I have been speechless in regard to UFC 264. With the amount of ups and downs throughout Saturday night, it was quite a thrilling roller coaster. With many wonderful fights on the entire card, there were three in particular that stood out to me the most. Read below to get a recap of Sean O’Malley vs. Kris Moutinho, Tai Tuivasa vs. Greg Hardy, and Dustin Poirier vs. Conor McGregor.
UFC Bantamweight: Sean O’Malley vs. Kris Moutinho – Main Card
I want to write about this fight not only because of Sean O’Malley’s win, but for Kris Moutinho’s mind-blowing performance. The UFC Odds entering this fight were: Sean O’Malley -900 and Kris Moutinho +550.
Let’s keep in mind, this fight was Kris Moutinho’s UFC debut…at UFC 264 against Sean O’Malley – that’s a lot of pressure!
O’Malley seemed to be calm and was light on his feet in the beginning. He held confidence when throwing his strikes and his beautiful, accurate kicks. His front kicks helped push Moutinho back, but no matter what O’Malley threw, Moutinho kept moving forward.
Moutinho’s striking defense was not there; you could see all the damage on his face towards the end of the fight. However, no matter how many times O’Malley hit him in the face, he just kept moving forward with the pressure.
His constant pressure had me constantly saying, “How??”
Sean could not finish the kid! O’Malley had a higher output in strikes and was definitely more accurate; he had a total of 230 significant strikes while Moutinho had 70. O’Malley’s accuracy was at 80%!
Towards the end of the third round, the pace picked up and Moutinho’s face was taking a lot more damage. You could imagine with O’Malley’s accuracy and high output how many hits Moutinho ate while continuing to move forward.
O’Malley kept throwing and landing punch after punch, until Referee Herb Dean decided to stop the fight at 4 minutes and 33 seconds into the final round. This is where there are many skepticisms. Moutinho kept moving forward and never gave up in his brawl with O’Malley. There were 30 seconds left in the fight, Moutinho appeared to have been able to finish the fight. But in Dean’s defense, he thought Moutinho was getting too much damage to his face.
For my UFC Pick, I had Sean O’Malley to Win Inside the Distance -325 via BetOnline (Visit our BetOnline Review). Just based off of the pressure and chin on Moutinho, I really thought I was going to lose by bet. Although I had a breath of relief when Dean stopped the fight, I was curious to see if Moutinho could have made it to the bell or not.
As Moutinho’s UFC debut, he made it well known that he has a chin of steel, has top endurance, and the word “quit” is not in his vocabulary. In a post fight interview, O’Malley said, “Kris is a tough motherf—er. He took this fight on 11 days’ notice when a lot of other UFC fighters wouldn’t take this.” This adds to Moutinho’s statement that he is one BAMF. I am very excited for Moutinho’s future within the UFC.
UFC Heavyweight: Tai Tuivasa vs. Greg Hardy – Main Card
How could you not love a Heavyweight fight? When the big boys fight, there’s definitely a greater chance of you being blown away. Tai Tuivasa vs. Greg Hardy was one of those fights that had me out of my seat.
The UFC Odds entering this fight were: Tai Tuivasa -140 and Greg Hardy +115.
Inside the octagon, Hardy looked like a giant compared to Tuivasa. He chipped at Tuivasa’s leg, but Tuivasa countered back with 3x the leg kicks. They were both mid-cage and Hardy threw a big right hand to wobble Tuivasa.
Now, my UFC Pick for this fight was Tai Tuivasa -140. Seeing him get wobbled really made me uneasy, but he quickly got himself together and quickly dropped Hardy with 1 minute and 7 seconds into the first round.
In my UFC Prediction, I wasn’t worried about the size difference between Tuivasa and Hardy. Now three fights ago, Tuivasa fought against 7-foot-tall Sefan Struve back at UFC 254 and knocked him out in the first round. Tuivasa is good at closing the distance and letting his hands take care of business. It was a quick fight, but Tuivasa got his shoey and Tuivasa bettors cashed.
UFC Lightweight: Dustin Poirier vs. Conor McGregor 3 – Main Card
The trilogy main event in Dustin Poiriver vs. Conor McGregor seemed to be something out of a movie. There was an immense amount of drama with a very shocking ending. Leading up to fight night, there was a tremendous amount of hype on McGregor; you rarely saw as much media coverage on Poirier compared to McGregor.
The UFC Odds for this fight were: Dustin Poirier -120 and Conor McGregor +100.
You could tell right away that McGregor had a different game plan in this rematch; he implemented a lot more leg kicks than in the past. Poirier was backing McGregor with his forward pressure, while McGregor continued with heavy leg kicks.
Poirier managed to bring McGregor to the ground, then McGregor attempted for a guillotine! He had his arm tight around Poirier’s neck, but Poirier stayed calm and was able to escape McGregors hold.
Poirier got up and started pounding down on McGregor with heavy elbows and punches. McGregor was in trouble and could not get Poirier off of him. So, in a panic, McGregor starts throwing upkicks to put distance between him and the Diamond, and it worked.
Poirier let McGregor stand up, McGregor was in his southpaw stance, threw a jab and cross, and his left ankle snapped as he stepped back!! Dustin Poirier then finished McGregor with a ground and pound and won via T/KO (doctor stoppage) at the very end of the first round.
Dustin Poirier claimed when he checked one of McGregor’s leg kicks, that was when he injured the ankle that snapped. McGregor was filled with rage and was saying “this isn’t over!” So, does this mean there will be a “quadrilogy”?
My UFC Pick for this fight was Conor McGregor +107 via BetOnline (Visit our BetOnline Review). In my prediction for the main event, I figured McGregor would have had a better mindset and better preparation for this fight due to his training camp. He was focusing more on his MMA style and also his cardio. Meanwhile in their second fight, Mcgregor was focusing on a potential boxing match that never came into fruition, so his stance and style was completely different. I believe his nerves got the best of him at UFC 264, instead of playing it cool like Poirier. Major respect goes out to Dustin Poirier for the way he handled McGregor’s outlashes after the fight. He has not only a heart of a champion, but is also a gentleman.
Closing Remarks and What’s Next?
Like in all of my recap articles, I love to give recognition to the dog’s that won. In UFC 264, we only had one dog winner! Gilbert Burns was priced at +140 while his opponent, Stephen Thompson, was priced at -170.
Up next on the UFC schedule, we have UFC Vegas 31: Makhachev vs. Moises on Saturday, July 17th. It may not compare to a PPV card, but there are still many great fights to look forward to!
To everyone that tuned into our UFC Picks and Predictions show last week on SBR’s YouTube Channel, you would have seen our special guest UFC Featherweight Fighter, Billy Quarantillo. He is competing in UFC Vegas 31 against Gabriel Benitez, so we definitely need to show Billy some love.
You will also see inside the octagon: Daniel Rodriguez vs. Preston Parsons, Jeremy Stephens vs. Mateusz Gamrot, (co-main) Marion Reneau vs. Miesha Tate, and (main event) Islam Makhachev vs. Thiago Moises.
Be sure to tune in to our weekly UFC Picks and Predictions show with David Manyun and our special guests. They share with you all their top breakdowns and picks for every upcoming fight night.