between two Top 10 bantamweights who’ve shown a grittiness in their fights as well as excellent skill sets. Both are more comfortable on the feet, and Aldana probably has the power advantage, particularly with her hands. Kunitskaya is smart in the way she mixes in grappling in the middle of her combinations, and her ability to keep pressure on the fence is always an important factor in her fights.

Dricus Du Plessis

Dricus du Plessis of South Africa kicks Markus Perez of Brazil in their middleweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event inside Flash Forum on UFC Fight Island on October 11, 2020 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)
Dricus du Plessis of South Africa kicks Markus Perez of Brazil in their middleweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event inside Flash Forum on UFC Fight Island on October 11, 2020 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)

Key Stats: 7.72 strikes landed per minute, 4.16 strikes absorbed per minute, 44% striking accuracy

What It Means: Du Plessis is a powerful athlete with plenty of power generated in tight spaces. He showed the ability to turn a fight around in his UFC debut, scoring a sudden knockout on Fight Island. He will throw low kicks with his front leg moving forward or backward to set things up for himself, and his hands come quickly in flurries as well.

Trevin Giles

Trevin Giles reacts after his victory over Bevon Lewis in a middleweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on November 07, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)
Trevin Giles reacts after his victory over Bevon Lewis in a middleweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on November 07, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Key Stats: 53.7% significant strike accuracy (4th), 2.01 strikes absorbed per minute (2nd), 78.3% takedown defense (9th)

What It Means: Giles is a talented and strong fighter whose hands are clean, fast and heavy. His jab is varied and utilized well to break his opponent’s rhythm and find his own openings. He’s a patient striker and counter striker, doing well to stay out of danger while pawing with his hands to find openings for his own shots. His takedown defense is solid, and he does a strong job of separating after stuffing the initial shot.

What to Look For in the Fight: Giles has much more UFC experience but has had some stops and starts while showing immense talent. How that experience comes into play will be intriguing, especially if Du Plessis opts to chop at Giles legs early. Giles can tend to come out in a boxing-based stance heavy on his lead leg, so that can be a way for Du Plessis get the upper hand early. Giles is resilient, though, and he can drop a fighter with a simple but powerful jab.

*Hasn’t competed in weight class enough to qualify for UFC Record Book

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