UFC 269 Main Card Gambling Preview: Full thoughts on Oliveira-Poirier, Nunes-Pena and more
We have a LOADED card for UFC 269 tonight.
No time to beat around the bush, so let's get right into it. Fight lines provided by our friends at DraftKings Sportsbook - which has a great deal for first-time users this weekend.
Lightweight Title Fight: Charles Oliveira (+135) vs Dustin Poirier (-155)
This fight is going to be ELECTRIC! Charles Oliveira, for those who are unfamiliar with the UFC, is the current lightweight champion (145-155lb weight class). You hear stories of certain fighters trying to duck people and strategically fight opponents they know they can beat. Oliveira is not one of those dudes, he fights anyone and everyone. He holds a record of 31-8 and just defeated Michael Chandler in May to capture his first ever title. Here's the catch, it's not like he defeated the reigning champion in Chandler. The title was vacant following Khabib's retirement because of his father's sudden passing. Having said all of this, Oliveira is still going to give the world an awesome title fight, but his unique ascend to being the champion parlayed with Poirier's back-to-back defeats vs Conor McGregor is the reason that Oliveira is actually an underdog in this title fight.
Oliveira has never fought an opponent like Dustin "The Diamond" Poirier. Poirier's resume is loaded with notable wins against Gaethje, Hooker, and McGregor (twice) with a quality title fight loss to Khabib. Poirier is a significant fight assassin while Oliveira has 19 wins via submission. Oliveira's rise to the top has been an entertaining journey, but Dustin Poirier is simply too skilled for him. Whether he wins via TKO or if it goes the distance is a toss up, I'm going to play it safe and take Poirier to win outright.
Official Pick: Dustin Poirier (-155)
Women's Bantamweight Title Fight: Amanda Nunes (-1000) vs Julianna Pena (+650)
When Someone is a -1000 favorite, you're not really second guessing who's going to win. But Pena's confidence is going to make this fight interesting. Every time there has been a microphone in front of her face, she's not shy about calling out the current Women's Bantamweight Champion. Confidence is vital when it comes to UFC. You cannot walk into the octagon with doubt in your mind, you have to truly believe you are the most dangerous person in the arena. Pena talks the talk, but she really hasn't backed it up. Pena is only 2-2 in her last 4 fights dating back to 2017. Pena certainly has a puncher's chance in this fight, but Nunes is a different animal. She's ranked the top pound for pound female fighter in the world and is going for her sixth title defense. We shouldn't overthink this. Nunes by TKO.
Official Pick: Amanda Nunes via TKO/KO (-165)
Additional Main Card Fights
Sean O'Malley (-320) vs Raulian Paiva (+250)
One of the brightest stars in the UFC "Suga" Sean O'Malley is must see TV every time he steps into the octagon. He has been compared to a young Conor McGregor by his early domination in the octagon and his ability to market himself. Suga Sean is a bit of a unicorn for the bantamweight division as he stands at 5'11 and has a reach of 72 inches. Comparably, Paiva stands at 5'8 and holds a 69.5 inch reach. Paiva is a very experienced fighter with 24 fights under his belt (21-3 record), but this fight is going to test his skillset in every way imaginable. Suga Sean has knocked out 10 of his 14 opponents, but he is not afraid to sit back and let the fight come to him. With his height and reach advantage, he doesn't have to be the aggressor, and Paiva knows this. I think it is fairly certain Suga Sean O'Malley escapes with a victory, but the bigger question is whether the fight goes the distance or not. I am going to go out on a limb here and predict it does go the distance. O'Malley will be able to control the pace of the fight and secure the victory via decision.
Official Pick: Sean O'Malley via Decision (+200)
Cody Garbrandt (-135) vs Kai Kara-France (+115)
Cody "No Love" Garbrandt is coming off of a cold stretch, to put it politely. He has only won one fight since 2017. No Love, the former bantamweight champion, has announced his move to the flyweight division for this bout to fight Kai "Don't Blink" Kara-France. Garbrandt is a rather large name in the fighting community because of his impressive MMA background as he has 10 knockouts on his resume. Kara-France, on the other hand, is ranked as the #6 fighter in his weight class. The most interesting thing about this fight, in my opinion, is their measurables. Garbrandt is three inches taller than Kara-France, but Kara-France boasts a 69 inch reach compared to Garbrandt's 65.5 inches. You would expect Kara-France to take full advantage of the reach and load up on body shots. This one is as close as a pick'em as they get. Considering Garbrandt's weight class change and his recent cold stretch, I think it's the perfect bounce back opportunity. I like "No Love" to reinvent himself here.
Official Pick: Cody Garbrandt (-135)
Geoff Neal (+110) vs Santiago Ponzinibbio (-130)
Santiago Ponzinibbio is an incredible talent, but he can't seem to find himself in the cage all too often. Between taking a break because of the global pandemic and a staph infection, he didn't compete in 2019 or 2020. Ponzinibbio is now 35 years old, but with a win he could find himself in the top 5 in the welterweight division. If he wants one more shot at the title, this is a must-win. His opponent on the other hand is an absolute brawler. Geoff Neal is the type of guy who has no issue trading blows back and forth rather than just sitting back in a defensive style. I think Santiago is well rested coming off a two year break and he has more to prove. They say that a hungry dog runs faster, and Santiago is just that.
Official Pick: Santiago Ponzinibbio (-130)
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