UFC 257: McGregor vs Poirier – Tips & Preview

Conor McGregor vs Dustin Poirier, Lightweight, Main Event
McGregor Rounds 1-3 $1.82

Conor McGregor opens this fight as the commanding $1.36 favourite, with Poirier the rank $3.10 outsider.

McGregor enters this bout with an impressive 22-4 record. Within that, he has 19 knockouts compared to just 2 decisions and 1 submission.

He hasn’t been as active recently, fighting just twice since 2016, losing to Khabib before knocking out Cerrone in his last fight. Given his track record, he’ll definitely be looking for a quick finish here.

Poirier also enters this bout with a strong career record of 26-6-1. A very well-rounded fighter, he has managed 12 knockouts, 7 submissions, and 7 decisions so far.

He has been in some impressive recent form, losing just one of his last 8 fights, to Khabib no less. Recent wins over Pettis, Gaethje, Holloway, and Hooker would suggest he’s up to the challenge.

This is likely to be a fast fight here and I see value in McGregor winning in rounds 1-3 at $1.82. His fights have overwhelmingly ended in knockout victories and every single one of them has occurred in the first 3 rounds.

Poirier generally has a strong chin, but he has been finished by McGregor before, a first round KO in UFC 178. If Poirier can’t get him to the ground early, Conor’s power is likely to prove too much here.

Dan Hooker vs Michael Chandler, Lightweight, Co-Main
Hooker to Win $1.80

This has the makings of a very competitive co-main, with Hooker as the $1.80 favourite and Chandler the narrow underdog at $2.02.

A real pioneer of New Zealand MMA, Hooker enters this bout with a career record of 20-9. Renowned for his entertaining style, he has 10 wins by KO and a further 7 by submission.

He has looked especially good of late, going through a run of 7 wins in 8 fights before his decision loss to Poirier last time out.

His opponent, Michael Chandler, enters this fight with a 21-5 record for his career. He las largely plied his trade in the Bellator promotion and will be making his UFC debut here.

A previous Bellator Lightweight champion, he has 9 knockouts, 7 submissions, and 5 decision wins thus far.

In comparing these two, I think that Hooker has the edge in this fight. He has a clear physical advantage with his height and reach, while also possessing much more UFC experience.

Considering his versatility and recent form, I think he has more than enough ability to get the job done here. At the current price of $1.80 to win straight up, there’s good value on the Kiwi here.

Jessica Eye vs Joanne Calderwood, Flyweight
Calderwood by Points

This doesn’t have the cachet of the first two fights, but it should still be competitive nonetheless. Calderwood is the very narrow $1.83 favourite, with Eye out at $1.98.

Calderwood started out as a kickboxer, amassing a 19-2 record before moving to MMA. She has done relatively well since joining the UFC, going 14-5 with 5 knockouts and 8 decisions to her name.

Eye is a clear veteran of the UFC circuit, going 15-8-1 for her career thus far. Her recent form hasn’t been all that great, winning just 5 of her last 13 fights against some admittedly tough opponents.

Overall, I think the current odds accurately reflect that these are two evenly-matched fighters. Given her recent form and advantage in the striking matchup, I’ll take Calderwood at $1.83.

Calderwood by decision will likely be good value over $2 when the market comes out, with the double chance of KO/Points as a good alternative.