All eyes are on Conor McGregor in his in-ring return at UFC 257 against Dustin Poirier. The lightweight bout is actually a rematch more than six years in the making. We have an in-depth preview of the fight, along with free betting predictions!
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UFC 237 Fight Card, Betting Lines, and Picks
UFC 237 will be a homecoming for three of the most-prized fighters in MMA — Anderson "Spider" Silva, Jose Aldo, and the main-eventing Jessica Andrade. Even on home soil, the trio are no sure bets. None are higher than -145 favorites to win despite the advantage, per Bovada's UFC betting odds.
The Jeunesse Arena in Rio De Janeiro will play host to the fight card on Saturday, May 11. This will be the second UFC pay-per-view that can be watched exclusively from ESPN+ streaming service, with the main card starting at 10 pm EST. Without further ado, let's jump into the UFC odds and predictions!
Main Event: Jessica Andrade (-130) vs. Rose Namajunas (EVEN)
Inside the octagon, Andrade and Namajunas are almost mirror images of one another. Both women are absolute surgeons and have a tendency to make opponents submit.
The reigning strawweight title-holder, Namajunas, enters as the underdog. This will be the 26-year-old's first fight in more than a year after serious spinal issues. More than just ring rust, no one can be certain she's the same fighter that twice beat Joanna Jedrejczyk (who had never lost in her career until then). Certainly, Namajunas will have the upper-hand over Andrade when it comes to size. She's a whole three inches longer in height and reach.
Of course, Andrade is the one with home-turf advantage. But beyond the obvious, she's also the more powerful fighter, evident by her first-round knockout of Karolina Kowalkiewicz last time she fought. She's scorching hot entering UFC 237, being the winner of six of her last seven bouts.
The one defeat oddly enough came against Jedrejczyk, who immediately afterward lost two consecutive fights to Namajunas. But since we're on the subject of common opponents, Namajunas' only loss in her last seven fights ironically came at the hands of Kozakiewicz. Something's got to give on Saturday, right?
Assuming Namajunas is back to 100-percent health, she's the more skilled fighter. If it goes to the ground, she'll outmaneuver and outmuscle the smaller Andrade. Even if the two stay standing up, Namajunas can use her reach advantage to cancel out Andrade and her power. Look for Andrade to play spoiler in the main event, sending home the Brazillian faithful disappointed. Take the even money, folks!
Pick: Namajunas (EVEN)
Semi-Main Event: Jared Cannonier (-160) vs. Anderson Silva (+130)
The man they call "Spider" has won just one of his last seven fights. He's competed in the octagon once in the past 26 months. So how in the world are his UFC 237 odds a very modest +130?
Well, Cannonier's resume doesn't exactly jump off the page, either. This will be just his second fight contested at middleweight after spending most of his career at heavyweight and lightweight. But to be fair, he did TKO David Branch in his debut, and this after Branch had won 12 of his last 13 bouts. Before that victory, Cannonier had dropped three of the last four.
On paper, Cannonier — who is nine years Silva's junior — has the clear upperhand. Aside from age, he's the stronger and more athletic fighter. But boy, is there a feeling in our gut that Silva can really pull this off.
This is starting to feel like Silva's moment. At 44 years old, it could very well be his last UFC fight in Brazil, a place where he's 9-1 all time. He's three months removed from a good showing, albeit a losing one, against the undefeated Israel Adesanya. A victory here could be a storybook ending to an already-historic career.
Oh, what the heck, we're going with Silva. His in-ring IQ and added motivation at home will push him past Cannonier and perhaps into retirement?
Pick: Silva (+130)
Jose Aldo (-145) vs. Alex Volkanovski (+115)
If not for a few highly-visible blemishes on his record — a 13-second loss to Connor McGregor and two TKO poundings courtesy of Max Halloway — Aldo could very well be in the pound-for-pound GOAT conversation. Here's a fighter that went 11 years unbeaten and won eight championship fights. Yet, he's a meager favorite here on his home turf at -145.
To be fair, the fighter opposite of him, Volkanovski, bears some resemblance to the Aldo of old. Volkanovski has steamrolled through the featherweight division with a six-year undefeated streak. A win here puts the 30-year-old in the driver's seat for a title fight against Aldo's kryptonite, Halloway.
What an absolute war this one will be and a tough fight to pick at that. However, when you think about the predicament — an all-time fighter in front of his home followers — it's tough to go against that. Volkanovski is one of the hottest fighters in the UFC, but he's never quite faced a fighter like Aldo. Don't be surprised if this ends up as fight of the night, but Aldo will prevail.
Pick: Aldo (-145)
Other fights that round out the main card include Thiago Alves vs. Laureano Staropolo and Francisco Trinaldo vs. Carlos Diego Ferreira. Check out one of our partners below to make your UFC 237 bets before Saturday's bell time!
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