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

UFC 257: Poirier vs. McGregor Prelim Card Betting Preview

Prelim Card UFC Fight Night Odds & Betting Predictions

When Saturday, January 23 2021 – 7:00PM CT (times are estimated)
Where UFC Fight Island – Abu Dhabi United Arab Emirates
Main Event FIght Connor McGregor vs Dustin Poirer
Watch Live ESPN+, UFC Fight Pass, UFC.com

Conor McGregor is making is return to the Octagon in what may be the highest selling Pay-Per-View of the new year and it is only the end of January. With all of the hype of the UFC main card, the prelims need a little bit of love too. Let’s take a look at the top betting picks for the UFC 257 Prelim Card.

Fight 1: Khalil Rountree Jr. vs. Marcin Prachnio

Class: Light Heavyweight

To start our four-fight prelim card betting preview we have a light heavyweight matchup between Khalil Rountree Jr. (9-4-0) and Poland’s Marcin Prachnio (13-5-0). Rountree is coming off of a September 2019 KO/TKO loss to Ion Cutelaba, while Prachnio is coming off of an August 2020 KO/TKO loss to Mike Rodriguez. Rountree is 6-2 by KO/TKO, 0-1 by submission, and 3-1 by decision. On the other side, Prachnio is 10-4 via KO/TKO, 1-0 by submission, and 3-1 by decision. A stat to keep in mind is that Prachnio is 0-3 since his UFC debut, losing the three fights by KO/TKO. All but one of Rountree and Prachnio’s fights have ended in either 1st round finish or decision, so I believe one of these two outcomes will happen. I particularly lean Khalil Rountree Jr. to get back in the win column in this fight. I pick him to win the fight, but my betting pick is him by decision.

Khalil Rountree Jr. by Decision

+600 @ BetOnline

Fight 2: Julianna Pena vs. Sarah McMann

Class: Women’s Bantamweight

Julianna Pena (10-4-0) is taking on Sarah McMann (12-5-0) in what looks like to be a matchup between grappling styles. Pena practices Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and McMann practices Wrestling. Pena is coming into the fight after an October 2020 submission loss to Germaine de Randamie, and McMann is entering after a January 2020 unanimous decision win over Lina Lansberg. Pena is 3-1 by KO/TKO, 4-2 by submission, and 3-1 by decision in her career. McMann is 2-1 by KO/TKO, 4-3 by submission, and 6-1 by decision. Both of these fighters have competed with some of the best in the world, but nonetheless I pick Julianna Pena to win this fight. I am also making her winning straight up my betting pick.

Julianna Pena To Win

+113 @ BetOnline

Fight 3: Antonio Carlos Jr. vs. Brad Tavares

Class: Middleweight

In our prelim featured Middleweight fight, we have Antonio Carlos Jr. (11-4-0) taking on Brad Tavares (17-7-0). Carlos Jr. is coming off of a 2019 split decision loss to Uriah Hall, while Tavares is coming off of a November 2019 KO/TKO loss to Edmen Shahbazyan. Tavares is 5-3 by KO/TKO, 2-1 by submission, and 10-3 by decision. Carlos is 0-1 by KO/TKO, 9-0 by submission, and 2-3 by decision. Both fighters have been away from the octagon for more than a year, so improvements look to be made by each. I like Antonio Carlos Jr. in this spot to break his two-fight skid.

Antonio Carlos Jr. To Win

+105 @ BetOnline

Fight 4: Nasrat Haqparast vs. Arman Tsarukyan

Class: Lightweight

Two lightweight hopefuls in Nasrat Haqparast (12-3-0) and Arman Tsarukyan (15-2-0) compete in our prelim main event. Haqparast is coming off of an August 2020 unanimous decision win over Alex Munoz and Tsarukyan is coming off of a July 2020 unanimous decision win over Davi Ramos. Tsarukyan is an all-around fighter going 5-1 by KO/TKO, 5-0 by submission, and 5-1 by decision in his career so far. Nasrat Haqparast is a striker going 9-1 by KO/TKO, 0-1 by submission, and 3-1 by decision in his career. Something to keep in mind is that in Tsarukyan’s only UFC loss to Islam Makhachev, he was taken down four times and controlled on the ground, leading to his unanimous decision loss. Nasrat Haqparast does not seem to have an efficient ground-game so I believe Arman Tsarukyan will take advantage of this and bring home a win. He is my pick to win this fight, but my betting pick is him by decision.

Arman Tsarukyan By Decision

-125 @ BetOnline

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