Arguably the deepest Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) division heats up once again this Saturday (Jan. 23, 2021) when superstar slugger Conor McGregor squares off against Dustin Poirier in a Lightweight rematch more than six years in the making. Also at 155 pounds, ultra-tough Dan Hooker welcomes Bellator wrecking machine Michael Chandler to the Octagon, while women’s Flyweight Joanne Calderwood looks to start a fresh climb up the ladder against former title challenger Jessica Eye.
UFC 257 is a doozy of an event, one that stands to earn discerning bettors a tidy profit. Here’s how:
What Went Wrong at UFC Fight Island 8?
The worst kind of failed bet is one that didn’t have to fail. Tyson Nam could have taken a decision over Matt Schnell by pressing the issue more in the second round, and Tom Breese could have potentially out-lasted Omari Akhmedov if he hadn’t fruitlessly chased submissions. Alas, a loss is a loss ...
I know we’re off to a bad start, so all I can do is ask that you bear with me.
UFC 257 Odds For The Under Card:
Arman Tsarukyan (-290) vs. Nasrat Haqparast (+245)
Brad Tavares (-125) vs. Antonio Carlos Junior (+105)
Sara McMann (-130) vs. Julianna Pena (+110)
Khalil Rountree (-325) vs. Marcin Prachnio (+265)
Makhmud Muradov (-135) vs. Andrew Sanchez (+115)
Movsar Evloev (-495) vs. Nik Lentz (+395)
Zhalgas Zhumagulov (-115) vs. Amir Albazi (-105)
Thoughts: Nasrat Haqparast should not be a +245 underdog. He got murked by Drew Dober, sure, but Dober’s on an absolute tear at the moment. Even if Tsarukyan’s had the stronger performances recently, Haqparast is by far the best striker he’s ever faced, and the German’s takedown defense is no joke.
In short, a morsel on Haqparast makes sense ... if only for the value.
As someone who correctly predicted Andrew Sanchez’s slight upset over Wellington Turman last year, let me be the first to say that he’s in serious trouble against Makhmud Muradov. “Mach” pushes the sort of pace that has sunk “El Dirte” in the past, is the more versatile striker, and is a sufficiently capable wrestler to keep it in his wheelhouse.
Despite the layoff, I like Muradov to win this comfortably.
Though I recognize that Zhalgas Zhumagulov deserved the win in his Octagon debut, he’s been the recipient of some shaky decisions in the past, notably against strong wrestlers. Amir Albazi definitely fits the bill, and his ability to keep up with Zhumagulov’s speed on the feet should allow him to control the fight wherever it ends up.
If you want to beef these lines up at all, consider Khalil Rountree. He hits stupid hard and Marcin Prachnio has been knocked out three times in a row, so that seems like a safe investment.
UFC 257 Odds For The Main Card:
Conor McGregor (-290) vs. Dustin Poirier (+245)
Dan Hooker (-130) vs. Michael Chandler (+110)
Joanne Calderwood (-120) vs. Jessica Eye (EVEN)
Ottman Azaitar (-155) vs. Matt Frevola (+135)
Amanda Ribas (-300) vs. Marina Rodriguez (+250)
Thoughts: Call me crazy, but I think Dan Hooker is going to destroy Michael Chandler.
This isn’t a case of UFC jingoism or disrespect toward Chandler’s accomplishments: he’s a great fighter. Unfortunately, his flaws play right into Hooker’s hands. “Iron” tends to leave his head on the centerline and throw his right hand with enough force to unbalance himself, which combine with his unspectacular chin to leave him vulnerable; people willing to stay in the firing line to throw back, like Patricio Pitbull and Brent Primus, have badly hurt him in the past. Hooker possesses both the Lightweight division’s best chin and its best knees, so while he can take whatever Chandler dishes out, the opposite isn’t true. In short, expect Hooker to sprawl-and-brawl before landing something game-changing and make sure you’re in position to profit.
UFC 257 Best Bets:
- Single bet — Nasrat Haqparast: Bet $25 to make $61.25
- Parlay — Makhmud Muradov and Khalil Rountree: Bet $60 to make $76.80
- Parlay — Amir Albazi and Khalil Rountree: Bet $40 to make $62
- Single bet — Dan Hooker: Bet $65 to make $50
UFC 257’s main- and co-main alone should sell this event for you. If not, well, you may not be on the wrong website. See you Saturday, Maniacs.
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 257 fight card right here, starting with the early ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6:15 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on ESPN/ESPN+ at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+ PPV.
To check out the latest and greatest UFC 257: “McGregor vs. Poirier 2” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.