The mixed martial arts fan base in India has grown tremendously in the last few years because UFC pay per view (PPV) cards and fight night cards are free to view in India on cable TV. You do not have to pay any special fee to watch the UFC in India.

The UFC has some huge starts in MMA which has also driven the popularity of the sport in India. The biggest star by far is the Notorious Conor McGregor who will headline UFC 257 which takes place on Jan 24 in Abu Dhabi. Apart from McGregor, the UFC has a great line up of stars which include Jon Jones, Khabib Nurmagomedov, Israel Adesanya, and India’s own Bharat Khandare.

We take a look at the top fights scheduled for UFC 257 and the betting odds that you can find on Bet365.

McGregor vs. Poirier 2

There has been no fighter in the history of MMA that generates more buzz or revenue that the Irish superstar Conor McGregor. The Notorious gets back to the Octagon after over a year when he rematches his old foe Dustin Poirier 2. The first time these two fighters fought was back in 2014 in a different weight class (featherweight) and McGregor stopped Poirier in the first round.Conor McGregor Fights At UFC 257

McGregor (1/3) goes in as the betting favorite as Poirier is the underdog with odds (12/5). Conor McGregor has promised to KO Poirier within the first 60 seconds and Mystic Mac usually lives up to his predictions.

However, we would take a chance and bet on Poirier because both fighters have evolved since their last fight and Poirier is certainly a much better fighter just like McGregor. If it turns out to be a pure striking match, it will favour McGregor especially in the first two rounds.

If Poirier can survive and take it into the fourth and fifth, he will have a better chance as McGregor might tire in the Abu Dhabi heat. Poirier will significantly increase his odds of winning, if he is willing to take McGregor to the ground.

Hooker vs. Chandler

The co-main event will see three-time Bellator champ Michael Chandler (1/1) face the tough as nails Kiwi Dan Hooker (4/5). There is a lot at stake at this fight as the winner will definitely be considered for a crack at the UFC lightweight championship should Khabib Nurmagomedov confirm his retirement and walk away from the belt.

Alternatively, if they have an impressive win, UFC President Dana White says Khabib might consider fighting one of them. We would put our money on Hooker as he has great boxing and is no slouch on the ground.

Frevola vs. Azaitar

This is the third exciting lightweight fight on the main card. Moroccan fighter Ottman Azaitar (5/8) is undefeated and a KO specialist. He is taking on the dangerous Matt Frevola (13/10) who has only one loss on his record. Expect this fight to be a banger from the minute the bell sounds.

While Azaitar is the favorite, don’t count Frevola out of this fight. His chances of winning, improve significantly if he can get past the first round. We would bet on Frevola.

Tsarukyan vs. Haqparast

Arman Tsarukyan (2/5) is the heavy betting favorite against Nasrat Haqparast (2/1). Tsarukyan showed how good a fighter he was when he faced off against Islam Makachev and narrowly lost by decision. Tsarukyan’s ground game is phenomenal and if he can take Haqparast down, he should win easily.

However, Haqparast striking is a lot better than Tsarukyan, which makes things interesting. We would bet on Tsarukyan as he has the better fight IQ. This fight headlines the prelims.

Sanchez vs. Muradov

Andrew Sanchez (11/10) vs.  Makhmud Muradov (8/11) will headline the early prelims. We would put our money on Sanchez as he is coming off an impressive win from August 2020 against Wellington Turman.

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