Wed 20/01/2021 - 08:18 EST

UFC 257 Picks: McGregor vs. Poirier Fight Predictions

UFC 257 Picks: McGregor vs. Poirier Fight Predictions

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!

Before we dole out our McGregor vs. Poirier fight predictions, let's take a look at how online oddsmaker Bovada is currently pegging the bout:

1st FighterBovadaBovadaBovada2nd Fighter
Conor McGregor-227+2000+175Dustin Poirier
Jessica Eye+100+2000-125Joanne Calderwood
Marina Rodriguez+250+2000-333Amanda Ribas
Dan Hooker-149+2000+120Michael Chandler

Keep in mind, the line might change from now until UFC 257 on January 23. But barring any drastic event, the returning McGregor is about a one-to-two favorite across online sportsbooks

Given the marketing power of McGregor, many of these same bookies might offer special sign-up bonuses as the fight nears. Upon creating a player account, bookmakers give out free play to bettors after making their first deposit into the platform. Deals will vary, but it's not unheard of to see a thousand dollars or more in free play being handed out from these bonuses. 

So friendly advice on our end, keep your eyes peeled for such promotions. They're a great way to earn extra money beyond the fight itself. But speaking of which, let's now preview this blockbuster bout:

McGregor & Poirier: Six Years Later

As we mentioned before, these two have met before in the octagon. This was way back in June of 2014 at UFC 178 when both were featherweights. 

To say it was a one-sided affair would be an understatement. McGregor stopped Poirier with a series of left strikes — what would become his calling-card blow — only one minute and 46 seconds into the first round. It was the first loss by stoppage in Poirier's career.

But of course, a lot has changed since then. For one, this fight will be contested at lightweight, a whole 10 pounds heavier than the original featherweight meeting. But second and most importantly, both are different, more experienced fighters now.

Poirier has gone 10-2 since then, racking up wins against some of UFC's finest including Justin Gaethje, Eddie Alvarez, and Max Halloway. McGregor became the biggest star in the entire company, albeit a semi-active one, going 6-2 in the same span. 

Making The Betting Pick

About a year ago on Twitter, Poirier claimed that McGregor is the hardest hitter he's ever faced. Ultimately, McGregor's sheer power was Poirier's undoing in their first meeting, will it be again in the rematch?

You'd think so but then again, McGregor isn't the McGregor of old, and that's not exactly a compliment. As we alluded to before, McGregor hasn't exactly been active in the UFC. He's fought only twice since the start of 2017, which raises serious questions about his MMA focus.

Even for a fighter as talented as McGregor, the time off introduces serious ring rust. Most noticeably, timing and accuracy are affected. While McGregor has heavy hands, his pinpoint accuracy in landing those deadly strikes is as much of a difference-maker as anything else. 

But despite these obvious question marks with McGregor, we can't completely discredit him solely because he's busy raising his business profile with a new whiskey brand and a possible boxing match against Manny Pacquaio. This is still McGregor, an MMA lifer that's ransacked every opponent he's faced not named Khabib Nurmagomedov. 

Speaking of Khabib, that fight exploited McGregor's biggest weakness — his ground game. All four of Conor's career losses have come from submission. Ultimately, exploiting that weakness gives Poirier his best chance at victory. But he can actually do it?

We have serious doubts. While Poirier definitely has some mat skills, they are not at a world-class level like Khabib. If this fight stays mostly standing, which is how we imagine it, the advantage clearly goes to McGregor and that trademark left strike of his. Despite the distractions, our money is on McGregor to remain atop the UFC food chain. 

Betting pick to make: McGregor (-235) 

Prop Bet: How Will McGregor Defeat Poirier?

There's more than one way to wager on McGregor-Poirier. Our favorite is without a doubt the exact method of victory prop. With this one, you're simply betting on how the fight ends — decision, knockout, or submission — no matter which fighter earns the winning result.

We're already on record saying that McGregor will once again prevail in the rematch, now the question is how? We feel a case of deja vu happening and McGregor earning the knockout victory once more.

As we alluded to before, this fight will probably turn into a striking contest. That's how recent Poirier have trended, most notably against Halloway and Dan Hooker. While Poirier can definitely box, McGregor is simply the stronger puncher. 

We expect to see McGregor land a flush blow early — perhaps the first or second round — that'll shake Poirier. Then as we've seen so many times before, including the first bout, McGregor will pounce on the wounded fighter before the referee calls for the stoppage. 

Prop betting pick to make: KO method of victory

You're up to speed with the McGregor-Poirier main event. Now it's on you to bet the fight — whether you heed our advice or fade us. Whatever you decide, you'll need a trusted sportsbook to handle your money. Welp, we have a tried-and-true list of bookies below.

These bookmakers are among the best on the Internet, both in features and promotions. Linked below are current sign-up bonuses and more in-depth reviews. But believe us, it's hard to go wrong with any one of them!

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