We are still in the month of January, but it’s probably safe to suggest that UFC 257 will prove to be one of, if not the biggest, PPV events of 2021. Saturday will see the return of Conor McGregor to the octagon, and for fight fans, it’s an event that cannot come soon enough. This is a fight that is going to have a ripple effect through the Lightweight division, with all manner of fighters lining up for a shot at the winner. Besides the main event, there are 4 other fights on the main card, so we are going to be taking a look at those, too. We will have UFC odds and predictions for all 5 fights on the main card, so let’s jump right in.
UFC 257: Poirier Vs McGregor | MMA Betting Analysis
Marina Rodriguez (+240) Vs Amanda Ribas (-320)
There are a pair of women’s bouts on the main card, starting with this Strawweight fight between a pair of fighters with very good records. Rodriguez comes in at 12-1-2 and will be looking to get back to winning ways after a draw and a loss in her last 2 fights, the most recent of which was a split decision defeat to Carla Esparza. After serving an almost 2-year suspension, Ribas has returned and looked great, winning each of her last 4 fights since the end of the suspension, moving to 10-1 in the process. Ribas is on the rise and I like her to get the win via submission here.
Ottman Azaitar (-160) Vs Matt Frevola (+130)
Up next is what looks to be an absolutely intriguing Lightweight battle between a pair of emerging fighters in the division. Azaitar will be putting his perfect 10-0 record on the line in this one and will be looking to build on what has been a great start to life in the UFC. He has won both fights in the UFC and both in the opening round. After losing his first fight in the UFC, Frevola is now unbeaten in 3 (2W 1D), but he is in the habit of going the distance, which he has done in those last 3 fights. I think this one is over sooner, though, as I like Azaitar by KO.
Jessica Eye (-110) Vs Joanne Calderwood (-120)
We are looking at a Flyweight battle that I believe has Fight of the Night potential. Both women need a win after going through rocky patches, so look for a brawl here. Eye is currently ranked #8 in the division, but she is on a bit of a slide at the moment, as she has lost 2 of her last 3 fights. Her previous 2 fights have gone the distance. It is much the same story for #7 ranked Calderwood, as the Scot has also lost 2 of her last 3 fights. I expect this one to go the distance and I am giving the slight edge to Calderwood.
Dan Hooker (-135) Vs Michael Chandler (+105)
While everyone seems focused on the big fight, this co-main event is one that you need to watch. Dan Hooker is very much on the Lightweight title fight conversation and could improve his chances of a shot with a win here. Hooker needs to bounce back after losing to Poirier in his last fight, one that went the distance. This is a big one for Chandler, who will be making his first UFC start after a solid run in Bellator, where he served as Lightweight Champion 3 times. Expect fireworks here and a KO win for Hooker.
Dustin Poirier (+255) Vs Conor McGregor (-315)
The Lightweight division is essentially on pause at the moment, as we all wait to see if Khabib returns or not. As it stands now, Dustin Poirier is the top ranked fighter in the division, with his last 7 fights delivering just 1 loss, which came at the hands of the champ. He was hammered by McGregor when they last met in 2014, but that was a long time ago. McGregor has quit, tried boxing, returned to the UFC, and basically remained as tough to second guess as ever. He looks to be ready for this one and a shot at the title. I am on McGregor to win by KO.