The closer we get to UFC 257, the more I am looking forward to Dan Hooker vs. Michael Chandler because that fight remains a bit of a mystery for me while the main event between The Notorious Conor McGregor and Dustin The Diamond Poirier is likely going to go a lot like the first fight did, at least in my not so humble opinion.
We have also known about the Conor McGregor vs. Dustin Poirier rematch for months now, and the fight with Dan Hooker and Michael Chandler was just announced days ago! I am not a fan of Michael Chandler, and I am a fan of Dan Hooker, so I need to set those fan biases aside in order to make a smart call on this fight.
— UFC (@ufc) January 9, 2021
Hooker was taken down by Poirier but only once. It was a big takedown, though, because it made the difference in the fight. Here is my take on that fight, or at least the debrief. Dan Hooker improved a lot from that fight because he was winning, and then Poirier found a way to beat him down the stretch.
Now, Dan Hooker has that 5 round experience that he didn’t have then, and that just makes him a better overall fighter. If you can manage a 5 round gas tank, 3 rounds is cake.
Other than Poirier kinda getting to Hooker while he was tired, nobody else has really taken him down over the past half of a decade. Chandler is a great wrestler, and explosive as all get out, but I’m pretty sure he has been sauced up for a while.
The little guy seems so confident, though. He may have already cycled off, taken his clomids, and allowed his body to return to somewhat normal.
What is cool about the UFC along with USADA testing protocols? The fact that you must earn your spot. They’re doing the right thing, in my opinion, by throwing Michael Chandler right into the mix here at UFC 257, even though he doesn’t have a ranking yet.
The man is going to be 35 in a few months, so he doesn’t have time to climb the entire ladder. Give him Hooker, and if he can’t deal with The Hangman, then he won’t be able to mess with The Highlight, The Diamond, The Eagle, or The Notorious.
Speaking of Dustin and Conor, I am all over McGregor here from a betting perspective.
THE EVOLUTION… 📈
— UFC (@ufc) January 11, 2021
We tipped Mac when the betting line was released, but the fight had not yet been signed. There are still odds for Conor vs. Gaethje and Jorge Masvidal as well.
He is the dog to Mas, which I find interesting for Conor to be the dog in what would in all likelihood be a striking match and only a striking match until one man fell. You give me Conor and plus money against a guy who isn’t going to take him, and you can take my money because I’m getting it back plus some!
When the fight was announced, Conor’s betting odds of (-170) were released, and I told all of you guys to hammer it. Heck, I was telling you this for months. The betting line is expected to close around (-310).
Even if McGregor loses this fight, we were still ahead of the betting line and predicted the correct direction it would move. I don’t think this one was that hard to predict, but we nailed it nonetheless.
He recently came out and said he is going to finish Dustin Poirier in under 60 seconds. Those are fighting words if I’ve ever heard them.
Let’s look at each of UFC 257’s four lightweight fighters’ betting odds and make a best play for each fighter even if we don’t think said athlete is going to win the fight. I talk to people all the time who ask me what I think about the fight and who is my pick.
I tell them, hey, it’s Conor, and then they’re like, naaah I like Dustin. So, if they are going to bet what is the wrong side in my opinion, then at least bet the most valuable line possible on that particular fighter.
Dan The Hangman Hooker
What do you get from this guy? You know he is going to fight for your money, but he is also very hittable. He throws a lot, lands a lot, and gets hit a bunch too. 4.89 significant strikes landed per minute, and 4.98 sig strikes absorbed a minute.
His striking accuracy is 48%, and his striking defense rate is 52%. You don’t get much more even numbers for offense and defense than that.
Dan Hooker has a pretty good sample size as well with 15 fights inside the Octagon so far in his career and he is on pace for another 15 too. He does get hit and he has been put away before. Edson Barboza was the only fighter that was able to do that to him.
It was a cumulative effect too! That wasn’t pretty, but man, Dan Hooker never fails to show heart in his fights, that is unless he is smoking fools. Those days of running through fighters in the UFC’s lightweight division are likely past The Hangman.
He seems like he is firmly inside of the top ten, but the top five will be a struggle for him. The first step, though, towards a potential title shot is a win over UFC newcomer, Michael Chandler.
COMING TO FIGHT ISLAND. pic.twitter.com/JhRzcHcmir
— UFC (@ufc) January 5, 2021
Do we like Dan Hooker’s moneyline for this fight at (-145)? I think it’s pretty good. We have seen Michael Chandler stopped from calf kicks in the past when Brent Primus caused a filthy Liz Frank ankle injury that left Chandler unable to dorsiflex at all and to roll his ankle severely enough that the fight was stopped due to his incapacitation.
I think Hooker can out box him for three rounds or he could potentially hurt and/or stop “Iron” Michael Chandler. The nickname is in quotations because that is Mike Tyson’s nickname and Chandler seems like the type of guy to give himself the nickname.
You can’t take a legend’s nickname, in my opinion, but that’s just another reason not to like Michael Chandler. The rumors I have heard about him aren’t the best either. Apparently, he is hell on his training and sparring partners.
He fights at such an explosive capacity that it had to be developed somewhere. Michael Chandler gets in there, and he goes! He doesn’t always come out on top kinda like Dan Hooker, but both of them get after it.
I do like Dan’s moneyline at an inexpensive (-140), and unfortunately, we don’t have but 7 prop bets to choose from right now for this fight. I’m sure that more will be added soon, but on a brighter note, there are already tons of props for the Conor McGregor vs. Dustin Poirier matchup.
I could see this fight potentially being stopped early from a calf kick or maybe one of Dan’s patented knees up the middle.
I could also see two fighters that are so talented going the full 15 minutes.
They are in a larger Octagon as well, which makes a difference, nearly a 20% difference, in fact.
I like Dan’s moneyline right now as the best option for betting on him.
PLACE YOUR BETS NOW!
Iron Michael Chandler
This guy. I guess we have already talked about him and what he brings to the table for the most part. He has power in his right hand and still, at the age of 34, is one of the most explosive athletes in all of mixed martial arts.
That short little stumper could probably do two backflips at once if you told him that’s all he needed to do to keep taking his roids once he entered the ranks of the big dawgs at the UFC.
If he can get Dan to the mat, whew, it might be a long night for The Hangman but I don’t see Michael being able to do this more than once and if he tries it late in the fight when he is starting to gas, they don’t call him The Hangman for nothing.
I coined the guillotine a horizontal hanging, and I’m sure someone else has said it too, but it came from that giant empty space in between my ears. When you’re that good of a striker like Dan Hooker is, and you somehow get a Jiu Jitsu nickname, I think you’re doing great!
Back to Iron Michael. He joined the ranks at Bellator MMA 10 years ago after just his second professional mixed martial arts bout, and here we are 24 fights later, and he is 19-5 in his fight career.
I just can’t get behind Michael Chandler here at only (+125). That just isn’t enough to tickle my fancy. Then you look at him to win by decision, and you get (+250). I don’t think that is great value at all.
We were getting Santiago Ponzinibbio, who is a 3 to 1 favorite, to win a decision for more than a 3 to 1 payout. Chandler is the underdog in this fight, and his payout for a decision win is even less.
I saw instead of taking Chandler for anything here, just take the over 2.5 rounds for (-120). I know that Chandler puts himself in the fire, but this scrap might get slowed down with some wrestling.
We, of course, aren’t protected against the potential calf kick finish, but considering the skill level of each fighter, large Octagon, and their respective durabilities, I like the over 2.5 for nearly even money at (-110).
PLACE YOUR BETS NOW!
Dustin The Diamond Poirier
You guys already know I’m on the Conor train here. This pick is for the people who don’t listen. Every week, my friend Ali who bets thousands of dollars on each fight, asks me who I like.
So, I tell him, and 80% of the time, he disagrees and goes with his pick. Sometimes he wins, but most of the time, I am doing a little better only because I am doing much more homework. He is running businesses, and I am taping fights.
People still don’t listen, though, so here goes a prediction for Dustin Poirier even though I think he is going to lose the fight with The Notorious Conor McGregor.
— UFC (@ufc) January 13, 2021
Let’s pretend for a second that The Diamond is going to make it out the first 5 minutes. Nah, I give Dustin about 7 minutes to figure out something before Conor is going to put one on the button.
Dustin Poirier has improved his mixed martial arts game almost more than anyone in the UFC over the past 6 years or so.
This ‘Diamond’ applies the pressure… 😳
— UFC (@ufc) January 11, 2021
Almost. Conor has improved more. I hate to say it. No, I don’t. I’m not shying away from truths I hold to be self evident..or something.
I am on the side of Conor McGregor all day here but let’s give you guys a Poirier bet that will be worth it if it hits. I don’t foresee him winning a decision over McGregor, and frankly, I don’t see him getting the finish either, but if he does, it will be because Conor McGregor gassed out.
This is when McGregor was at his weakest against Nate Diaz. He has in between his first and second winds, and it was right before Conor rightfully went to work on the legs of Nate Diaz, which slowed the Stockton slapper’s movement, and he wasn’t able to put the pressure on McGregor like he wanted to.
The reason Nate survived so long and is a terrible matchup on paper for Conor McGregor is that he can take a punch better than just about anyone. Conor just makes himself tired beating Nate up and then here comes the push as the fight wears on.It was a great game plan from Nate in their second fight but the leg kicks that slowed him down were the difference. That was an adjustment that Conor made between the first fight with Nate in which he lost.
Dustin doesn’t have the same chin as Nate Diaz. Poirier has been put away in the first round not just by Conor but by another speedy southpaw striker, Michael Johnson. That is the guy’s weakness, and Conor just matches up so well.
The only thing I’m worried about is if the little leprechaun gets tired, and you know it’s a possibility.
Dustin by 3rd round win for (+1750)!
PLACE YOUR BETS NOW!
Mystic Mac is back!
The 👑 is back! What are your expectations for @TheNotoriousMMA on Jan 23?
— UFC (@ufc) January 11, 2021
You have to love this guy, right? I know there is a large part of the mixed martial arts community that hates this guy, but to me, he is incredibly charismatic.
— UFC (@ufc) January 13, 2021
Okay, maybe not when he is slapping old men at the pub for not drinking his Proper Whiskey or possibly minus the time that he threw a dolly through the fighter bus or maybe the time he jumped the cage and went after referee Marc Goddard.
Conor was all over the place. You had to expect some kind of party stage was going to be on the tail end of cashing over 100 million dollars. I remember his press conference when he fought Khabib. He did NOT seem like himself at all. Conor sounded weak not only mentally but physically as well. I know he trained hard for the fight and did a ton of wrestling that has upped his takedown defense sevenfold. I just don’t think he was doing jack worth of spit in the weeks or months leading up to the fight. Either way, I don’t think he was going to beat Khabib, but he sorta did the ol’ Jon Jones preloaded excuse method.
Jon said to take the pressure off of himself, he would party for some of fight week or during camp just so that if he got beat, he could say-well, I didn’t really train like I was supposed to.
That guy is twisted, man, but to his credit, he has never lost a fight except for probably with his two brothers. One was All Pro in the NFL, and the other, Chandler Jones, is currently. Jon doesn’t even really explode, though.
His athleticism is there, no doubt, but it’s not like we have ever seen him use it to physically destroy his opponents.
I can’t mess with the moneyline. I might parlay him with some other people, but we tipped him long ago around (-150) before the fight was official, so when it is pushing 3 to 1, I have to take a step back and see what else we have to play with.
Conor by TKO is (-155)!
Wow, those are higher odds than his opening moneyline. I told y’all to get on it….I’ll stop, but I did tell y’all.
I know Mystic Mac said Dustin Poirier would be done in 1, minute that is. 60 seconds were actually the words he used, but I think Dustin survives round one, and we get Conor McGregor for a second round finish for (+400).
It’s a flyer but worth a quarter of a unit.
PLACE YOUR BETS NOW!
Both of these fights in the lightweight division at UFC 257 should be a lot of fun! The online sportsbooks are predicting finishes in each fight. I don’t know about the 3 rounder likely finishing inside the distance, but Conor and Dustin should end before the final bell.
I guess this betting line when Conor fought Nate Diaz was probably similar, but that fight somehow, some way, made it 25 minutes. And don’t start with the controversial decision crap. That was a clear win for Conor.
Watch in slow motion and mute Rogan, who over-dramatizes everything. I get it. It’s part of the job to add excitement but don’t take fans down the wrong path.
The announcers love Max Holloway as well, and in his second fight against Alexander Volkanovski, they really sold his efforts to the TV audience watching at home, and now everybody and their momma thinks Max was “robbed.”
Nobody was robbed.
If Max would have won, then I think they would have got it wrong but still nobody was robbed, It was a very close fight. But yes, they made the biggest deal of Nate “hurting” Conor as the Irishman simply rolled with the arm punches coming his way.
Get your flyer bets in now and let’s have some fun watching the UFC Lightweights at UFC 257. Maybe the four men will swap partners and maybe at UFC 260, we can see a world title fight.
Maybe. Make a decision, Khabib!