It’s been nearly a year but the Mac will be back on January 23rd at UFC 257, and the UFC will be back on Yas Island aka Fight Island in Abu Dhabi, UAE. This means back in the large Octagon which favors the Irishman as well as much closer to local Dublin time.
If the fight were in Las Vegas, McGregor would have to deal with an 8 hour time difference while Poirier would only suffer 3 from the South Florida to Vegas trip. Since the fight is in the Middle East, though, Conor only loses 4 while Dustin has to deal with 5 more than that.
So, we went from +5 for Dustin to +5 for Conor. Well played, Mr. McGregor.
These two first met in September of 2014. I remember this fight rather fondly because I had never really followed Conor McGregor much so I was actually pulling for Dustin Poirier as I had seen him fight Max Holloway, Chan Sung Jung, and Cub Swanson already.
I along with the rest of the world, though, learned pretty quick that this was a man with a plan. I miss the old Conor McGregor, man. I really do. A lot.
I’m not just saying this because he was winning all of his fights in dominant fashion back then when he was at Featherweight. What I truly miss is hearing him speak about anything really.
I fell in love with his words. He had me believing he was going to beat Floyd Mayweather in a boxing match, for goodness sake.
I’m not gonna come out and say he got on cocaine pretty heavily there for a while but let’s just say the entire world has their justified suspicions. He is still a highly intelligent, articulate, and charismatic guy but he isn’t the same for me as far as listening to him speak.
Coke is bad news. It’s an ego drug and he rightfully so had one heck of an ego to juice up.
One video, in particular, comes to mind.
Hey, you have to have an ego if you want to be world champion so I can’t hate. It’s part of being a fighter and if you don’t think you’re the best in the world, then you need to find a new job because fighting isn’t going to last much longer.
As far as his skill development, though, I think he has done an outstanding job. Of course, he could have done better but we all could have. That’s life. The important thing is that he didn’t fall behind.
Many fighters don’t evolve at all and to see how strong his wrestling and clinch was a year ago against Cowboy Cerrone, makes me feel pretty solid about backing with my money against Poirier.
Dustin has made some serious strides himself since these two men last fought and looking at his body, you can truly tell a difference.
Poirier, like McGregor, moved up to 155 pounds and also challenged Khabib Nurmagomedov for the Lightweight World Title. He, of course, came up far short as Conor did but that’s what happens when you fight a guy who grew up wrestling bears.
The main event rematch of Conor Mcgregor vs Dustin Poirier isn’t the only interesting matchup at UFDC 257. BetOnline.AG has betting odds out for this card already. Let’s get out ahead of the public and locate some of the best betting value.
UFC 257 Lineup
Ottman Azaitar (-150) vs Matt Frevola (+130)
The Steamrolla vs The Bulldozer!
I love it!
This fight opened up as a pick’em and the market quickly repaired that mistake. Ottman is a hard hitting fellow from Germany but his family is Moroccan. The guy can really crack and I love his patience inside the Octagon even with not much experience.
We cashed on him in his last fight against Khama Worthy at around (-130). The Moroccan was hit one time and put the American away in the first round by TKO. He did the same in his UFC debut against Teemu Packalen.
Ottman has an entirely different stylistic matchup this time around when he fights Matt Steamrolla Frevola and the ginger lives up to his nickname to the fullest. That is exactly how he fights.
He presses forward no matter what, has a strong chin, and an even stronger double leg takedown. Matt is a very explosive fighter.
He averages 3.4 takedowns/15 minutes at a 40% clip. That is pretty solid but we have to remember that these two will be fighting inside the larger Octagon which will make a difference and favor the knockout artist, Azaitar, somewhat.
Striker vs grappler here and both men are very aggressive. There aren’t any prop bets available yet but I’m going with Ottman here.
Matt has a highly questionable loss on his record to Marco Polo Reyes, a knockout loss in not just the first round but the first minute. That is exactly what Azaitar has been doing to people. Losing to Reyes like that is a very bad look for the Tampa native. Take away his fight with Frevola, and Reyes finished his UFC career with 4 straight TKO losses.
Frevola is going to put a pace on the Moroccan but I believe this guy is the truth and a level above Frevola. There might be some nice prop bets and/or round totals that are released in the next couple of weeks for this fight but I like the Moroccan/German on the moneyline.
Arman Tsarukyan (-175) vs Nasrat Haqparast (+150)
This is a killer matchup!
I feel like I have a great read on it but it should still be a very exciting fight for as long as it lasts between these two talented strikers.
Arman Tsarukyan is a Russian-Armenian born in the Republic of Georgia and do you need any more warning signs than those three nationalities? I know Dagestan, in particular, isn’t listed but other than that, he sounds like a nightmare.
Armenians are all tough as can be just like Russians and the ones I have seen all have a nasty mean streak and I mean that with the utmost respect to a fighter. I always wanted to win but never had that meanness to my game.
The man just turned 24 years old and we are seeing him make massive leaps in skill and execution every time he fights. Islam Machachev, one of the best fighters in the UFC’s Lightweight Division is the only man to defeat Arman inside the Octagon.
Even that fight was pretty competitive. I personally can’t wait for a rematch between the two men and we may see it happen for the belt. That’s how good Islam is but Arman is still making gigantic leaps from fight to fight.
Nasrat is a fast striker who can be very dangerous but is mostly one dimensional. I think Arman can do whatever he wants to Nas here and probably should be an even larger favorite.
Checking the opening line, the sportsbooks did open this one at (-300) for Tsarukyan. Haqparast is dangerous but the rest of the betting world will learn at UFC 257 that there are levels to this stuff and Nas isn’t on Arman’s level.
Andrew Sanchez (-240) vs Andre Muniz (+205)
Might have to chase the dog here. I have been highly impressed with Andre Muniz’s grappling ability. He is also massive for the weight class which helps him in his takedown attempts.
He will need all the help he can get in that regard, though, against one of the best wrestlers in the division in veteran Andrew Sanchez.
Andrew likes to work his opponents over in the clinch. I love his game there and he also averages over 2 takedowns per 15 minutes but at only a 32% rate. Andrew has fought some legit competition and some weak competition recently and won and lost accordingly.
He beat Perez, Barriult, and Turman who are all mostly one dimensional and he lost to Marvin Vettori and Anthony Smith although he was surprisingly smashed by Ryan Janes 3 years ago.
Andrew’s opponent at UFC 257, Andre Muniz, has had a pretty smooth greeting to the Octagon. In 4 fights, he has two unanimous decision victories and 2 submissions. The reason Sanchez is such a big favorite here is that nobody thinks Muniz will be able to get him down.
Here’s the thing, though. I don’t rate Sanchez’s striking that much higher than Muniz and Andrew is unlikely to try to take his Brazilian foe to the mat. This fight is much closer to an even scrap.
I don’t understand the wide betting line at all.
Khalil Rountree (-300) vs Marcin Prachnio (+250)
It is great to see Khalil Rountree getting back in there. I have trained with the guy for years and we ran into each other in Thailand a couple of times. He fell in love harder than I did with the culture.
I wasn’t sure if Khalil was going to hang up his 4 ounce gloves for a Thai fighting career but at least for now, he is still fighting mixed martial arts inside the Octagon.
The UFC likes Khalil. I’m not entirely sure why because he has holes in his game and there are a lot of fighters in the Light Heavyweight Division that can take him down and get him out of there pretty quickly.
He is fun to watch and the amount of depth that he has added to his striking game while he has been in The Land of Smiles is just mind bending. His performance against Eryk Anders was nearly flawless.
Rountree’s opponent, Marcin Prachnio, isn’t one of those 205ers that can get Khalil down fairly easily and smesh from there. In fact, he is 0-3 in the UFC being stopped in the first round by TKO each time.
I told you the UFC liked Khalil, right? This is about the best matchup he could’ve gotten outside of a rematch with Anders. Sorry, Eryk.
(-300) is a little expensive but we will put him in some parlays and look for a method of victory betting line as soon as it is released to play Khalil by TKO.
Amanda Ribas (-255) vs Marina Rodriquez (+215)
This is a striker vs grappler matchup between two of the best at what they do in the UFC Women’s Strawweight Division.
Countrywomen Marina Rodriguez and Amanda Ribas have just 2 professional mixed martial arts defeats between them.
Two of Brazil’s best meet in January!
— UFC (@ufc) December 10, 2020
Marina is the older woman by 6.5 years. That isn’t the best start for her. She is already at a grappling and overall experience disadvantage to the always smiling Amanda Ribas. The former Brazilian National Judo Team member Ribas is perfect in her UFC career and has just one loss on her overall pro record.
Ribas has been a combat sports athlete for most of her life and Marina just got into martial arts 7 years ago when she started training Muay Thai to lose weight. She is a natural athlete and has a good build for fighting so she excelled.
That still isn’t very long, though, especially against Ribas because listen to her story.
Her father was a Muay Thai, BJJ, and Judo teacher who had his own school. She has grown up with this and it shows. Here is a quote I found from her that will tell us what we need to know about her training habits as a youth.
“I was born on the mat. It was for me. There was a time when I stopped doing jiu-jitsu to dance. My father wanted to die.”
Amanda is on another level here. I think she takes Marina down and gets the submission at one point. Rodriguez does have good takedown defense. Randa Markos still got her down. Carla Esparza did it regularly.
I think Amanda uses a nice Judo trip to get her fellow Brazilian to the mat and snatches her neck from there.
Shane Burgos (-200) vs Hakeem Dawodo (+150)
I won’t go too much into detail about this fight because I want to get to the Conor McGregor vs Dustin Poirier preview.
An absolute 𝙗𝙖𝙣𝙜𝙚𝙧 official for #UFC257!! 🔥
Read more: https://t.co/7S0hYNueLv pic.twitter.com/BYorEZBUgM
— UFC Canada (@UFC_CA) December 4, 2020
Shane Burgos is a gigantic Featherweight with excellent boxing who throws tons and tons of volume at his opponents. He is a grinding puncher, much like Nate Diaz but a better athlete and more power.
Nate is also pretty slight of frame and Shane is a big boy.
His opponent at UFC 257, Hakeem Dawodo, is a fast and athletic striker who surprised me in his last fight against Zubaira Tukhugov. We lost that play and I lost some money on the bet.
Looking back, it was pretty silly to bet on Tukhugov. He isn’t much of a fighter as he doesn’t care to exchange and by the end of their fight, the normally soft spoken Dawodo was screaming at the Dagestani to fight.
That is pretty bad when you can make a Canadian yell at you.
- Shane Burgos is the opposite of Zubaira when it comes to volume. And when I say the word “opposite”, it is somehow an understatement.
- Zubaira averages 2.54 strikes landed/minute, significant strikes that is. Shane Burgos lands over 7 per minute and lands at an even 50% rate. Levels, man. Dawodo still almost lost this fight too.
I’ve got Burgos here and I think he is undervalued at just 2 to 1.
Conor McGregor (-250) vs Dustin Poirier (+200)
Do you guys remember when this betting line was released? Well, even before that, BetOnline.AG had hypothetical betting odds of the fight up for a long time and I was all over Conor.
I told you guys when he fought Cowboy that the (-160) he opened at was the best bet of the year. It was the first event of the year but I wasn’t wrong!
The Irishman closed at (-334). You don’t see many betting lines moving from (-160) to (-334).
He will probably have a harder time with Dustin Poirier than he did with Donald Cowboy Cerrone or Aldo but I still expect Conor McGregor to handle business.
— UFC (@ufc) December 12, 2020
Conor is really good, man, and a tough matchup for Dustin.
Poirier has developed himself into an excellent pocket boxer who crushes his opponents with volume and even has a nice entry and takedown game that flows quite well from his inside boxing.
Volume punchers aren’t fast. That’s why they are volume punchers. Fast punchers aren’t volume punchers. That’s why they’re fast.
You can’t reality have both unless you have taken a lifetime to perfect it but even someone like Floyd Mayweather isn’t a volume guy.
This betting line opened up at (-175) for McGregor and I told you guys to hammer it. Well, someone listened because we are up at (-250) now and it is becoming unplayable. We do have some props available, though, for just the main event right now.
McGregor is (-140) to get the stoppage win. I’m on that. I think he does it pretty early but we will see. The man has been evolving his game so rapidly lately, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a takedown and ground and pound approach from the former champion.
This is going to be one heck of a show and we have to get out ahead of it!
Just think, if we wait until mid January to get after these predictions, we will be faced with 3 fight cards in just one week. That is nearly 40 fights to break down and handicap that will be taking place in just a 7-day span.
We will go in more depth about the McGregor fight in the near future but there was just so much to talk about today. I like a lot of the value we have on this fight card. UFC 257 is going to be one heck of a show. The main event might be a little underwhelming kinda like the first time these two men fought one another.
It really looks like a great card for parlays right now. I feel great about Conor McGregor, of course, Shane Burgos, Arman Tsarukyan, Khalil Rountree Jr, and Amanda Ribas.
That pays (+380). Get that bet in right now!
PLACE YOUR BETS NOW!