Saturday night will see Conor McGregor back in MMA action as he takes on Dustin Poirier.
It’ll be the first time that the Irishman has fought this year and most UFC odds have McGregor down to score his second victory over the US fighter.
However, plenty of UFC betting sites have speculated that Poirier could be in the mood for causing a big upset in this most unpredictable of years. Take a look below to see the UFC 257 fight card along with tips on who’s looking most likely to win the clash of McGregor vs Poirier 2.
When and where is UFC 257?
The showdown of Conor McGregor vs Dustin Poirier will be the pinnacle of the UFC257 event that takes place at the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Timings can be a little sketchy at these events, but it’s expected that the bout will take place at 12am Eastern Time and 9pm Pacific Time.
The build-up to the main event starts at 10pm ET and 7pm PT so that punters will have plenty of time to get in their UFC picks. ESPN+ will be covering the McGregor vs Poirier clash, but there’s plenty more to enjoy here.
Many will be checking the UFC odds for the Michael Chandler fight against Dan Hooker. This will be Chandler’s debut bout in the UFC and with Hooker’s stunning Bellator form, it’s going to be a gripping encounter. Here are the other bouts that’ll feature in the UFC betting odds.
- Main event – lightweight: Conor McGregor vs Dustin Poirier
- Lightweight: Dan Hooker vs Michael Chandler
- Women’s flyweight: Jessica Eye vs Joanne Calderwood
- Lightweight: Matt Frevola vs Ottman Azaitar
- Women’s strawweight: Marina Rodriguez vs Amanda Ribas
- Lightweight: Nasrat Haqparast vs Arman Tsarukyan
- Light heavyweight: Khalil Rountree Jr vs Marcin Prachnio
- Women’s bantamweight: Julianna Pena vs Sara McMann
- Middleweight: Brad Tavares vs Antonio Carlos Junior
- Middleweight: Andrew Sanchez vs Makhmud Muradov
- Catchweight: Movsar Evloev vs Nik Lentz
- Flyweight: Amir Albazi vs Zhalgas Zhumagulov
Why McGregor is pick of the UFC betting odds
Conor McGregor is well and truly back. The MMA legend had announced his retirement for the third time last year, but it seems that he just can’t stay away from the octagon. Despite his apparent retirement and numerous brushes with the law, it looks like McGregor is once again going to dominate the UFC betting.
This is because the Irishman pounded Poirier way back in UFC 178. While that bout was over six years ago, a quick look at the UFC 257 betting odds suggests that little has really changed.
Even the most cynical UFC odds have McGregor to win the rematch. However, it’s worth noting that it has been over a year since the 32-year last set foot inside the octagon. This saw McGregor utterly destroying Donald Cerrone in just over 30 seconds last January. What made this triumph all the more remarkable was the fact that it was his comeback after his humiliation against Khabib Nurmagomedov in 2018.
Such is the legacy of ‘The Notorious’ that he’s widely expected to breeze past Poirier, and could even go onto reboot his aborted boxing career to take on Floyd Mayweather or even Manny Pacquiao. But for now, the UFC betting is that this fiery Irishman is back to what he does best.
Ultimately, it’s a question of whether McGregor is still the formidable force that caused him to become a mainstay in UFC fight odds. His manager has said plenty of things about the fact that the amount of time he’s spending with his children has helped boost his ‘mental fortitude’. This will help his MMA betting odds, but it remains to be seen whether McGregor’s improved ‘emotional intelligence’ will continue to help make him one of the most consistent MMA picks.
Can Poirier cause an upset in the UFC betting odds?
Dustin Poirier is almost unrecognizable compared to the fighter he was when he last took on McGregor in September 2014. The intervening years have seen the US fighter become one of the most popular UFC picks despite a disappointment with his loss against Khabib Nurmagomedov in 2019.
Poirier’s loss against McGregor was a big setback in his growth as a fighter. But the 31-year old has shown a steely resolve to climb up the UFC betting odds to become a real contender once more. A series of minor victories were followed by a notable win against Max Holloway that earned Poirier the interim world title.
While this was ultimately quashed by the Nurmagomedov defeat, it showed that Poirier is not someone to let a setback get them down. In particular, it’s a rematch against McGregor that could finally give Poirier the chance to redress the balance. All of which means that the overwhelming UFC betting odds in favour of a McGregor win might be a little misleading.
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What happened in the first McGregor vs Poirier fight?
The first match of Conor McGregor vs Dustin Poirier might be a distant memory, but it should definitely play a part in your UFC picks. After all, this was the bout that caused McGregor to sign a massive UFC deal with Lorenzo Fertitta and made the Irishman part of MMA folklore.
Both fighters had the featherweight champion crown of Jose Aldo in their sights at the time. McGregor was already well known as ‘Mystic Mac’ and wasted no time in baiting the relative newcomer Poirier with all manner of trash talk. This saw the Irishman hilariously mocking everything from Poirier’s chin to the size of his head.
As such, McGregor was able to claw his way ahead in the UFC Vegas odds to deliver a devastating win at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Sin City. Things got off to a massive start when the Irishman landed a delicious right hook on Poirier and followed this up with a seemingly endless barrage of left-hand attacks.
McGregor was clearly enjoying himself as he taunted the US fighter, and laughed off Poirier’s eventual challenges. From here, Mystic Mac truly went on the offensive and landed a sublime double jab before delivering a massive left-hand hit that put Poirier well and truly on the canvas. Such a commanding victory made McGregor a fixture in the UFC Vegas odds and his name would become a constant presence at the best UFC betting sites.
The vicious KO set McGregor well on his way to becoming the first-ever double champion in UFC history and it’s no surprise that he always enjoys the best MMA odds. It’s been a different story for Poirier as he’s had to hide himself away and rebuild his career as a lightweight MMA fighter.
The build-up to UFC 257
Much has changed since the last pairing of Conor McGregor vs Dustin Poirier. Last time around, they were just a couple of featherweights starting out. But this time around, the main event status and weight category have changed, and the tattoos have multiplied and gotten weirder.
The current Covid-19 restrictions have sadly meant that there hasn’t been the chance to have the trash-talking build-up of the last bout. This means that McGregor probably won’t be quite as effective in his pre-match psychological warfare this time around. Plus it’s another reason why some UFC odds have Poirier to cause a few issues for the Irishman.
Not that McGregor has been letting social distancing stop him having a few online digs at his opponent. The Irishman took to his Twitter account earlier this month to promise his fans ‘a masterpiece’ and even went on to say that he’d finish off Poitier in less than a minute. While such baiting shows why McGregor is always one of the major UFC picks, it’s debatable as to how fight-ready he is after a year away from the octagon.
Despite this, McGregor’s manager – Audie Attar – has gone on record as saying that the Irish fighter is ‘the best Conor I’ve seen ever’. Such a proclamation will boost McGregor in the UFC 257 betting odds, but it’s worth thinking about why this MMA event might be a little different.
This is because there will be only a few spectators in attendance at Fight Island. While there will be many people enjoying some UFC betting online, it has been noted that there will be a ‘limited number of spectators’ within the cavernous 18,000-seat arena.
Such news is remarkable as it’s the first time that fans have been at a UFC event since last March. At the moment there are no details about how many fans will attend and most people will keep it online to bet on UFC fighting.
This could definitely affect the UFC betting as McGregor is definitely a character who will feed off the energy of the crowd. As such, it’s ultimately a question of whether each of these fighters can handle the pressure of what a UFC bout brings.
What can we expect from the McGregor vs Poirier 2 bout?
A quick look at the UFC 257 betting odds suggests that the bout of Conor McGregor vs Dustin Poirier is going to be pretty much a foregone conclusion. Any bookmaker with UFC odds has McGregor down as the clear favourite, and there are some sportsbooks offering MMA odds on the fight to be over in less than a minute.
While it would take a brave person to bet on UFC fights and go against the Irishman, some people have still made Poirier one of their MMA picks. Many are predicting that the Louisiana native can become one of the UFC best bets to avenge his 2014 defeat. This is because much has changed in the UFC fighting in the intervening years, and Poirier has made some big improvements in the variety of his game.
McGregor will hopefully still have that big speed advantage that has made him such an obvious choice for anybody enjoying UFC betting online. But if Poirier can get in some early blows, then the McGregor vs Poirier full fight will start to look very different to the one that took place nearly seven years ago.
Everything to play for in UFC 257
MMA fans will be hoping to make some decent wins with their UFC betting, but it’s nothing compared to the expected prize purse. Although the total prize has yet to be revealed, it’s expected to be similar to the $39 million that McGregor banked when he scored his first-round KO against Donald Cerrone last year.
McGregor is already the king of UFC betting sites, and the star has become the highest-paid fighter in the competition’s history. But it’s clear that McGregor is after more than just decent UFC odds. The Irish fighter has already made it clear that he wants to make a return to professional boxing. Although his last effort at boxing didn’t work out, the McGregor winning odds could improve if he manages to pull off another big result in the octagon.
While the focus will be on the McGregor betting odds, it’s still thought that Poirier could be one of the UFC best bets. The US fighter has everything to prove in being one of the top UFC picks, and the lack of atmosphere and pre-fight build-up could cause Poirier to rise up the MMA betting odds.
Many fans will simply be glad to see McGregor back in the UFC betting odds. The fighter has made a habit of retiring and making a comeback, and so it’s no surprise to find the best MMA odds always have the Irish star at the centre of the action.
All of which means that Saturday night is set to deliver yet another fantastic dose of MMA action. So go to the best UFC betting site, find the most generous UFC fight odds, and see whether McGregor has what it takes to serve up yet another MMA masterpiece.
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