UFC 257 Odds & Analysis
The "Notorious" Conor McGregor will return to the Ultimate Fighting Championship octagon on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021 when he headlines the UFC 257 card against former rival Dustin Poirier.
The bout will take place at the Etihad Arena from Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
This will be the second time Porier and McGregor lock horns. The first time they met in 2014 at UFC 178, McGregor walked away victorious, scoring a slick first-round knock out over the American Poirier.
We’re going to take a closer look at the betting odds for UFC 257, and preview how the lines have moved for the main event since opening.
McGregor vs. Poirier 2 - Odds Comparison
Odds Subject to Change - Updated 1.22.21
Conor McGregor finished Dustin Poirier in the first round when the pair met for the first time at UFC 178 on Sept. 27, 2014. (AP)
McGregor vs Poirier Recap
In 2014, McGregor and Poirier collided for the first time on the September 27th UFC 178 card. Despite a competitive opening minute, McGregor would find his KO shot just seconds shy of the two-minute mark, earning him his second performance of the night bonus.
Despite getting flatlined inside the first two minutes of round 1, Poirier still managed to find some decent openings on McGregor. His biggest highlight was his leg kicks, which he landed 7 of before getting knocked out.
Now the question is: How much has both fighters progressed since their last meeting?
Conor McGregor vs. Dustin Poirier 2
The former two-division world champion and UFC-megastar, Conor McGregor, returns after a one-year hiatus to rematch former lightweight interim champion, Dustin Poirier, in the main event of UFC 257.
Poirier is coming off a close UD win over Dan Hooker in his last outing.
McGregor last fought last January where we saw him make quick work of fan-favorite Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone at 170 lbs, scoring a first-round 40-second KO in Vegas.
After losing to McGregor in 2014, Poirier decided to move up to 155 lbs.
Since then, Poirier has gone on a 10-2 run in the lightweight division, losing twice; once at the hands of Michael Johnson via KO, and once against lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov due to a submission.
Poirier is a fairly well-rounded mixed martial artist who can handle himself in most areas of fighting. It is, however, his striking prowess which he is most famous for, and rightfully so.
Poirier has scored 9 knockouts under the UFC mantle, most recently against former 155 lb champion Eddie Alvarez, and most notably against top lightweight contender Justin Gaethje.
His opponent, McGregor, quickly became a superstar in the UFC after claiming the featherweight belt from Jose Aldo in just 13 seconds.
‘The Notorious’ has made his octagon walk 8 times since beating Poirier, amassing a 6-2 record in those fights. His losses famously came against Nate Diaz at welterweight and he also lost to Nurmagomedov at lightweight.
Considered by many as one of the best strikers in UFC history, McGregor’s distance control, precision, and timing is quite spectacular to witness.
Although succumbing to defeat in the octagon twice, McGregor has yet to be bested in a striking bout at lightweight. Can Poirier be the first to do it?
McGregor vs. Poirier Odds Movement
Opening lines saw the Irishman as the -175 favorite and Poirier as the dog at +154.
Sharp bettors saw value on the McGregor side however, and now we’re seeing that reflected in the odds.
Since the opening numbers came out on Oct. 25, we've seen nearly a 60-cent moves on McGregor from -175 to -230 on Nov. 27.
Not much movement on the betting board over the last couple weeks but we are starting to see some prop wagers on the fight at a few operators that are listed below.
With a little less than three weeks away from the main event, we're starting to see more action come in on the favorite.
As of Wednesday, Jan. 6, BetMGM has McGregor listed as a 4/11 favorite (Bet $275 to win $100) while the comeback on Poirier is at 9/4 odds (Bet $100 to win $225).
The spike shouldn't come as a surprise and an upward climb as we near Jan. 23 should be expected. When the pair met in 2014, McGregor closed as high as a -285 favorite so that shows you how the oddsmakers and public feel about this matchup.
Just a day before the fight, BetMGM is holding McGregor as a -300 favorite (Bet $100 to win $33) while Poirier is listed at at a 12/5 (Bet $100 to win $240) price.
Over-Under Total Rounds
They sent out 1.5 Total Rounds for the five-round fight, with the "Over" heavily favored at -200 (Bet $100 to win $50).
Bettors expecting this fight to end in 7:30 or less can pick up a nice return at +175 (Bet $100 to win $175).
The Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook opened their total rounds on the main event a bit higher.
The early money came in on the 'under' at the SuperBook with the odds now adjusted at Under 2.5 (-140) while the Over 2.5 (+120) would bring back extra change.
The Circa are now offering an Over-Under of 2.5 opposed to 1.5 and the 'under' (-160) is favored.
As of January 13, the SuperBook has adjued their numbers to Under -175 with a return on the Over at +155.
Odds Subject to Change - Updated Jan. 22, 2021
UFC 257 Props: McGregor vs. Poirier
Odds Subject to Change - per BetMGM
Will The Fight Go to Distance?
How Will the Fight End?
Exact Round Props - Who Will Win and When?
Total Number of Rounds - Adjusted Odds
McGregor vs. Poirier Betting Analysis
I agree with McGregor being the rightful favorite in this matchup, so I’m not going to dispute that.
If we were to lean on the statistics a bit, as I like to do, we know that historically in rematches, the winner of the first tends to win the second about 7 out of 10 times. That gives us some good value on McGregor.
While being the more Poirier active of the two might be seen as an advantage by some, I will choose to look at the other side of the coin here.
Poirier takes damage when he fights. That’s been the narrative we’ve been getting with Dustin throughout his career, and it really makes sense when you watch some of his most recent outings. He had a dogfight with Hooker, and was hurt in his fights against Holloway, Alvarez (both times), and to top it all off he absorbed 115 strikes from hard-hitting Justin Gaethje.
McGregor, on the other hand, was only just hurt for the first time in his career against Khabib Nurmagomedov, and maybe a little bit against Nate Diaz too.
Aside from that, McGregor has been able to avoid taking tons of damage in his fight, and in his bouts against Alvarez and Cerrone, he did absorb a single punch, roughly speaking.
The question of Poirier’s durability has been hanging over his head ever since his KO loss to Michael Johnson, and with vast amounts of damage taken lately, I think McGregor’s absence from the cage will favor him against a more war-worn Poirier.
Throw in a two-inch reach advantage for McGregor, and we’ve got ourselves a UFC 257 main event pick.
My early lean has me going with Conor McGregor to get the win inside the distance against Poirier, on January 23rd, in the main event of UFC 257.
McGregor vs. Poirier Betting Insights
UFC MCGREGOR - BETTING LINES HISTORY (LAST 5)
UFC 243: McGregor vs. Cowboy
UFC 229: Nurmagomedov vs. McGregor
UFC 205: Alvarez vs. McGregor
UFC 202: Diaz vs. McGregor 2
UFC 196: McGregor vs. Diaz
UFC POIRIER - BETTING LINES HISTORY (LAST 5)
UFC on ESPN 12: Poirier vs. Hooker
UFC 242: Khabib vs. Poirier
UFC 236: Holloway vs. Poirier 2
UFC on FOX 30: Alvarez vs. Poirier 2
UFC on FOX 29: Poirier vs. Gaethje
McGregor vs. Poirier Fight Breakdown
As the old saying goes: “Styles make fights”. While the art of striking can come across as simplistic in its nature at times, the depth and complexity of it should not be understated. That said, how does McGregor’s style match up against Poirier’s a second time at UFC 257?
The fight being a rematch certainly makes this more easily imaginable, but since the initial bout took place a little over six years ago, both fighters should have had time to develop their game somewhat. The development can clearly be seen on Poirier’s side, whose UFC career peak came after beating UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway to claim the UFC interim lightweight strap.
The nature and extensiveness of the improvements made by McGregor since the first Poirier fight are more difficult to grasp with losses to Diaz and Nurmagomedov clouding the picture. However, his last outing, a 40-second destruction of fan-favorite Cowboy Cerrone, showed that he still has some fire left in the tank. That being so, it’s probably not outside the realm of possibility that some development has occurred for the Irishman.
The thing that makes me doubt Poirier’s chance in this matchup is the nature of his striking against the nature of McGregor’s. While Poirier certainly has developed his game, a fighter’s basic instincts can be more deeply rooted in them than they’re aware of.
Poirier still likes to throw that switch stance combination that leaves his chin open for a counter hook and he defends himself with the same high guard when pressured. The same guard that McGregor took a minute to get past, finding an opening on the temple. Therefore, I think it's appropriate to question how Poirier will be able to refrain from succumbing to the same instincts that led to his defeat the first time, at UFC 178.
If I’m being honest, I believe a big part of Poirier’s success in the 155 lb division can be attributed to his improved ability to take a shot and recover. While his chin has looked sturdy as of late, I think the chin issue still hangs over his head. He was not far from being stopped at the end of his second round against Dan Hooker, and Holloway had him on one knee when they fought. The problem for him here is that McGregor has one of the most effective killer instincts in the game. When he goes in for the kill it's rare that he does not get it.
It really comes down to why UFC rematches end the same way as the first fight so often. Be it the victor’s confidence and the loser’s lack of it, or simply a matter of solving a puzzle that has already been solved, the reads made by McGregor in the first fight will likely lead to him having his hand raised once again, on January 23rd.
Looking at McGregor’s performances in pure striking bouts, it’s clear that his striking prowess is quite unmatched unless his opponent has some sort of attribute that makes his task of knocking them out harder. Nate Diaz had the chin, the reach, and the height.
Nurmagomedov had the grappling. What does Poirier really have that will shock McGregor? Unless he pulls a rabbit out of the hat on the night, I think McGregor will walk through him. He doesn’t have Gaethje’s leg kicks or Khabib’s wrestling, nor does he have Nate’s reach and height, (he surrenders 2-inches in reach to Conor). I think we might see Poirier face a similar fate as Alvarez did back in 2016.
Dan Hooker has never lost back-to-back decisions in his UFC career and he's coming off a setback to Dustin Poirier in his last fight. (AP)
UFC 257 - Hooker vs. Chandler
The co-headliner of UFC 257 sees 6th ranked lightweight Dan Hooker welcome ex-Bellator champion Michael Chandler to the UFC octagon.
Chandler made big headlines in mid-2020 when he was made the replacement for lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov’s title defense against Justin Gaethje at UFC 254.
After numerous rumours surrounding Chandler’s opponent circulated among fans, the UFC finally announced that Dan Hooker would be the one to face Chandler in his UFC debut.
Hooker vs. Chandler Odds Movement
Early birds and sharp bettors have leaned towards Chandler so far, reflected in the odds movement below.
Hooker vs. Chandler Betting Analysis
This matchup is interesting to many fight fans, as it’ll shed light on the supposed gap in levels between the UFC and the rivalrous organization Bellator.
We’ve seen Bellator fighters such as Ben Askren fall short in the UFC before, but with Michael Chandler, the stakes are even higher, as he’s still considered to be in his athletic prime, whereas Askren wasn’t.
Personally I label Hooker the worst possible welcome that Chandler could have out of the entire lightweight roster.
He surrenders 6-inches in reach and 4-inches in height here, and Chandler has had issues with the big-power guys before. Hooker is never one to hold off on giving the fans a dogfight, as we’ve seen throughout his career.
Despite being damaging, his style and his chin have never let him down inside the cage, and he has only been finished once in his career with a body kick. If Chandler wants to beat Hooker, he will most likely have to dance around him for 15 minutes and beat him on the scorecards to do so.
However even with this narrative, we run into some trouble when looking at the stats.
Dan Hooker has won at least 2 out of the first 3 rounds of his last 4 bouts, including his most recent close-contested loss to #1 ranked lightweight Dustin Poirier. This fight being a third-rounder doesn’t favour Chandler, as Hooker usually starts fast and gives up the later rounds.
My lean has me going with Dan Hooker to get his hand raised against Michael Chandler in the co-headliner event of UFC 257.
Hooker vs. Chandler Betting Analysis
UFC 257 Bouts & Odds
Along with the two headliners, the UFC 257 event has also scheduled plenty of other bouts for this card.
Listed below are the odds, which are subject to change.
Catchweight (157 lb)
Catchweight (150 lb) Bout
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