MMASucka’s UFC 257 Staff Picks

UFC 257
ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - JANUARY 22: (L-R) Opponents Dan Hooker of New Zealand and Michael Chandler face off during the UFC 257 weigh-in at Etihad Arena on UFC Fight Island on January 22, 2021 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

MMASucka staff picks are locked in place for a must-watch night of fights. Tonight, January 23 will see UFC 257 take place from “UFC Fight Island” at the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi. The main card will begin at 10:00pm ET (7:00pm PT) live and available for purchase on pay-per-view through ESPN+.

Make sure to check out our picks from last weekend’s UFC on ABC 1 and Wednesday’s UFC on ESPN 20.

UFC 257 Fights

Two thrilling lightweight pairings will headline the first PPV of 2021. The main event features a rematch between Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor in what could be a title eliminator. Poirier has looked the best of his career, sitting at 5-1 through his last six with a lone defeat in a unification of belts to Khabib Nurmagomedov. The former interim champion would recover in June last year in a fight of the ages with Dan Hooker, scoring the unanimous decision. His opponent, McGregor, made quick work of Poirier with a sub two-minute knockout in their first meeting over six years ago. The Irishman has contested once since losing his belt to the aforementioned Nurmagomedov; that coming in just 40 seconds by knockout over Donald Cerrone last January.

Dan Hooker and Michael Chandler are set for combat in the co-main event. Auckland’s Hooker looks to bounce back after his 2020 “Fight of the Year” defeat to the above-mentioned Poirier. Former NCAA wrestler Chandler makes his promotional debut after a near ten-year stint and multi-time championship reign with Bellator.

A violation of COVID-19 protocols Friday from Ottman Azaitar saw his removal from the event and promotion. As a result, his pairing with Matt Frevola resulted in the fight being taken off the main card. Although Frevola will still compete against a new opponent, only four fights will be counted for our staff picks. See those for UFC 257 further below.

UFC 246

Staff Picks

Throughout the calendar year, staff picks will be composed of main card fights from UFC and Bellator MMA events. PFL will make its debut beginning in April, along with an additional promotion to-be-determined this weekend.

The WINNER of staff picks in 2021 will have a choice between receiving a custom-made championship belt from ProAmBelts or chain from Championship Chains. For the third straight year, Michael DeSantis captured the 2020 victory compiling a record of 201-88. Connor Deitrich came in second with a 199-90 record, the tightest MMASucka season yet.

See who the staff is choosing to win at UFC 257: Poirier vs. McGregor 2 below.

ProAmBelts | High Quality Custom Championship Belts


Staff Records after UFC on ABC 1:

1T. Jeremy Brand: 3-2
1T. Michael DeSantis: 3-2
1T. Mitchell Banuelos: 3-2
1T. Connor Deitrich: 3-2
1T. Dan Rose: 3-2
6T. Wesley Riddle: 2-3
6T. Matt Bricker: 2-3
6T. Andrew Benjamin: 2-3
6T. Nate Freeman: 2-3
6T. Joshua Yule: 2-3
6T. Kenny Lee: 2-3
12T. Ash Camyab: 1-4
12T. Frazer Krohn: 1-4

*Note: Not all staff pick for every event*
*Note: UFC on ESPN 20 picks will be added to the above records NEXT weekend*


Marina Rodriguez (12-1-2) vs. Amanda Ribas (10-1)

Jeremy Brand: Ribas via UD
Wesley Riddle: Ribas via UD
Michael DeSantis: Ribas via UD
Mitchell Banuelos: Ribas via UD
Matt Bricker: Ribas via UD
Connor Deitrich: Ribas via Round 1 SUB
Ash Camyab: Ribas via UD
Andrew Benjamin: Ribas via UD
Frazer Krohn: Ribas via UD
Dan Rose: Ribas via Round 2 SUB
Mike Lynch: Ribas via UD
Nate Freeman: Ribas via UD
Joshua Yule: Ribas via UD
Kenny Lee: Ribas via UD

Staff picking Rodriguez: 0
Staff picking Ribas: 14


Jessica Eye (15-8) vs. Joanne Calderwood (14-4)

Jeremy Brand: Calderwood via UD
Wesley Riddle: Calderwood via UD
Michael DeSantis: Calderwood via UD
Mitchell Banuelos: Calderwood via UD
Matt Bricker: Calderwood via SD
Connor Deitrich: Calderwood via UD
Ash Camyab: Calderwood via UD
Andrew Benjamin: Eye via SD
Frazer Krohn: Calderwood via SD
Dan Rose: Calderwood via UD
Mike Lynch: Calderwood via Round 2 TKO
Nate Freeman: Calderwood via SD
Joshua Yule: Calderwood via UD
Kenny Lee: Calderwood via UD

Staff picking Eye: 1
Staff picking Calderwood: 13


Dan Hooker (20-9) vs. Michael Chandler (21-5)

Jeremy Brand: Chandler via UD
Wesley Riddle: Chandler via Round 1 TKO
Michael DeSantis: Hooker via Round 2 TKO
Mitchell Banuelos: Hooker via UD
Matt Bricker: Hooker via Round 1 TKO
Connor Deitrich: Hooker via UD
Ash Camyab: Hooker via Round 3 TKO
Andrew Benjamin: Chandler via Round 1 TKO
Frazer Krohn: Hooker via Round 1 TKO
Dan Rose: Hooker via Round 3 TKO
Mike Lynch: Chandler via UD
Nate Freeman: Chandler via SD
Joshua Yule: Hooker via Round 2 TKO
Kenny Lee: Hooker via UD

Staff picking Hooker: 9
Staff picking Chandler: 5


Dustin Poirier (26-6, 1 NC) vs. Conor McGregor (22-4)

Jeremy Brand: McGregor via Round 1 TKO
Wesley Riddle: McGregor via Round 2 TKO
Michael DeSantis: McGregor via Round 2 TKO
Mitchell Banuelos: Poirier via UD
Matt Bricker: McGregor via Round 3 TKO
Connor Deitrich: McGregor via Round 3 TKO
Ash Camyab: McGregor via Round 1 TKO
Andrew Benjamin: McGregor via Round 2 TKO
Frazer Krohn: McGregor via Round 2 TKO
Dan Rose: McGregor via Round 1 TKO
Mike Lynch: Poirier via Round 3 TKO
Nate Freeman: Poirier via UD
Joshua Yule: McGregor via Round 2 TKO
Kenny Lee: McGregor via Round 1 TKO

Staff picking Poirier: 3
Staff picking McGregor: 11

UFC 257 FEATURED IMAGE:
Embed from Getty Images

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