UFC 299: O’Malley vs. Vera 2 Predictions

Sean O’Malley (C) vs. Marlon Vera (5)

O’Malley (17-1-0) is trying to not only defend his title, but get his sole loss avenged against Marlon “Chito” Vera (23-8-1). The two had last fought in 2020, where Vera would win by TKO in Round 1. In O’Malley’s mind, the loss is a fluke due to an injury he suffered in his foot/leg. Since that fight, Sean has garnered a 5 fight win streak. While Vera put together a nice 4 fight win streak before losing to Cory Sandhagen (17-4-0) and most currently, taking a decision win.

Some things to note are that O’Malley has a 3″ inch height advantage and a 1.5″ inch reach advantage. Sean is also two years younger than Chito. This fight is going to be a ton of fun. O’Malley has shown massive improvement in his game since joining the UFC and fighting Vera last. I think he will take this one inside the distance and be the first one to stop the super tough Vera. O’Malley is just too fast and starts much quicker than Vera, who likes to download his opponent’s data and take things at his pace.

I also think he will be prepared and constantly checking those kicks from Chito, he has a great team around him and is very coachable. I have also heard the Chito has had a tough camp. I don’t see this going well for him.

Pick: O’Malley (Inside the Distance: 70%, Decision: 30%)

Dustin Poirier (3) vs. Benoit Saint-Denis (12)

In another banger, “The Diamond” Poirier (29-8-0) takes on the streaking Saint-Denis (13-1-0) for the co-main event. Saint-Denis is currently on a 5 fight win-streak against some good competition. Some of which include Matt Frevola (11-4-1) and Thiago Moises (17-7-0). Poirier, of course, has a resume that speaks for itself. Wins over Michael Chandler (23-8-0), Conor McGregor (22-6-0), and Max Holloway (25-7-0).

These two are both hard hitting, go-forward fighters that are going to put on a great show. Some differences between the two are that Saint-Denis is 7 years younger and 2″ inches taller. He is also part of the “new-guard” per-se where is Poirier is part of the old. One thing that worries me for Poirier is the age, the fact that he was knocked out by Justin Gaethje (25-4-0) brutally in his last fight, and that Saint-Denis has almost 70% of his wins by way of submission. 40% of Dustin’s losses are by submission.

What worries me for Saint-Denis is that he is still pretty green. Only 14 fights in, he is still a young fighter that is coming up. Poirier could be the one to stop the hype train. I do slightly lean Saint-Denis though, I feel the submission advantage is there and he is very physically strong and imposing fighter. As long as he doesn’t get clipped, he should win.

Pick:  Saint-Denis (Submission: 60%), Poirier (TKO/KO: 40%)

Kevin Holland (13) vs. Michael Page (UNR)

Kevin Holland (25-10-0) is looking to spoil Michael “Venom” Page’s (21-2-0) welcome to the UFC. After a long awaited entrance, Page is going straight for a great matchup that should provide a finish. Holland is coming off a split decision snoozer against Jack Della Maddalena (16-2-0). While Page is coming off a win against Goiti Yamauchi (28-6-0) by leg kick in the first round.

A few things to note are that Holland is 5 years younger than Page and has a 2″ inch reach advantage. I don’t see the reach advantage being too much of a factor as both are 6″3 and seem to be lanky fighters. Both of these guys will be looking to stand and put on a show for the fans. I think Holland has faced tougher opposition but I don’t want to discount Page’s resume. He does have some great wins and really only has one true definitive loss, a KO by Douglas Lima (33-11-0) back in 2019.

I am going to with Page winning this one and getting the first UFC W. I unfortunately don’t think it will be a very eventful fight. I find with Holland that he can be very hit or miss. Most of the time though, when facing a great striker, he looks lost. I am taking Page via decision.

Pick: Page (Decision: 80%, TKO/KO: 20%)

Gilbert Burns (4) vs. Jack Della Maddalena (11)

Burns (22-6-0) takes on the streaking Australian Della Maddalena (16-2-0). Currently riding a 16 fight win streak, he hasn’t lost since 2016 and boasts an almost 70% TKO/KO percentage. Burns on the other hand, is coming off of a loss to Belal Muhammad (23-3-0) by UD.

These two are have only a 1″ inch height difference and Della Maddalena has a 2″ inch reach advantage on Burns. One giant difference is that Jack is only 27 to Burns’ being 37. A 10 year age gap plays a huge role in fighting, especially at 170 and below. Though Burns has obviously fought the better opposition, I think Della Maddalena will continue his streak and get a TKO win here. Gilbert always comes to bang and will definitely take it to the Aussie. Should make for a great fight.

I am going with Della Maddalena to get the KO/TKO win here.

Pick: Della Maddalena (TKO: 70%, Decision: 30%)

Petr Yan (4) vs. Yadong Song (7)

Yan (16-5-0) has had a tough go of it in the UFC lately, he is currently on a 3 fight losing streak to great opposition. Some of which include Merab Dvalishvili (17-4-0), current champion Sean O’Malley (17-1-0), and Aljamain Sterling (23-4-0). Song (21-7-1) is on a two fight win-streak over Chris Gutierrez (20-5-2) and Ricky Simón (20-5-0).

Song is only 26 years old compared to Yan at 31. He also has a 1″ inch reach advantage. Besides that, the two are identical. I am going with Song on this one by UD. I think that he will be too much for Yan and will keep trying to take him down at will. Song is also super strong and has shown an ability to go all three rounds without slowing down too much.

I unfortunately think this will be another additions to Yan’s tough losing streak.

Pick: Song (Decision: 100%)