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UFC 257 Main Card preview, picks and best bets for January 23

UFC betting tips

The UFC 257 card on Fight Island in Abu Dhabi is loaded from top to bottom despite not having any title fights. Here’s a look at what should be a very fun main card leading up to the main event of Conor McGregor vs. Dustin Poirier this Saturday night. You can learn more about UFC betting here.

Lightweight: Dan Hooker (-137) vs. Michael Chandler (+117)

Dan Hooker (20-9-0) had a three-fight winning streak snapped when he lost to Dustin Poirier in an all-out five-round war between the two back in June. Before that loss, Hooker was 7-1 in his previous eight fights, including wins over Paul Fielder, Al Iaquinta, and Gilbert Burns.

Michael Chandler (21-5-0) makes his long awaited UFC debut after a dominant career in Bellator in which he was a three-time Bellator Lightweight World Champion. Chandler would immediately establish himself as a legitimate contender in the division with a win over Hooker, and he has a clear path to victory if he can get this fight to the ground. But each of his last three losses have come by knockout; against a tough striker with an iron chin like Hooker, a debut victory might be too tough to come by.

Dan Hooker by Knockout

-137 @ Bovada

Women’s Flyweight: Joanne Calderwood (-113) vs. Jessica Eye (-107)

Joanne Calderwood (14-5-0) is just 5-5 in the UFC since opening her professional MMA career with a 9-0 record. Jessica Eye (15-8-0) is 1-2 over her last three fights since winning each of her previous three fights to earn a UFC Women’s Flyweight title shot against Valentina Shevchenko. This is a tough one to call as the odds suggest, but the styles seem to favor Calderwood; her high output of strikes and deeper gas tank should propel her to a victory by points if she brings her best effort.

Joanne Calderwood by Decision.

-113 @ Bovada

Lightweight: Ottman Azaitar (-156) vs. Matt Frevola (+136)

This lightweight heavy card features another intriguing bout between two 30-year old prospects in the division in Ottman Azaitar (13-0-0) and Matt Frevola (8-1-1). Frevola has bounced back from an 0-1-1 start to his UFC career with back-to-back wins over Luis Peña and Jalin Turner. Still, it’s surprising that Azaitar isn’t going off as a bigger favorite in this one. The undefeated knockout specialist has won each of his last five fights by knockout including each of his two fights in the UFC. Frevola is a step up in competition, but not one that the red-hot Azaitar shouldn’t be able to handle.

Ottman Azaitar by Knockout

-156 @ Bovada

Women’s Strawweight: Amanda Ribas (-305) vs. Marina Rodriguez (+255)

Amanda Ribas is a rising star in the UFC with four straight wins including a first-round submission win over Paige VanZant at UFC 251 on Fight Island back in July. Marina Rodriguez (12-1-2) suffered her first professional loss in a split decision against Carla Esparza in her last bout which also came in July. Ribas is an exciting prospect and one that should win this fight. But Rodriguez is the more experienced fighter and has faced much tougher competition; these odds are too good to pass up on in a fight that should be competitive. Look for Rodriguez to fight this one out to the cards and potentially steal the decision.

Marina Rodriguez by Decision

-305 @ Bovada

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