Best bets for UFC 264: McGregor vs. Poirier 3

    Reed Kuhn is a Silicon Valley entrepreneur, and strategy and analytics consultant. He is the author of “Fightnomics: The Hidden Numbers and Science in Mixed Martial Arts,” the first book to quantify drivers and performance metrics in combat sports.

There isn’t even a title on the line, yet this is hands down the biggest fight of the year. The Dustin Poirier versus Conor McGregor trilogy matchup could decide who fights Charles Oliveira for the lightweight title. The post-Khabib Nurmagomedov era is still young but could see a new dominant champ. But again, title implications don’t really matter to make this fight interesting.

What matters is whether Poirier can prove his knockout of McGregor was no fluke and that he has emerged as the future lightweight king. McGregor, on the other hand, has revenge on his mind. Even if he wins, his future as a fighter is always in doubt. Who needs to enter a cage when you’ve already become the richest fighter in MMA history? Poirier wants to secure his future, McGregor wants to wash away a blemish of the past.

Divergent motivations are certainly relevant, but for now we’ll just look at the performance stats. We’ll also look for value before the main event goes down.

Odds are courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook by William Hill.

Featherweight main event: No. 5 Conor McGregor (+105) vs. No. 1 Dustin Poirier (-125)

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