It’s my birthday in a few days.
And while I’m not asking for gifts, I am asking for your eyes for a few hours — not just now as you’re reading or watching this — but for the UFC 264 live show on Combat Culture that I’ll be hosting tonight (Sat., July 21, 2021) at 10 p.m. ET alongside Brendan Sokler and our team of stellar humans Shakiel Mahjouri and Stephanie Sottile.
Whenever it is near my birthday (or just any date on the calendar to be honest) I think of mortality.
It’s something that washes over my mind like a gigantic wave or a beautiful sweeping curveball before it hits the chin of a player to incite a bench clearing brawl. It’s just jarring, disorienting and makes you try to find your balance.
This is where Conor McGregor comes in.
McGregor — who fights Dustin Poirier for a third time in UFC 264’s pay-per-view (PPV) main event — is the most successful mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter of all time. He is one of the most successful combat sports athletes of all time.
And it’s addicting.
McGregor has lost two of his last three fights, but later this evening we’re all hoping that this is the moment McGregor is BACK. That the focused and passionate “karate fighter” returns to the Octagon and puts on a show.
Are we certain that’s gonna happen? No. The sport has evolved ... and so, too, has “The Diamond.”
But, that doesn’t diminish the possibility that McGregor can beat him and then beat Charles Oliveira later this year and give the sport what it needs: Its top star in its showcase division, with the belt.
For McGregor, it’s the question of whether or not he can tap into that mindset again, the performative hijinks are great; however, is that a sign that the old McGregor is back or just the new McGregor cosplaying to work the marks?
Either way, we’re all plunking down $70 to watch McGregor punch Poirier in the face on ESPN+ PPV tonight ... or watching myself and Brendan yell at a screen.
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 264 fight card right here, starting with the early ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on ESPN/ESPN+ at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+ PPV.
To check out the latest and greatest UFC 264: “McGregor vs. Poirier 3” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.