UFC 257 predictions, picks, best bets and four-fight parlay

Conor McGregor (blue gloves) before his fight against Khabib Nurmagomedov (red gloves) during UFC 229 at T-Mobile Arena
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Matthew Lowrimore

UFC · 1 year ago

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Matthew has been with Pickswise for over a year now, covering a wide variety of sports. His main passion is college football and that is the sport he has covered the most. Matthew uses a variety of methods to handicap games, including stats, trends, injuries, and situational factors. His goal is to consistently give out winners and will do everything he can to make his readers money.

The Pay-Per-View event at UFC 257 will feature a Lightweight fight for the Main Event. It will also mark the return of Conor McGregor. There are some huge favorites among this event, so looking for a parlay could be the best way to find the most value.

Here is our favorite four-fight parlay that pays at odds of +592. Be sure to check out the rest of our UFC 257 predictions for the full 11-fight card.

Conor McGregor Money Line (-330)

Conor McGregor is a massive favorite in this fight, but with him not having fought since January of 2019, you have to wonder if he is going to be able to deliver. Now McGregor is pretty much a pure striker. He is averaging 5.43 significant strikes per minute. His striking accuracy is 49 percent. He is absorbing 4.40 strikes per minute, but has never once been knocked out. McGregor is not really the type of fighter that will look to take a fight to the ground. He averages only 0.75 takedowns per every 15 minutes. His takedown accuracy is 62 percent and his takedown defense 75 percent.

Dustin Poirier will be looking to avenge his loss to McGregor from 2014 when he steps into the Octagon at UFC 257. He is 26-6 in MMA and 19-6 in the UFC. Poirier has won five of his last six fights, most recently beating Dan Hooker back in June of 2020. He is also a solid striker, averaging 5.57 significant strikes per minute. His striking accuracy is 50 percent. He is absorbing 4.18 strikes per minute, but has been knocked out twice in his career. One of those knockouts coming by the hands of McGregor. Poirier will have the advantage in grappling, averaging 1.46 takedowns per minute and 1.3 submission attempts during the same time period. Though he only lands his takedowns 35 percent of the time, while defending them 65 percent of the time.

Even with a long layoff, McGregor is the superior fighter. Poirier has no doubt improved since their first meeting, but McGregor’s striking is going to be too much for him to handle. Backing him to just win would be the ideal play for this parlay.

Michael Chandler Money Line (+116)

Dan Hooker comes into this fight as a small favorite and is 20-9 in MMA. He is 10-5 in the UFC and just had a three-fight winning streak snapped by Dustin Poirier. Hooker is now averaging 4.98 significant strikes per minute and is absorbing 4.89 strikes. Even though Hooker has seven wins by submission in his career, his grappling numbers are only decent at best. He is averaging 0.74 takedowns per every 15 minutes and is only landing them 39 percent of the time. He does have a strong takedown defense, defending them 79 percent of the time.

Michael Chandler will be making his UFC debut in this fight and has a career MMA record of 21-5.  Chandler is averaging 4.07 significant strikes per minute, landing them 47 percent of the time. He is absorbing 3.81 strikes and has been knocked out three times in his career. He is also a solid grappler, averaging 2.57 takedowns per every 15 minutes. His takedown accuracy is 41 percent but his takedown defense is 80 percent. He also averages 1.5 submission attempts per every 15 minutes and has won by submission seven times.

Even though this is the UFC debut for Chandler, he already looks to be the more complete fighter. His grappling ability is strong and his striking defense is better than Hooker. Because we are getting Chandler at plus money, he will be my pick to get the job done and to put the rest of the Lightweight division on notice.

Joanne Calderwood Money Line (-112)

Joanne Calderwood comes into this fight with a career MMA record of 14-5. She is only 6-5 in the UFC after a setback in her last fight. She is however, averaging 6.17 significant strikes per minute. Her striking accuracy is 48 percent and she is absorbing 4.31 strikes per minute. Her grappling has been solid as well, averaging 1.90 takedowns per every 15 minutes. She has a takedown accuracy of 57 percent and a takedown defense of 55 percent.

Jessica Eye will be looking to bounce back from a loss to Cynthia Calvillo back in June of 2020. Eye is now 15-8 in MMA and just 5-7 in the UFC. She is a decent striker, averaging just 3.65 significant strikes per minute. Her striking accuracy is also only 36 percent. Her grappling is not very good either, averaging just 0.40 takedowns per every 15 minutes.

Calderwood may have been submitted in her last fight, but she is the much more balanced fighter here. Eye looked terrible against Calvillo, so look for Calderwood to bounce back strong.

Amanda Ribas Money Line (-335)

Amanda Ribas comes into this fight with an MMA record of 10-1. She is 4-0 in the UFC and may be closing in on a shot at the Strawweight title. Her striking is starting to look elite as she is averaging 4.71 significant strikes per minute. She only absorbs 1.67 strikes and has a striking defense of 73 percent. Her grappling ability is just as good, averaging 2.28 takedowns per every 15 minutes and 1.90 submission attempts during the same time period. Her takedown defense is even better, defending them 85 percent of the time.

Marina Rodriguez comes into this fight off her first loss in the UFC. Her overall MMA record is now 12-1-2 and she is 3-1-2 in the UFC. Rodriguez is averaging 5.04 significant strikes per minute, while absorbing 3.31 strikes. She is not going to want this fight to be on the ground, where she averages 0.38 takedowns per every 15 minutes. She only lands these takedowns 33 percent of the time too.

Ribas is a legitimate contender for a UFC belt and if she can manage to win here, she will be one step closer to challenging for a title. Because this would be for a parlay, backing Ribas on the money line would be my play.

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