UFC

UFC 299: O’Malley vs. Vera 2 Preview

UFC 299 features an exciting card, as Sean O'Malley looks to avenge his only UFC loss against Marlon "Chito" Vera.

March 5, 2024

UFC 299 will take place Saturday, March 9 in Miami. The five-fight main card begins at 10 p.m. EST, following a series of preliminary bouts. The Bantamweight Title Bout between Sean O’Malley and Marlon “Chito” Vera headlines the action, with Dustin Poirier vs. Benoit Saint-Denis, Kevin Holland vs. Michael Page, Gilbert Burns vs. Jack Della Maddalena, and Petr Yan vs. Song Yadong making up the rest of the main card.

Tipico Sportsbook currently offers moneyline wagers on UFC 299’s main card and undercard bouts, with odds for additional betting options such as method of victory likely to surface as Saturday’s action draws nearer. The listed odds for each fight are as of Tuesday morning and could change in the coming days.

Sean O’Malley (-280) vs. Marlon Vera (+225)

O’Malley will be defending his title Saturday after taking over as the UFC Bantamweight Champion with a victory over Aljamain Sterling at UFC 292. The 29-year-old O’Malley has a 17-1-0 record, with 12 of those wins coming by knockout. The Montana native’s lone loss came against Vera via first-round TKO back in 2020, but O’Malley has gone 5-0 since then.

Vera has a less impressive 21-8-1 record, though he’s 5-1 in his last six fights, with the lone loss coming in a competitive split decision against Cory Sandhagen just under a year ago. Eight of Vera’s victories have come by knockout, with another eight by submission. The 31-year-old Ecuadorian makes for an appealing bet as a +225 underdog given his head-to-head edge against O’Malley.

Dustin Poirier (+175) vs. Benoit Saint-Denis (-220)

Saturday’s co-main event isn’t a title fight, but there’s plenty of hype nonetheless over the Poirier vs. Saint-Denis matchup. Poirier has a record of 29-8-0, but age could be starting to catch up to the 35-year-old American, who has lost two of his last three fights. In his most recent bout, Poirier was knocked out by a head kick from Justin Gaethje last July.

Poirier should have the American crowd on his side, but that’s unlikely to be enough to overcome the favored Saint Denis. The 28-year-old Frenchman boasts a 13-1-0 record, with every win coming by either knockout or submission. Since losing to Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos in 2021, Saint Denis has bounced back with a five-fight winning streak.

Kevin Holland (-130) vs. Michael Page (+110)

Holland and Page will face off in a welterweight bout at UFC 299. Holland is 25-10-0 overall but just 2-3 in his last five fights. The 31-year-old American will take on a 36-year-old Brit in Page, who will be making his UFC debut. Page has an impressive 21-2-0 record, but Holland has faced a higher level of competition and is closer to his physical prime, which explains why Holland is slightly favored.

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Gilbert Burns (+145) vs. Jack Della Maddalena (-170)

Burns vs. Della Maddalena is an all-Brazilian welterweight bout on UFC 299’s main card. Burns is the elder statesman between these two compatriots at age 37. He’s 22-6-0 but has dropped three of his last six fights. Della Maddalena lost his first two fights but has won 16 straight since, bringing his career record to 16-2-0. The 27-year-old Della Maddalena is favored to extend his winning streak, and recent results suggest he’s likely to do just that.

Petr Yan (-115) vs. Song Yadong (-105)

The bantamweight bout between Yan and Yadong is the only main card fight at UFC 299 between two fighters from the Eastern Hemisphere. Yan is 16-5-0 overall, but he has lost each of his last three fights. All three recent defeats came by decision, and two of those were split decisions, including a 2022 defeat at the hands of O’Malley. Half of Yan’s career wins have come via decision, so the 31-year-old Russian is used to going the distance.

Yadong has won five of his last six fights to improve to 21-7-1 overall. The Chinese 26-year-old is the youngest fighter on the UFC 299 main card. Given the ascendant trajectory of Yadong’s career compared to Yan’s recent lack of success, Yadong makes for an appealing betting option as a slight underdog.

Sasha Yodashkin
Sasha Yodashkin has been contributing NFL, NHL, NBA, MLB and Tennis content to RotoWire since 2015, with an emphasis on DFS. He is a huge New York sports fan who has been playing fantasy sports since middle school.
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