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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Best Picks for the UFC 244 Card
The countdown to UFC 244 is on and we have the most up-to-date UFC odds. These three fighters are currently favorites in the card's headlining bouts:
- Jorge Masvidal (-165)
- Kelvin Gastelum (-175)
- Stephen Thompson (-130)
As you can see, the UFC betting odds aren't lopsided in any fighter's direction.
This scenario sets up a tough UFC pick em for bettors, but we're here to help and analyze each big matchup.
Before we hand out our free UFC picks, don't forget to take advantage of these unbeatable bonus promotions. Doing so can multiply possible winnings many times over, and who doesn't like that outcome?
Welterweight: Nate Diaz (+135) vs. Jorge Masvidal (-165)
Expect this fight to be absolutely bonkers.
We mean, how can it not be? Between these two fighters, you have two of the grittiest to ever step into the octagon.
Both have provided UFC some of its most historic moments ever — a five-second knockout, a McGregor tapout, and one hilarious post-fight antic after another.
A main event fight at MSG wasn't enough for this bout. No, the UFC had to create the "Baddest Motherfucker" (BMF) championship. The Rock, a bad m'fer in his own right, will hand the brand-new $50,000 belt to the winner.
Masvidal (34-13) is the UFC 244 odds-on favorite after two back-to-back knockout wins. His latest, in just five ticks versus Ben Askren, catapulted him into a viral sensation. Admittedly, it was a gimmicky win, one which will be all but impossible to replicate against Diaz, whose lost by knockdown just once over his career.
Diaz (20-11) shook off three years of ring rust to pummel Anthony Pettis via unanimous decision, setting up this fight. He's the same age as Masvidal at 34, but with a lot less miles on his fight odometer (he has 16 fewer career fights than Masvidal).
We have to bring up the BMF belt again. Not because of it's cool name, but its presence means this fight will be contested over five rounds instead of three.
That's a huge advantage toward Diaz, who has one of the best gas tanks in UFC. He's proven the longer a fight wages on, the stronger he gets.
Masvidal isn't exactly a submission specialist, with only two career wins coming by it. If he can't drop Diaz early, which history shows us is rare to do against the "Stockton slugger," he's in trouble.
It'll be an absolute war, but Diaz will outlast Masvidal. His stamina and less beat-up body favors him in a slugfest like this.
Betting pick: Diaz (+135)
Middleweight: Kelvin Gastelum (-175) vs. Darren Till (+145)
Both guys need a win badly here.
Gastelum (15-4-1 NC) is fresh off a decision loss to the Israel Adesanya (17-2-1) back in April for the interim middleweight belt.
For Till (17-2-1), he's dropped two in a row to Tyron Woodley and the aforementioned Masvidal, blemishing his previously undefeated record.
Fighting at middleweight will be new for Till, who's moving up from welterweight. The 15-pound increase might actually benefit Till, considering he's had issues cutting weight before.
Unfortunately for him, Gastelum is a mighty tough introduction to the class. He's the fourth-ranked middleweight for a reason. A tune-up against a fighter outside the top-10 might've better suited Till in his first-ever middleweight clash.
Even in a loss to Adesanya, Gastelum hurt the now-division titleholder more than anyone else. Before that, he had convincing wins against proven weight class contenders Michael Bisping and Ronaldo Souza. This guy's the real deal.
Plus, it's just tough to back Till. The wind's really been taken out of his sails in back-to-back bouts and after this head-scratching matchmaking choice, he could become another "what if" story in UFC lore. Gastelum is the easy choice here.
Betting pick: Gastelum (-175)
Welterweight: Stephen Thompson (-130) vs. Vicente Luque (EVEN)
Online sportsbooks have this one a virtual toss-up and you can easily see why.
Thompson, the man they call "Wonderboy", is one of the most feared strikers in UFC history. However, age has seemingly caught up to 36-year-old as he's won outright just once in the past three years (against Masvidal of all people).
Luque — nine years younger than Thompson — is a rising star in the UFC. He's won six in a row with his blend of Brazilian jiu-jitsu and Mauy Thai.
This might be the toughest pick of the night, but in the end, we're going with Thompson. While maybe not at his peak, he's proved he can hang with the best of them. Luque? He remains largely unproven in our book.
Luque's defense has been suspect thus far. That plays to Thompson's advantage who has the stand-up game to make Luque pay.
Betting pick: Thompson (-130)
Now that you're up to speed with UFC 244, all that is separating you from a payout is actually making the bet. Thankfully, anyone of the below sportsbooks can help you with that. Depositing money is hassle-free, meaning you can get started in minutes!
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