Poirier vs. McGregor 3 took place July 10 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nev. Gilbert Burns (20-4) and Stephen Thompson (16-5-1) collided in the UFC 264 co-main event. The fight aired live on ESPN+ pay-per-view. Catch more video highlights below.
For more on Burns vs. Thompson, check out live blog from MMA Fighting’s Jed Meshew below.
Both men are in orthodox to start and Thompson is in that trademark karate stance. Burns much more boxing centric with his stance and the first minute is all movement and feeling out from both men.
The first event of the fight is Burns rushing in with a feint and half-hearted takedown attempt but Thompson evades easily. Back in space and Burns shoots a single-leg from a mile away but he’s able to clamp onto the leg and drive Thompson back to the fence. Thompson is defending well though. Burns now high with an underhook against the fence and keeping Thompson stuck against the fence. Burns clearly wants to use his grappling in this one but thus far, Thompson is keeping things upright.
Burns tries to duck down low for a double-leg off the clinch but no joy. He switches to a single-leg though and that catches Thompson off guard! Burns secures the takedown and now he’s in top half-guard with Thompson against the fence. Burns lands a few shots from the top and he’s holding this position and looking to control. Thompson building his base against the fence though and he’s got his hips back. Burns holds on for a bit but Thompson manages to get up. Now he drops back down to a knee and Burns rifles some good right hands into Thompson’s face that cause some urgency from Thompson.
Wonderboy now back standing but short time and he still cannot keep Burns off him in the clinch. Not a massive amount of damage but just before the horn sounds, Thompson breaks free and clips Burns with a hook that looks like it may have hurt the former lightweight!
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 Burns.
On the replay it shows that Thompson didn’t actually hurt Burns, more of a slip. But as we head into the second round, it’s clear that Thompson cannot lock up with Burns. He had nothing to offer there and as a result, Thompson has his hips much lower to start this round.
Burns not looking to force the issue thus far, throwing some kicks and waiting for his window. Thompson is starting to set his range now though and lands a few good side kicks off the front leg.
Burns is having trouble navigating the space and as he charges in, he misses by a country mile with his hooks. Thompson not throwing a lot though either and the boo birds are starting to be heard. Thompson throws a spinning back kick that lands cleanly and that inspires Burns to start coming forward. He lands a good hook but Thompson lands a counter of his own that gets Burns backing up again.
Thompson now looking to get the jab going, which is a great idea and Burns is again stuck way on the outside. Lots of feints from both men and as Thompson steps in, Burns ducks under for a single-leg but Thompson shucks him off. That’s big for Wonderboy.
Thompson now starting to look very comfortable in there but as I type that, Burns lands a good low kick and then barrels into a double-leg takedown that he gets. Thompson is again up against the fence and Burns lands some left hands with short time. Thompson now throwing back from that position and the round ends with both me throwing short hooks.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 Thompson, 19-19 overall.
That round could easily have gone to Burns and Thompson may be in need of a stoppage here. He comes out same as ever though and Burns still looks very fresh heading into the last round.
Thompson leading the dance a little more to start here and he’s stepping off on good angles but Burns is working with a high guard. Thompson lands a clean right hand that gets Burns covering up and Thompson puts together a combination that has Burns’ body language looking not great.
Thompson in full pursuit now and Burns is up against the cage. Thompson drops Burns! It’s only for a second though and Burns now biting down on the mouthpiece and throwing back which backs off Thompson. Now Burns drives in on a takedown and gets the clinch, forcing Thompson’s back to the cage. Thompson trying to fend him off but instead, Burns gets a body lock trip and now he’s in top side control. Great wrestling from Burns in this one.
With two minutes left, Thompson is in serious trouble. Burns is content to hold this position and clinch a win and Thompson is unable to get out from under him right now. Thompson again trying to build himself back up against the fence but Burns is keeping his head high on Wonderboy and with one minute left, this fight is basically over. Burns is landing enough ground and pound to prevent a standup and there just isn’t enough time for Wonderboy.
Thompson almost up to his feet now but only 30 seconds left and as he tries to get up, Burns grabs a guillotine choke. Thompson bails back to the floor and now Burns is in the mount and he’s putting a stamp on this one! Big punches from Burns but several of them are to the back of the head. Doesn’t matter as the ref ignores it and the final horn sounds.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 Burns, 29-28 Burns overall.