UFC 257: McGregor To Make Winning Return

UFC 257: McGregor To Make Winning Return

UFC 257 Analysis and Predictions

  • Conor McGregor is the -235 odds-on favorite to defeat Dustin Poirier at UFC 257
  • Both fighters are former UFC lightweight world champions
  • McGregor defeated Poirier in a previous bout at UFC 178

Whether they like it or not, Conor McGregor and UFC president Dana White need each other. Their love-hate relationship is once again blossoming as Christmas approaches. That's good news for MMA fans and for those who enjoy betting on the sport.

McGregor (22-4) is arguably the most exciting and dynamic fighter in the history of the promotion. This is the third time since 2016 that he's gone at least a year between fights, but he always comes back. As much as White and McGregor have been at odds with each other over the years, the fact of the matter that now, especially with the retirement of UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, White desperately requires McGregor to be part of UFC.

The headliner for UFC 257, the controversial Irish fighter has been responsible for seven UFC pay-per-views that banked over $1 million, so from a financial point of view, he's a solid bet. McGregor's previous comeback on Jan. 18 at UFC 246, he finished off Donald Cerrone by TKO after just 40 seconds had elapsed.

Poirier (26-6) is an interesting choice for McGregor's opponent. He's a skilled enough fighter to make this an intriguing match in the UFC betting odds, but probably not talented enough to take out The Notorious.

Other bouts tentatively carded for UFC 257 (odds yet to be announced):

  • Jessica Eye (15-8-1) vs Joanne Calderwood (19-2)
  • Brad Tavares (17-6) vs Antonio Carlos Jr. (10-4-1)
  • Andrew Sanchez (12-5) vs Andre Muniz (20-4)
  • Nasrat Haqparast (12-3) vs Matt Frevola (15-2)
  • Umar Nurmagomedov (12-0)vs Sergey Morozov (16-4)
  • Shane Burgos (13-2)vs Hakeem Dawodu (9-0)
  • Amir Albazi (13-1)vs Zhalgas Zhumagulov (13-4)
  • Amanda Ribas (10-1)vs Marina Rodriguez (12-1-2)

Remember to read our guide if you have any doubts on how to bet on the UFC.

It's A Rematch

McGregor and Poirier are stepping into the octagon to face each other for the second time. That's good news for McGregor in the UFC 257 picks. McGregor's previous rematch was against Nate Diaz in 2016. Seeking to avenge his first loss in UFC, McGregor scored a majority decision over Diaz.

However, Poirier is 2-0 in rematch bouts. In another interesting development that could impact the UFC 257 odds, Poirier also holds an advantage in fights against common opponents. He's 5-1-1 against fighters who also faced McGregor. McGregor shows just a 3-2 slate when facing fighters that have also been in the cage to tangle with Poirier.

In their previous bout on Sept. 27, 2014, it took McGregor just 1:46 to dispatch Poirier by TKO via a flurry of punches. McGregor was awarded performance of the night at UFC 178 after making such short work of his opponent.

Conor McGregor (-235) vs Dustin Poirier (+185)

Poirier enters into this bout as the only fighter ranked among the top five contenders in the UFC lightweight division who won his previous fight. With Khabib evidently out of the picture, it's likely the winner here would be in line for a title shot.

To defeat McGregor, Poirier will need to stay on the attack. Tentative fighters play right into McGregor's hands. He could also take advantage of McGregor's inactivity. The Notorious hasn't fought in 371 days. He spent 40 seconds in competition in the octagon since October of 2018.

The problem Poirier faces is that he fights best when on his feet. His strength is his striking, but that's also where McGregor is at his best. He may very well be the finest precision striker in the history of the UFC.

This fight won't end as quickly as the first bout. Poirier will land some shots, but being forced to stand toe to toe with McGregor is ultimately a recipe for disaster. He's never lost a fight by strikes. With his precise control and pinpoint timing, McGregor will locate the opening to finish off Poirier.

Conor McGregor To defeat Daniel Poirier

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