Fightlete staff betting picks for UFC 257

UFC 257 is the first Pay-Per-View event of 2021 and will be headlined by fan favorites Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor. The event starts at 10 p.m. EST on ESPN+ PPV. Here, we submit our staff picks for the main event.

(All odds are via Draftkings Sportsbook)

Conor McGregor (-305) vs. Dustin Poirier (+250) O/U 1.5 rounds

Drew’s Pick- McGregor/ Over 1.5 rounds

This is going to be a war. I expect Conor to come out hot and fast, but Dustin’s resilience can be enough to keep him in this thing. I think the sportsbooks are underestimating Dustin, but I still have Conor coming out on top in the middle rounds.

Mike’s Pick- McGregor, Over 1.5 Rounds

Dustin Poirier has made notable improvements since his first fight with Conor and has thrived in the Lightweight division, but I don’t see him being able to do enough. McGregor is in fantastic shape and has a decided mental advantage, having already knocked Poirier out once before. I think Conor’s boxing is going to be too sharp and Poirier will have a hard time getting much offense going and will ultimately come up short.

Kirien’s Pick -- McGregor/under 1.5 rounds

Connor McGregor and Fight Island are the perfect match. McGregor puts on a show the only way he knows how -- knocking his opponent senseless in the first round.

Dan Hooker (-125) vs. Michael Chandler (+100) O/U 2.5 rounds

Drew’s Pick- Hooker/ over 2.5 rounds

Chandler has a ton to prove, and I think that Hooker is the first starting point. I believe that Chandler’s dress rehearsal for UFC 254 is a huge perk, but I don’t think he can get it done. I’m taking the over and I think it will go to decision.

Mike’s Pick- Hooker/ Over 2.5 Rounds

Chandler has no doubt done great things in his career at Bellator, but especially at 155 pounds, the level of competition just is not the same. Hooker, on the other hand, has been fighting the absolute best in the world tooth and nail for years. Hooker also has the physical advantage with a four-inch height advantage and a sizable reach advantage which he utilizes well. Chandler’s best bet would be to use his wrestling pedigree to ground Hooker, but with a near 80% takedown defense I see Hooker being able to keep the majority of the fight on the feet and getting the nod.

Kirien’s Pick -- Hooker/ over 2.5 rounds

The loss to Poirer ignites Dan Hooker to fight with a vengeance that Michael Chandler is unable to contain. Chandler may survive to a decision, but Hooker prevails behind a spirited effort.

Jessica Eye (+100) vs. Joanne Calderwood (-125) O/U 2.5 rounds

Drew’s Pick- Eye/ over 2.5 rounds

This is going to be a back and forth battle. Both fighters are coming off a loss and were not very active in 2020. I expect this to go the distance and potentially be split in favor of Eye.

Mike’s Pick- Calderwood/ Over 2.5 Rounds

This is a very close fight on paper, and I could see it going either way. I give Calderwood the edge, however, as she is a much more active striker with very good cardio. Eye has had trouble making weight at Flyweight and I think Calderwood’s pressure will be enough to wear Eye down and get the victory.

Kirien’s Pick -- Calderwood/over 2.5 rounds

Joanne Calderwood manifesting a beef with Jessica Eye is reminiscent of something Michael Jordan would say in Netflix’s ‘The Last Dance’ -- I don’t know how you bet against that.

Marina Rodriguez (+250) vs. Amanda Ribas (-335) O/U 2.5 rounds

Drew’s Pick- Ribas/ under 2.5 rounds

There is a reason why Ribas is such a heavy favorite. Her dismantling of Paige VanZant in July is just one of many fights where she was in complete control. I see her grabbing an early submission.

Mike’s Pick- Pick: Ribas/ Over 2.5 Rounds

Amanda Ribas is on a roll right now, riding an impressive 5 fight winning streak and being 4-0 in the UFC. She has a tough test in front of her with the very legitimate Strawweight contender Marina Rodriguez, but I believe Ribas will be able to utilize her superior grappling and get her hand raised on Saturday.

Kirien’s Pick -- Ribas/ over 2.5 rounds

The 27-year-old Amanda Ribas continues her ascent up the UFC ranks by going the distance against an opponent with nothing to lose.

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