Conor McGregor’s year-long UFC hiatus finally comes to an end on Saturday night when he faces off with number 2 Lightweight contender Dustin Poirier on at UFC 257. The PPV main event fight is a rematch of the pair’s 2014 UFC Fight, which saw the Irishman dispatch of his American counterpart within the opening minutes of round number one. Our expert tipster’s have pulled together everything you need to know in our UFC Preview.
UFC 257 UK Time: 11 PM prelims, 3 AM Main Card, 5 AM (EST) Main Event
UFC 257 UK Channel: BT Sport Box Office, BT Sport 1 (prelims)
UFC 257 UK PPV Price: £19.95
Conor McGregor vs Dustin Poirier 2 Preview
Thanks to Ireland’s strict lockdown measures, McGregor has been training in Portugal with his ‘dream team’ corner of John Kavanagh and Owen Roddy, as well as Crumlin Boxing Club supremo Phil Sutcliffe. He’s been working with a host of sparring partners such as Bellator’s Kosti Gnusariev, Muay-Thai standout Cian Cowley, amateur sensation Lee Hammond and top boxing prospects Will Hayden and Dylan Moran.
Poirier, on the other hand, hasn’t had to adjust his camp too much despite the pandemic, preparing at the American Top Team HQ in Coconut Creek, Florida. He’s had his pick of top opponents to choose from in sparring, and feels that the six years between their bouts has been enough time to turn his fortunes around.
Dustin Poirier came out on top after an all-out war with fellow top contender Dan Hooker in his sole bout last year to go 26-6, while McGregor’s outing against the legendary Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone finished within a matter of seconds.
On the undercard, we see another match-up of massive consequence in the Lightweight division between promotional newcomer Michael Chandler and number six ranked Dan Hooker. There’s also a Flyweight title eliminator between Jessica Eye and the UK’s own Joanne Calderwood.
Conor McGregor vs Dustin Poirier 2 Betting & Odds
Our UFC 257 Fight Predictions
Conor McGregor to win by KO/TKO/DQ in Round 1
‘The Notorious’ has been making headlines in the weeks leading up to the big UFC 257 fight, talking a big game like only he knows how. Known for his eerily accurate pre-fight predictions, McGregor got punters’ attention when he told UFC’s Countdown Show that he was expecting to knock Poirier out not only quicker than the 1:46 he did it in when they last fought, but within a minute of the opening bell. The UFC 178 fight took place at 145 lbs, a considerable 10 lbs less than Saturday’s, which will in theory allow ‘The Diamond’ to take shots better. But as Donald Cerrone, Jose Aldo, Diego Brandao, Marcus Brimmage and Dustin himself have learned, McGregor’s accuracy and power tends to translate across weight divisions. Punters haven’t been steered wrong by ‘Mystic Mac’ very often, and it’s hard to see him being wrong here.
Dustin Poirier to win by points
So how does Poirier turn the tide and pick up a victory that would put him right back in world title contention? He’ll have to take McGregor into deep waters, and be willing to make it a scrappy affair. The Louisiana native was inches away from taking out Khabib Nurmagomedov back in 2019 when he locked in a gnarly guillotine which the Russian narrowly escaped. While we have seen Conor succumb to two submissions in his UFC career, with a further two prior to his 2013 signing, he has shown an ability to combat the types of ground battle that Dustin Poirier offers. If Poirier could pull off the submission victory, he’d be making a whole lot of cash for anyone who backs him at an unbelievable 10/1. Poirier is 6/1 to beat McGregor by KO, TKO or DQ, which seems unlikely, considering it took Floyd Mayweather ten rounds and a different sport to hand Conor his only TKO loss.
More UFC 257 bets on the undercard?
The undercard of this weekend’s card isn’t the deepest, but there are a few tasty matchups, with some value if you know what to look out for. Michael Chandler finally makes his UFC debut in the co-main event against Dan Hooker. It’s a close fight, with Hooker priced as a 20/27 favourite. While Chandler was undeniably one of the top Lightweights in Bellator until making the switch last year, Hooker seems the worst possible matchup for his Fight Island bow. While the Australian isn’t exactly the power puncher that Patricio Pitbull, the last man to slay Chandler, is, he has the fight IQ to take the debutant out of his comfort zone.
Further down the card you’ll find Light Heavyweight Khalil Rountree, who we’re hearing great reports from. We’ve spoken with people who trained with Rountree in Tiger Muay Thai for this bout, and they’re confident of not only a victory, but a bonus-winning knockout. A Rountree stoppage may not seem like great value at 4/9, but if you double it up with a Dan Hooker win by any method, you get a pretty tempting 9/5 NetBet boost.
*odds subject to change