UFC 257: Poirier vs McGregor, Hooker vs Chandler Picks

UFC 257: Poirier vs McGregor, Hooker vs Chandler Picks

UFC 257: Poirier vs McGregor, Hooker vs Chandler Picks

UFC 257 on Fight Island guarantees fireworks as hot favorite Conor McGregor faces the often underdog Dustin Poirier in the main event, and lightweight dark horse Dan Hooker faces promotional newcomer Michael Chandler in the co-main event.

While there’s no title on the line, the stakes are still very high as lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov has hinted that whichever of the four gentlemen provides a highlight-reel performance on January 23rd, would potentially get a chance to fight him for the title.

All four men have a point to prove. McGregor wants another crack at Nurmagomedov, Poirier wants the UFC gold, Hooker wants to enter into the top-five mix, and Chandler wants to prove that he can go toe-to-toe with the best lightweight fighters in the world.

UFC 257 is the first pay-per-view event of 2021, and you don’t want to miss out on it at any cost.

Dustin Poirier (+240) vs Conor McGregor (-310)

The last time the two competed at UFC 178 in 2014, McGregor came out on top, and in little under two minutes. The Irishman promises to finish Poirier again at UFC 257, but guarantees that it’ll be much quicker this time around. The American fighter, however, wants a slugfest.

Mystic Mac is correct with his predictions more often than not, and given the uncertainty of this sport, he does a pretty good job studying the stars. With that being said, he has looked vincible ever since he left the featherweight division. He’s 3-2 since his Jose Aldo fight. On the other hand, Poirier has come into his own at lightweight and has added sizeable names to his resume.

Since moving up to lightweight, he has gone on to win 10 out of his 13 fights, losing only to Michael Johnson via knockout and Khabib Nurmagomedov via submission. After Khabib, The Diamond is arguably the best lightweight fighter on the planet, and whoever beats him, takes his place as the number one contender.

McGregor is a strong favorite going into UFC 257, but that’s not the surprising bit. What truly blows one’s mind is how criminally overlooked Poirier is ahead of the rematch. If we were to compare the two fighters simply on the basis of skill set, Poirier takes the lead, but The Notorious has a significant advantage in the early minutes of the fight and this killer aura, so the predictions are a bit polarizing.

Conor would certainly fire on all cylinders right from the word go, which means he might blow up his gas if he fails to finish Poirier, who tends to grow as the fighter progresses. Poirier has been taking a lot of damage in his past fights and has been struck hard and frequently by some of the best punchers in the 155lbs division, yet he has come out on top. He’s got a good chin and has improved a lot on the feet. His movement will be key against McGregor, followed by his volume striking.

McGregor is at advantage as far as striking is concerned. He’s fast, precise, powerful and is known for his combination strikers. He has the potential to end any fight within 10 minutes, but he will be at the race against time.

While the fight isn’t expected to go to the ground, Poirier will be at an advantage if it does. McGregor’s ground skills are really good, and he’s a hard man to control on the mat, but Poirier is the better ground fighter when it comes to the offensive side of things.

All in all, Poirier should wave off the early onslaught and take a late stoppage or decision win home.

Dan Hooker (-132) vs Michael Chandler (+108)

Michael Chandler truly believes he’s getting less than what he deserves in Dan Hooker, but come UFC 257, he could well be pleasantly surprised. Hooker is certainly not a high-profile name, but he’s not a walk in the park nonetheless, particularly considering that he’s got serious knockout power and massive reach advantage.

It’s a very dangerous fight for Chandler, but he was always looking to play with fire anyway. Hooker is a fantastic striker, who has got serious power in his hands, something that is known to be Chandler’s achilles heel since three of his five losses have come by the way of knockout.

But don’t count the former Bellator champion out on the feet, as he’s very explosive, fast, and has got serious knockout power too. His only trouble is that he’ll have to close the distance, which could lead to openings for his opponent.

Hooker’s also a fairly decent grappler, with several submission wins to his name. His long frame only adds to his arsenal, as he could easily wrap his arms around his foe’s neck and strangle them.

That’s where Chandler would have to be very careful. He’s not a very tall guy, but he’s an exceptional wrestler and would be looking to play to his strengths, especially when the reigning champion, who also happens to be the finest grappler in the UFC, asks for something special. Surely, Khabib would give a wrestling clinic way more points than a striking one, and since Chandler has previously called the Dagestani out on several occasions, now is the time to prove his worth.

Hooker has a very good takedown defense, but he has also mainly fought strikers in the recent past. This is his first major test against a high-pressure wrestler, and it only makes things so much more interesting.

At the end of the day, Chandler should win via submission or decision.

Are you ready to make your fight picks? Head over to Fanduel and enter the fight night contest for this weekend!

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