The big fight card in Abu Dhabi is finally upon us as the stars of UFC 257 make their final preparations for their match-ups on “UFC Fight Island” tomnight. Now it’s time for us to make our final preparations too, as we pick out the key value picks from the main card.
We’ve already selected some value bets for the main event, a Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier get set to throw down in their much-anticipated rematch. You can check out those bets right here. Now, here’s three more value picks to help take you through the main card.
- Check out all the latest UFC tips and previews now
If you’re only really used to watching UFC shows, you may not be fully aware of just how good Michael Chandler is. The American powerhouse is all set to make his debut in the co-main event against Kiwi lightweight contender Dan Hooker on Saturday night, and the bookies (and many fans) are siding with the New Zealander.
However, despite Hooker’s credentials, Chandler is a bonafide elite athlete and is a three-time lightweight world champion with rival promotion Bellator MMA. Granted, the strength in depth of Bellator’s lightweight roster can’t match that of the UFC, but Chandler is world class – regardless of which organization he’s competing in.
Most recently, he handed former UFC and WEC lightweight champ Benson Henderson the first knockout loss of his career before signing for the UFC, and now he’s ready for his debut.
Hooker is as durable as they come, so a stoppage win for Chandler looks like a bit of a long shot. But, the odds available on “Iron Mike” using his wrestling to help him bank enough rounds to secure a decision win looks like solid value.
It’s win or bust for both Joanne Calderwood and Jessica Eye as they head into a crucial flyweight fight this weekend. Eye desperately wants another shot at the flyweight title, while Calderwood, who has seen prior opportunities slip through her fingers, knows that this may well be her final chance to secure a title shot.
Both are stand-up fighters, which should make for a fun back-and-forth striking matchup – but it’s Calderwood who has the better overall striking game. More often than not, women’s fights make it through to the scorecards and I don’t see this one being any different.
Take the bet on Calderwood getting the nod, earning a long-awaited shot at reigning flyweight queen Valentina Shevchenko in the process.
Russian featherweight Movsar Evloev received the short-notice call to compete at UFC 257 and, while his huge potential in the 145-pound division has him set as the biggest favourite on the card, there’s value to be had in the Method of Victory market for his match-up.
Evloev is taking on seasoned veteran Nik Lentz, a come-forward pressure fighter who loves nothing more than to walk down his opponents and wear on them. But against Evloev – whose footwork, striking and takedown defence are outstanding – it looks like a tough task.
Evloev has the skills to negotiate his way through the three-rounds to earn a win on the scorecards, with the price offering significant value compared to the outright win odds. If you want a juicy side bet, a wager on Evloev finishing Lentz with strikes looks pretty tempting, too.
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