UFC 257: Poirier vs McGregor 2 Preview & Expert Predictions: Can Poirier Avenge Prior Loss?

The first pay-per-view for the UFC in 2021 is a big one with the return of Conor McGregor for the first time in over a year as he takes on Dustin Poirier in a rematch from over six years ago as the two headline UFC 257. This event also marks the conclusion of three UFC fight cards in a week at Fight Island in Abu Dhabi of the United Arab Emirates.

It should come as no surprise to see McGregor as the favorite over Poirier when looking at the odds and below I will provide my UFC 257: Poirier vs McGregor 2 preview, expert predictions and odds for each fight on the main card.

Not only is this the return of McGregor to the Octagon, but also his return to the lightweight division where he held the title five years ago and competed with Khabib Nurmagomedov in October of 2018. A win over Poirier may set up a rematch with Nurmagomedov, or at least that’s what UFC President Dana White is hoping for.

Over the last three years, only one man has been able to beat Dustin Poirier and that was Nurmagomedov in September of 2019. However, if you look way back at September 2014, Poirier was stopped in the first round by Conor McGregor in the featherweight division, will things be different this time around?

Online sportsbook Bovada has released the odds for UFC 257: McGregor vs Poirier 2 and it is the former champion, McGregor, as the -280 favorite with Poirier coming back at +220. This means you would have to bet $280 to profit $100 with a McGregor win while a $100 bet on a Poirier victory would profit you $220.

See Odds Shark’s Best UFC Sites

Looking at the McGregor vs Poirier odds, our sports betting calculator tells us McGregor’s odds of -280 represent an implied win probability of 73.68 percent while Poirier’s odds of +220 have an implied win probability of 31.25 percent.

UFC 257: Poirier vs McGregor Odds
  • Lightweight – Conor McGregor (-280) vs Dustin Poirier (+220)
  • Lightweight – Dan Hooker (-145) vs Michael Chandler (+115)
  • Women’s Flyweight – Jessica Eye (-110) vs Joanne Calderwood (-120)
  • Women’s Strawweight – Marina Rodriguez (+250) vs Amanda Ribas (-325)
  • Prelims
  • Middleweight – Brad Tavares (-155) vs Antonio Carlos Junior (+125)
  • Light Heavyweight – Khalil Rountree Jr. (-340) vs Marcin Prachnio (+260)
  • Lightweight – Matt Frevola (+130) vs Ottman Azaitar (-160)
  • Middleweight – Andrew Sanchez (+105) vs Makhmud Muradov (-135)
  • Catchweight – Nik Lentz (+325) vs Movsar Evloev (-450)

New to betting on the fights? Check out our UFC betting guide to help you get in the action. Also, be sure to keep an eye on our UFC odds page for the latest up-to-date betting lines.

UFC 257: Poirier vs McGregor 2 Broadcast Information
  • Date/Time: January 23, 6:15 p.m. ET
  • Location: Abu Dhabi, UAB
  • Arena: Etihad Arena
  • Where to Watch: ESPN+, PPV

Conor McGregor vs Dustin Poirier Preview, Prediction & Odds

Fighter Odds
Conor McGregor -280
Dustin Poirier +220

It is crazy to think about it but with McGregor’s (-280) inactivity in the Octagon, he will be searching for his first lightweight victory since November of 2016 when he won the lightweight strap. Meanwhile, Poirier (+220) has been much more active over that span, fighting eight times since the start of 2017, posting a record of 6-1-1 with his only loss coming to Khabib Nurmagomedov.

McGregor: Need to Knows
  • The former featherweight and lightweight king is definitely one of the best in the promotion. Of his 26 pro fights, 24 have been stoppages he has 19 knockout wins and one submission victory while all four of his defeats have been submissions.
  • The southpaw is aggressive and accurate, landing 5.43 significant strikes per minute while absorbing 4.40. Though his grappling has been criticized, he stuffs 70 percent of takedown attempts against.
  • McGregor closes space rapidly and is intimidating as he holds his left hand low ready to fire it like a piston at his opponent. With a 74-inch reach, he covers a lot of area when he throws and when lands it only takes one to end the night.
  • With “Notorious’” wide stance he is susceptible to absorbing leg kicks, but typically, people will drop their hands when throwing a leg kick so that opens for his lightning-quick and powerful counters.
  • Getting Conor in a dog fight can tire him down and take away his timing and distance, but an extremely dangerous game to play because if his counterpart makes a mistake upon entry they will be knocked out.
  • McGregor’s last three fights were Eddie Alvarez (win – knockout), Khabib Nurmagomedov (loss – submission) and Donald Cerrone (win – knockout).
Poirier: Need to Knows
  • It was just under two years ago that “The Diamond” was the lightweight interim champion beating featherweight champion Max Holloway for a shot to fight Nurmagomedov. Of his 32 pro fights, 24 have been stoppages as he has 12 knockout wins and seven submission victories while he’s also been knocked out and submitted twice each.
  • Also, a southpaw, Poirier puts on a high pace against his opponents, averaging 5.57 significant strikes per minute while absorbing 4.18. He also averages 1.46 takedowns per 15 minutes but has only secured two over his last five fights.
  • Dustin typically pushes his opponents back with strong footwork and good kicks to batter his foes. Many times when foes kick above the waist he does a good job catching the kick which he will counter over the top or go for the takedown.
  • With his forward pressure, he can walk onto heavy shots, but if he can close the distance and get into a dog fight that’s where he does his best work wearing on his opponents and doing damage. He admitted when he fought McGregor the first time that Conor got into his head, we shall see if the same happens this time around.
  • Poirier’s last three fights were Max Holloway (win – unanimous decision), Khabib Nurmagomedov (loss – submission) and Dan Hooker (win – unanimous decision).

Prediction: Conor McGregor (-280) via knockout

For more on this fight check out my odds analysis article.

Dan Hooker vs Michael Chandler Preview, Prediction & Odds

Fighter Odds
Dan Hooker -145
Michael Chandler +115

Welcome to the UFC Michael “Iron” Chandler (+115) after spending nearly all of his career in Bellator and was a three-time lightweight champion there. Looking to spoil the debut and return to the win column is Dan “The Hangman” Hooker (-145) who is coming off two tremendous fight of the night performances in 2020.

Hooker: Need to Knows
  • Although The Hangman split his two 2020 bouts, both were wildly entertaining, high-tempo and aggressive. Of his 20 pro wins, 17 have been stoppages 10 by knockout and seven by submission while six of his nine losses have been by decision.
  • Hooker is big and long for the lightweight division standing six-foot even with a 75-inch reach. He uses that reach well with crisp, accurate, straight punches and powerful kicks. His footwork is very good allowing him to land cleanly and avoid damage coming back.
  • More recently, we have seen him go to his wrestling, securing five takedowns in his last two fights after not landing one in his five fights prior.
  • The Hangman can be goaded into giving up his reach by getting in a dog fight or chasing his opponent and walking onto a punch but his iron chin allows him to do this with little repercussions.
  • Hooker’s last three fights were Al Iaquinta (win – unanimous decision), Paul Felder (win – split decision) and Dustin Poirier (loss – unanimous decision).
Chandler: Need to Knows
  • As mentioned off the top, this is a three-time Bellator lightweight champion and has victories over former UFC lightweight champions, Benson Henderson (twice) and Eddie Alvarez. Of his 21 wins, 16 were stoppages, nine by knockout and seven by submission while three of his five losses were knockouts.
  • Iron was an all-American division one wrestler and that is his bread and butter in the cage if he can get his hands on his opponents he may send them for a ride. On the feet, almost everything he throws is with bad intentions but it typically puts him in a bad spot if he misses.
  • Chandler will have a six-inch reach disadvantage and doesn’t have a ton of head movement so he is a target to be hit but he’s extremely fast with his right hand which he will throw from varying angles to keep his opponents on edge.
  • Chandler’s last three fights were Patricio Freire (loss – knockout), Sidney Outlaw (win – knockout) and Benson Henderson (win – knockout).

Prediction: Michael Chandler (+115) via decision

Jessica Eye vs Joanne Calderwood Preview, Prediction & Odds

Fighter Odds
Jessica Eye -110
Joanne Calderwood -120

Two women looking to get back in the win column will be on tap to set up the main events. Jessica “Evil” Eye (-110) took a loss in her only appearance in 2020, falling to Cynthia Calvillo in a five-round decision. Similarly, Joanne “JoJo” Calderwood (-120) lost her 2020 fight by submission to Jennifer Maia who went on to fight for a title in her next fight.

Eye: Need to Knows
  • Eye parlayed a three-fight winning streak in 2018 into a title shot with Valentina Shevchenko in 2019, which didn’t end well, losing by knockout in the second round. She is predominantly a striker though 17 of her 23 pro fights have gone the distance.
  • She has good head movement, though can be found standing a little flat-footed at times. Don’t look for her to level change and look for a takedown, securing just one over her last five fights. Evil prefers a phonebooth-style fight, getting in the pocket and exchanging hands.
  • Eye has good fundamentals and never backs down from a fight, but usually doesn’t have the power to really back her opponents off of her. Her kicks, in my opinion, are her best weapons though she doesn’t use them as much as I’d like to see.
  • Eye’s last three fights were Valentina Shevchenko (loss – knockout), Viviane Araujo (win – unanimous decision) and Cynthia Calvillo (loss – unanimous decision).
Calderwood: Need to Knows
  • JoJo has struggled to find consistency in the Octagon, never having a streak, winning or losing, of more than two in a row but is entertaining and typically in there with top-level opponents.
  • Of her 19 pro fights, 10 have gone the distance while she has five knockout wins and a submission, while also losing by submission three times. She has a high output of 6.17 significant strikes per minute while absorbing 4.31.
  • Calderwood is extremely aggressive, always marching forward and throwing plenty of strikes are her opponents. She really mixes up her strikes too with kicks, knees, elbows and long straight punches. At times, she will work right into the pocket without throwing anything and ends up getting hit hard.
  • Calderwood’s last three fights were Katlyn Chookagian (loss – unanimous decision), Andrea Lee (win – split decision) and Jennifer Maia (loss – submission).

Prediction: Jessica Eye (-110) via decision

Marina Rodriguez vs Amanda Ribas Preview, Prediction & Odds

Fighter Odds
Marina Rodriguez +250
Amanda Ribas -325

Looking to remain undefeated in the UFC and run her winning streak six fights in a row is Amanda Ribas (-325). On the flip side, Marina Rodriguez (+250) is searching for her first triumph since August of 2019, taking a loss and a majority draw in her last to fights.

Rodriguez: Need to Knows
  • After earning a UFC contract in Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series Brazil in 2018, pushing her record to a perfect 10-0, Rodriguez is 2-1-2 in the promotion since. She is primarily a striker averaging 5.04 significant strikes per minute while absorbing 3.31.
  • Of her 12 pro wins, six have been stoppages with five knockouts and a submission, while her lone defeat was a decision. Rodriguez has fast hands, especially her lead right straight that is crisp and accurate.
  • She’s quite aggressive, cutting off the cage effectively but she tends to rely heavily on her right hand and she’d have more success if the left jab was thrown first. A big issue for Marina in her two draws and her lone defeat has been takedown defense, being brought to the canvas 10 times over those three fights.
  • Rodriguez’s last three fights were Tecia Torres (win – unanimous decision), Cynthia Calvillo (majority draw) and Carla Esparza (loss – split decision).
Ribas: Need to Knows
  • Ribas’ 11-fight pro career has been split in half with two five-fight winning streaks and a knockout loss to Polyana Viana mixed right in the middle. Of Ribas’ 10 pro wins, seven have been stoppages with three knockouts and four submissions.
  • She is a very well-rounded fighter, averaging 4.71 significant strikes while only absorbing 1.67 and making her counterparts miss 73 percent of their strike attempts. She also averages 2.28 takedowns per 15 minutes and has landed at least one in each of her four UFC fights.
  • Amanda is aggressive, not giving her opponents much room to work while chipping away at them with kicks. When her opponents engage with her is when she lets her hands fly or go for a takedown. On the floor, she’s very strong and has outstanding submission skills.
  • Ribas’ last three fights were Mackenzie Dern (win – unanimous decision), Randa Markos (win – unanimous decision) and Paige VanZant (win – submission).

Prediction: Amanda Ribas (-325) via decision

UFC 257: Poirier vs McGregor 2 Best Bets

Fighter Odds
Conor McGregor -280
Michael Chandler +115
Jessica Eye -110
Amanda Ribas -325

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