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Is UFC 264 the best Conor McGregor card ever?

UFC 257 Poirier v McGregor: Weigh-Ins
UFC 257 Poirier v McGregor: Weigh-Ins
SENIOR ANALYST

Conor McGregor is undoubtedly the UFC's biggest star, a distinction that has brought him a slew of perks. Big paydays and recognition have been the Irishman's two constant merits, thanks to the multitude of highly successful cards he has been a part of.

If you look at McGregor's timeline in the UFC - especially between 2015 and 2016 - you will notice that the Dana White-led promotion had often built a glamorous undercard to support the main event that featured McGregor. Such is the case at UFC 264 as well, which looks incredibly stacked on paper.

It will be headlined by Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier, who will share the octagon for the third time. In the co-main event, Stephen Thompson will challenge Gilbert Burns. UFC 264 will host plenty of other exciting matchups, since the likes of Sean O'Malley, Kevin Lee, Ryan Hall, and Michel Pereira are also expected to compete at the event.

That said, is UFC 264 the best card Conor McGregor has ever headlined? To reach a conclusion, we'll compare the card with three of the most successful PPV events spearheaded by 'The Notorious One'.


Comparing UFC 264 with UFC 189: Conor McGregor vs. Chad Mendes

Conor McGregor and Chad Mendes at the UFC 189 post-fight press conference
Conor McGregor and Chad Mendes at the UFC 189 post-fight press conference

UFC 189 was originally supposed to be headlined by Conor McGregor and Jose Aldo. After the Brazilian suffered a rib fracture, Chad Mendes stepped up to challenge McGregor on short notice.

The 16,000 fans in attendance at the MGM Grand Garden Arena witnessed an electrifying main event as Conor McGregor finished Mendes in the second round. However, it was the co-main event bout between Robbie Lawler and Rory MacDonad that became the center of attention.

Both men exchanged heavy leather for 21 minutes before Lawler finally sent MacDonald to the canvas. This welterweight bout is still considered as one of the greatest fights in UFC history.

Jeremy Stephens and Thomas Almeida scored highlight reel flying knee knockouts at UFC 189. The likes of Gunnar Nelson, Cody Garbrandt, and Matt Brown also won their respective matches.

On paper, UFC 264 may have a slight edge as far as the star power of fighters is concerned. But it will have to pull something remarkable out of its bag to surpass the extravaganza of UFC 189.


Comparing UFC 264 with UFC 202: Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz 2

UFC 202: Diaz v McGregor 2
UFC 202: Diaz v McGregor 2

Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz met inside the octagon for the second time at UFC 202. The promotion had never hyped a rematch to this extent before. 'The Notorious One' was gunning for revenge against Diaz, who handed him his first UFC defeat at UFC 196.

Both men battled it out in a thrilling 25-minute contest that also earned them the Fight of the Night accolade. In the co-main event, Anthony 'Rumble' Johnson displayed why exactly he was considered one of the best knockout artists in the UFC. He finished his opponent, Glover Teixeira, in 13 seconds of the first round.

Donald Cerrone, who was still one of the promotion's biggest names, scored a stunning TKO win over Rick Story. Mike Perry, Cody Garbrandt, and Raquel Pennington also competed at UFC 202.

The likes of Colby Covington, Marvin Vettori, and Neil Magny had to scrap in the early preliminary card. Although UFC 202 consisted of some big names, an argument of UFC 264 being more stacked can still be made considering the presence of surging prospects like Ilia Topuria and Sean Brady on its card.


Comparing UFC 264 with UFC 205: Conor McGregor vs. Eddie Alvarez

UFC 205: Alvarez v McGregor
UFC 205: Alvarez v McGregor

UFC 205 was the first event that took place in the state of New York. After a lengthy stint of negotiations with the government to legalize MMA in New York, Dana White made sure to leave no stone unturned at UFC 205.

The UFC stacked the card with three title fights: Conor McGregor vs. Eddie Alvarez, Tyron Woodley vs. Stephen Thompson, and Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz.

In the main event, Conor McGregor dazzled the crowd with his flawless performance against Alvarez. He knocked out 'The Underground King' in the second round of the fight.

The welterweight title clash between Woodley and Thompson ended in a draw. Both fighters engaged in an equally-contested battle that saw 'The Chosen One' retain his belt. Jedrzejczyk also defeated her fellow compatriot Kowalkiewicz convincingly via unanimous decision.

UFC 205 featured Yoel Romero, who landed a brutal flying knee on Chris Weidman and put the entire middleweight division on notice. The depth of UFC 205 card was so impressive that it saw four well-established stars like Frankie Edgar, Jeremy Stephens, Khabib Nurmagomedov, and Michael Johnson compete on its preliminary card.

Vicente Luque, Belal Muhammad, Jim Miller, and Katlyn Chookagian also fought at UFC 205, which made the event incredibly successful. Hence, it will only be fair to say that UFC 205 is quite evidently the strongest card Conor McGregor has ever been a part of.


Edited by Sai Krishna
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