The UFC is returning to Las Vegas in a big way on July 10 with a headlining bout between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier that will feature a live crowd.
UFC president Dana White made the announcement via Twitter video on April 14.
“I am so happy to finally be able to say Vegas is back,” said White, in part. “This summer, Las Vegas is back open for business, and on July 10th, UFC 264 will be at the T-Mobile Arena here in Vegas at 100 percent capacity. Ladies and gentlemen, that’s 20,000 fans. And this card will be headlined by the third fight between Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor. Tickets go on sale this week.”
The last time the UFC had a live crowd in Las Vegas was at UFC 248 on March 7, 2020. Of course, the COVID-19 pandemic forced the MMA behemoth to cancel a number of events in Spring 2020.
The UFC sprang back into action in May 2020, hosting more than 40 crowd-less events in Florida, Las Vegas, and Abu Dhabi throughout 2020 and early 2021.
On April 13, Las Vegas Governor Steve Sisolak held a press conference. He announced plans to reach 100 percent capacity across the state by June 1.
UFC 261 on April 24 in Jacksonville, Fla., will be the organization’s first card with a live crowd since March 7, 2020.
UFC 264: McGregor vs. Poirier III
UFC 264 will feature a trilogy bout between the UFC’s biggest star, Conor McGregor, and the man who most recently defeated him, Dustin Poirier.
Poirier defeated McGregor by TKO at UFC 257 on Jan. 24, 2021, on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi. The Louisiana native avenged an earlier TKO loss at the hands of the Irishman at UFC 178 on Sept. 27, 2014.
While the sell-out in Vegas is imminent on July 10, the big question is whether McGregor will be able to make tactical adjustments to the damaging leg kicks Poirier inflicted during their second fight.
There’s also plenty of he-said-he-said bad blood between the combatants, stemming from an unpaid $500,000 donation McGregor was slated to give to Poirier’s The Good Fight Foundation back in January.