The UFC is kicking off its 2021 PPV schedule the same way it kicked off 2020, with a Conor McGregor fight. McGregor opened up 2020 with a 40 second TKO of Donald Cerrone at UFC 246. Tonight, he looked to replicate that performance against Dustin Poirier, who he knocked out in under two minutes in 2014. We’ve got plenty of fights to check out and break down the UFC odds and betting picks.
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UFC Odds + Betting Picks | UFC 257: McGregor vs. Poirier
UFC Betting Pick: Sarah McMann To Win -130
After a couple of fights dropped, it is difficult to find much value on this slate. I placed bets on two underdogs in Matt Frevola and Nasrat Haqparast which have gotten voided. This limits the amount of betting action I have on this card. The good news is that I still have a couple of bet tickets that are still active.
For the odds, McMann is my favorite bet on this slate. Looking at the numbers, this looks like a favorable matchup for her. She is a silver medalist in wrestling from the 2004 Olympics and she is an aggressive wrestler in the octagon. McMann lands 4.51 takedowns per 15 minutes and Julianna Pena‘s takedown defense is lacking. She only defends takedowns at a 28% clip so I don’t think McMann will have much issue getting this fight to the mat. This means that the most likely path to victory for Pena is a sub from her back but she doesn’t have a single submission win the UFC. Pena was subbed submitted by Germaine de Randamie in her last fight, which raises red flags about the state of her ground game.
UFC Betting Pick: Dan Hooker To Win -138
Dan Hooker is taking on Michael Chandler, who is making his UFC debut. Chandler coming to the UFC comes with a lot of fan fair. He is a former champion in Bellator and nearly fought for the Lightweight title in his first UFC fight. Chandler weighed in as a potential replacement fighter for the title fight between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Justin Gaethje. Since that fight went off without a hitch, Chandler’s debut was delayed until now.
Unfortunately for Chandler, this looks like one of the worst possible matchups for him in the division. At 5’8″, Chandler is short for the division and he takes on one of the tallest fighters in the division. Hooker is four inches taller and has a four inch reach advantage. This should mean Hooker will pick apart Chandler at range. Chandler will have to use his wrestling background to get his hands on Hooker and drag him to the ground but this is easier said than done. Hooker has strong defensive wrestling and a 79% takedown defense. The physical advantages are enough for me to think Hooker isn’t favored by enough in this spot.
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