Just before the start of the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s biggest event of the year, the coronavirus caused a small hiccup.
One of the early fights on the UFC 264 card, a preliminary fight between middleweights Hu Yaozong and Alen Amedovski, was canceled due to Covid-19 protocols, UFC officials said.
ESPN first reported the development. The map, titled from a highly anticipated trilogy match between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier, continues with 12 scheduled matches.
UFC 264 takes place Saturday night at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The early opening matches start at. 18.00 Eastern, and the primary pay-per-view card begins at. 22 McGregor and Poirier are unlikely to fight until around midnight.
At a news conference Thursday, UFC President Dana White said the event had already generated the highest-paid per-view purchases in the company’s history, and he expects more on the night of the fight.
It is broadcast by ESPN + with a purchase price of $ 69.99. Fans who do not already have an ESPN + subscription can purchase a bundle that includes the match and a one-year service for $ 89.98.
The early preparations, which start at 18, is carried by ESPN + and the UFC Fight Pass and includes four fights. The preliminary card for four matches starts at 20 and transported on ESPN and ESPN +. The motherboard includes five seizures.
The two men first fought in 2014 at 145 pounds. It was McGregor’s fourth fight in the UFC, and experts considered Poirier his toughest opponent at the time. But McGregor won almost effortlessly, hitting Poirier with a left hook and then exerting final strokes, while Poirier lay on the ground and stopped only when the referee, Herb Dean, intervened.
Eight years later, the two fought for £ 155 on “Fight Island” in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, in January. This time, McGregor landed clean shots, but Poirier absorbed them. Poirier viciously attacked McGregor’s leg and swung his base. At the end of the first round, McGregor’s leading leg looked red and swollen.
Poirier used this strategy again in the second round, supporting McGregor against the fence. He landed a hook to McGregor’s nose and caused him to fall to the ground, where Poirier ended him with a blow.
White said the winner of the third match would be the next in line to challenge the lightweight champion, Charles Oliveira.
McGregor entered the UFC in 2013 and quickly gained attention through his trash talk, confidence and flashy style. He backed these characteristics into the octagon by quickly sending most of his opponents, usually by delivering a powerful blow to his victim’s head with his left hand.
McGregor of Ireland became the first athlete in UFC history to have two belts at the same time, winning the featherweight and lightweight championships through knockouts and getting others to chase similar double-belt aspirations.
He and Floyd Mayweather ended a crossover boxing match in 2017, which gave McGregor a $ 30 million guarantee. He has only fought in the UFC since three times and lost two of those competitions.
During McGregor’s long firing from the UFC, Poirier competed against some of the toughest fighters in the lightweight division. Poirier, who entered the UFC in 2011, captured the temporary lightweight championship in 2019 and won victories against quality competition in Anthony Pettis, Justin Gaethje and Max Holloway.
Poirier, a Louisiana native who trains in Florida, started a charity with his wife, Jolie, called the Good Fight Foundation, to help underserved communities in Louisiana.
The co-main event features two stout 170-pound welterweight candidates in Gilbert Burns and Stephen Thompson. Burns boasted a six-match winning streak, and in February he challenged champion Kamaru Usman for the title. Burns landed a solid strike in the first round, but Usman won via technical knockout in the third round.
Thompson earned two title fights against then-champion Tyron Woodley, but lost in a decision and had a draw. Since then, he has won three of his last five matches, including two in a row. Matchup pits Burns, a jujitsu specialist, against Thompson, who is known for his karate strike.