UFC 242 odds, predictions: Proven MMA insider picks Khabib vs. Poirier, Barboza vs. Felder

Now that he has become a champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov insists he will only agree to bouts against opponents he considers worthy of the opportunity. Interim lightweight champ Dustin Poirier meets that criteria, so the fighters will face off Saturday in the main event of UFC 242 to unify the title. The 13-fight UFC stop from Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates features the main UFC 242 card starting at 2 p.m. ET. Nurmagomedov (27-0) is coming off a memorable stoppage of Conor McGregor and has been hesitant to entertain the idea of a rematch. Instead, he turns his attention to Poirier (25-5-1), who has gained acclaim following a series of impressive victories. He defeated Max Holloway for the interim title in April for his fifth straight win. Nurmagomedov is a -450 favorite (risk $450 to win $100), while Poirier is a +360 underdog in the latest Nurmagomedov vs. Poirier odds. In the co-main event, Edson Barboza (-155) takes on Paul Felder (+135) in a lightweight clash. Before making your UFC 242 picks and Khabib vs. Poirier predictions, make sure you hear what SportsLine MMA expert Kyle Marley has to say.

Marley won the first-ever "ToutMaster" UFC betting contest sponsored by MMAOddsBreaker and is in contention to win this year's contest. He also appears regularly on multiple MMA betting and DFS shows. Over the past year, $100 bettors who have followed Marley's picks are up more than $21,000.

At UFC Fight Night 157, Marley advised SportsLine members to support Kai Kara-France (-260) against Mark De La Rosa (+220) in a flyweight matchup. He said that Kara-France would have a major edge in the stand-up game, and that was the deciding factor as he controlled the action in a unanimous-decision victory.

The MMA analyst was also all over the co-main event at UFC 241 as he predicted Nate Diaz (+110), returning from a three-year layoff, would win a unanimous decision against the dangerous Anthony Pettis. Marley predicted that Diaz's length and nonstop pace would overwhelm Pettis, and that's exactly what happened as the underdog dominated from the opening bell.  Anyone who followed his advice booked an easy winner and those who have followed him consistently are way up.

Now, with UFC 242 fast approaching, Marley has carefully studied every matchup, identified the best value in the UFC odds and released his MMA picks for every single fight. He's sharing those selections only over at SportsLine. 

Marley knows Nurmagomedov will be motivated for another dominant performance as the Russian champion faces possibly his toughest opponent yet in front of what is destined to be a supportive crowd. Skeptics of the undefeated titleholder once pointed to his relatively meager opposition, but that argument is becoming more difficult to support with each passing fight. Nurmagomedov's last four opponents all have been world-class caliber, and he gained a substantial set of new supporters following his brutal submission of McGregor at UFC 229.

Even so, many observers believe it's only a matter of time until any undefeated MMA fighter meets his match, and some believe the 30-year-old could see his spotless ledger ruined by the surging Poirier. The Louisiana native appears to be hitting his prime following a handful of setbacks while he climbed the ranks, including a loss to McGregor. But Poirier, 30, hasn't loss since a September 2016 stoppage at the hands of Michael Johnson.

His recent performances have been increasingly impressive and he is coming off a decision win over current featherweight champion Max Holloway in April for the interim title. You can see Marley's Khabib vs. Poirier picks at SportsLine.

We'll reveal one of Marley's UFC 242 predictions here: He's backing Maribek Taisumov (-255) to get the best of Diego Ferreira (+215) in a lightweight bout on the main card. 

Taisumov (27-5) has won six straight fights, but hasn't entered the octagon in nearly a year. In his last fight, he beat Desmond Green in a unanimous decision, while his five previous victories all came via knockout. Ferreira seeks his fifth straight win following a decision nod over Rustam Khabilov in February. He's lost two career fights.

"I like Taisumov as long as the fight stays standing, and I think he could get a knockout in any round," Marley told SportsLine.

Marley also has strong picks for Nurmagomedov vs. Poirier, Barboza vs. Felder and every other bout on the UFC 242 fight card. You can see them at SportsLine.

Who wins Poirier vs. Nurmagomedov and Felder vs. Barboza? And exactly how does each fight end? Visit SportsLine now to get detailed picks on all 13 fights at UFC 242, all from the incomparable expert who's up more than $21,000 on MMA in the past year, and find out. 

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