The biggest event of the year is finally upon us. Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor will face off for the third time at UFC 264 later this evening. Who’ll walk away with the decisive win? Let’s see what the LowKickMMA staff think.

Jordan Ellis: I’ve been switching my pick on this fight on a daily basis for the last two weeks. For me, it’s tough to figure out what version of Conor McGregor will show up at UFC 264. I do believe that the best version of the former dual-weight champion wins this fight eight or nine times out of ten. Dustin Poirier is game, very talented, and based on recent form he is the best 155lb fighter in MMA. In my opinion, he is very beatable though. ‘The Diamond’ is very hittable too and that could be a recipe for disaster if the best version of McGregor shows up. I think ultimately, I’m stumping for McGregor but I won’t be surprised if I change my mind a couple of times again before the first bell sounds.

Prediction: Conor McGregor

Alex Lough: I think it’s been known for a while what the key is to get past McGregor: chop at his leg to take away his movement and his power. The thing was, most people were afraid to throw leg kicks in fear of getting caught with a left hand coming over the top in return. Poirier showed in their last fight that he has the right combination of head movement & chin to utilize those kicks without getting knocked out, and I expect more of the same in this fight. I just think Dustin is the more rounded fighter, and once he has Conor hobbled he can finish him with strikes or take him down for the submission/ground & pound. Given that he’s said he wants it, I’ll go with the former. Poirier by sub.

Prediction Dustin Poirier

Ryan MacCarthy: It’s a tough one. I’m not the most confident I’ve ever been in Conor going in. I believe if Dustin takes this to the championship rounds and even late 3rd, it will heavily favor him. His cardio is top of the line and will be hard to match for Conor as it gets taken into deeper waters. And let’s not forget about the crowd. If anyone in this sport will benefit from fighting in front of a crowd it’s Conor. I truly believe that it can make a difference for him to feed off that energy. That being said, Conor CAN win a 5 round war if need be, we’ve seen him do it vs Diaz and he is certainly capable. However, this one needs to be ended in the first 2 rounds for him and I believe that’s what will happen. I think exceptionally good in rematches. He’s proven it in that Nate one. He left his family and children at home and has been in camp without them for 8 weeks now. This is exactly what he needed to get his edge back, and I see it making a huge difference. I think he’s going to have the victory. I think he’s probably going to win in the second round by TKO, I see him clipping Dustin, wobbling him and sensing the finish. The biggest factor is going to be the calf/leg kicks. If Conor and his team can make the proper adjustments, check those, and even start attacking Dustin’s leg this could be a world of a difference-maker. They need to make a few tweaks, the first round in January was very competitive. We’ve seen Conor bounce back well after defeat. I think the Diaz bouts really show that and I think Conor proves a lot of doubters wrong.

Prediction: Conor McGregor

Eoin McKenna: This weekend, I expect both Poirier and McGregor to come into this fight with tactics that fairly differentiate from the last two bouts. McGregor will try and have a return to form in bringing back the movement and free flow stances he had learned from long-time friend and former training partner Ido Portal. I expect McGregor to have a less flat-footed approach and will instead opt for the spring step movement that helped him dismantle both Aldo and Alvarez. In saying that, I think that this approach will be too little too late. I truly believe after the last two bouts, that Poirier who has remained active in the division to have his number. Poirier is notorious for throwing that over right hand stepping in where he can then counter his opponent with his left. I expect Poirier to catch McGregor with a counter left and drop him and then for the fight to be finished by submission. I back Poirier to get the job done within 2 rounds by Rear-necked choke, whether the submission is initiated by McGregor being dropped or wrestled I am uncertain however my confidence remains in Poirier to get the job done inside 2.

Prediction: Dustin Poirier

A lifelong fight fan from Liverpool, England who has been covering mixed martial arts (MMA) and boxing for several years. Follow @JordanEllisUK on Twitter for all the latest fight news, views, interviews and live event coverage.