Last January, Conor McGregor opened up the UFC pay-per-view calendar with a long-awaited Octagon comeback that answered a lot of questions about whether or not he was still a dangerous foe. In just 40 seconds’ time against Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone, the biggest name in mixed martial arts answered emphatically in the affirmative. That was unfortunately the only time we’d see Mr. Notorious fight in 2020, but poetically enough, he’s set to open the new year’s PPV slate with an absolute bang in a 155-pound rematch against top contender Dustin Poirier on 23 January at UFC 257. With that in mind, it’s time for CanadianBettingSites to roll through some UFC 257 picks and the very best odds and prop bets for Dustin Poirier vs Conor McGregor, Joanne Calderwood vs Jessica Eye, and more.
Lightweight Main Event: Dustin Poirier Vs Conor McGregor
When the Diamond first clashed with the man who once dubbed himself “Mystic Mac” back in 2014, he came out on the wrong end of a pinpoint right-left combination that had him down on the deck and dead to rights in the very first round.
💉💉 this into my veins.
Conor McGregor vs Dustin Poirier II can’t come soon enough.
Will it be a repeat or a revenge job?
— Chisanga Malata (@Chisanga_Malata) December 13, 2020
A lot has changed since then, however.
That fight was contested at 145 pounds, after all. Poirier wouldn’t even make his debut upstairs in the lightweight division, his ideal weight in the cage, until the following year. Now, he’s coming off a Fight of the Year-level performance against Dan Hooker back in June and is very much in the mix for the lightweight championship in the post-Khabib Nurmagomedov era.
Meanwhile, McGregor has only fought in the Octagon twice since November 2016. He’s likely no longer the same one-man inferno of swagger and striking that became the first fighter ever to hold two UFC belts at the same time. The oddsmakers tend to have him as better than a 2/1 favourite as of this writing, which feels rather charitable given his and his opponent’s respective trajectories since they last met.
Folks, there’s better value in the upset pick.
Pick Dustin Poirier (3.0) to claim a career-defining victory over Conor McGregor. A $20 bet cashes out for $60 at Bet365.
Best McGregor Odds Vs Poirier
All it takes is one swift overhand left for McGregor to drop a man and make him question his life decisions. Just ask Poirier himself… or Jose Aldo, Dennis Siver, Chad Mendes, and/or Eddie Alvarez. If the part-time whiskey maven does prevail, nobody is allowed to be all that surprised.
If McGregor (1.435) is your ride-or-die guy, a $20 wager at Sports Interaction pays out $28.70.
Poirier vs McGregor Method of Victory
Given his penchant for standup brawls combined with his famously questionable five-round gas tank, it’s hard to imagine a McGregor win coming by decision after 25 brilliantly violent minutes.
In fact, if he has his druthers, it might not take one minute.
Poirier, meanwhile, proved against Hooker (as well as his interim lightweight championship victory over Max Holloway at UFC 236) that he can go the distance and look exceedingly great doing it. His all-around game has only improved since his initial clash with the Notorious, and with that in mind, there’s a ton of value to be found in picking this fight to go to the judges’ scorecards.
For the method of victory, bet on the fight being decided by decision (4.33). A winning $20 ticket redeems for an attractive $86.60 at William Hill.
McGregor Vs Poirier Over/Under 2.5 Rounds
At UFC 178 back in 2014, this fight didn’t even make it to the final bell of the first round, with McGregor dropping his foe with a combination he never saw coming. We know this iteration is going to be different… but just how different?
Well, it would be much more of a shock, comparatively speaking, if the fight ended before five minutes had elapsed. In fact, the smart money has got to be on seeing, at the very least, the start of Round 3. The oddsmakers don’t all agree on over/under 2.5 rounds, but it’s time to show a little faith in the Diamond given how much he’s grown as a fighter over these six-plus years.
Bang the over on 2.5 total rounds. A $20 bet at top sportsbooks will cash out for $39.05.
— IVY MMA ♔ (@CIVY_Vintage) December 3, 2020
Jessica Eye Vs Joanne Calderwood
From one fighter’s point of view, this bout’s been in the works for over a year.
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) December 15, 2019
The women’s flyweight division is struggling to produce a proper challenger for all-world devastator Valentina Shevchenko, but if Scotland’s Joanne Calderwood can take care of business against Jessica Eye, that title shot almost certainly belongs to her.
JoJo is the more boom-or-bust pick here, in that she’s more likely both to deliver a finish and to get finished. That doesn’t play as much into “Evil” Eye’s favour as it would for other opponents, however, as she doesn’t hit with a whole lot of power and she’s never won a UFC bout by submission.
With that in mind, it’s time to go with the slight betting favourite.
Pick Joanna Calderwood (1.87) to take the win over Jessica Eye. A $20 wager pays out $37.40 at BetOnline.
Hakeem Dawodu Vs Shane Burgos
In featherweight action, “Hurricane” Shane Burgos is a modest favourite against “Mean” Hakeem Dawodu as he aims to bounce back from a June 2020 loss that snapped a three-fight win streak. Dawodu has won his last five on the trot but hasn’t been the same kind of dynamic, punishing finisher in the UFC since coming over from the World Series of Fighting in 2018.
Bet on Burgos to prevail over Mean Hakeem. A winning $20 ticket will redeem for $31.76 at top sportsbooks.
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