UFC 299 odds and predictions

Here are the odds for every UFC 299 fight plus who we think will win on Saturday night.
Oct 22, 2022; Abu Dhabi, UAE;  Sean O'Malley (blue gloves) defeats Petr Yan (red gloveS) during UFC
Oct 22, 2022; Abu Dhabi, UAE; Sean O'Malley (blue gloves) defeats Petr Yan (red gloveS) during UFC / Craig Kidwell-USA TODAY Sports
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Dustin Poirier (+170) vs. Benoît Saint-Denis (-205)

The lightweight co-main event between Poirier and Denis is a story of two fighters at different places in their careers. Poirier has fought the best at 155 pounds, held interim gold, and has been a staple at the top for years. Unfortunately, Poirier is coming off a brutal head-kick knockout to Justin Gaethje. Denis has looked like a wrecking machine, finishing his previous opponent, Matt Frevola with a head kick.

Denis is a young prospect, an absolute brute, and has finished all of his victories. His athleticism is impressive considering the fact he only started training in MMA shortly before his 2019 professional debut.

Denis is slightly taller, swings clubbing punches, and has a strong submission game. Poirier brings the experience, counterstriking, and ability to brawl throughout five rounds. Denis may have trouble pressuring and getting punches off on as good a counter boxer as Poirier. Denis also doesn't have the track record or level of competition to his name that Poirier does.

Poirier must rain heavy combinations on Denis, use his experience in pocket boxing, and gradually overwhelm Denis for five rounds. Denis must stay stubborn and pressure Dustin even when countered to land his power shots. If he can push Dustin against the fence, force him to the ground, and look for submissions, he may find his path to victory.

Prediction: Poirier by third-round TKO

Sean O'Malley (-270) vs. Marlon Vera (+220)

O'Malley and Vera have a score to settle in the bantamweight championship main event. The two seemed destined to rematch after Vera defeated O'Malley in one of the most scrutinized bouts in recent memory. A lot has changed since their previous 2020 meeting. The two men have gone from promising prospects to the best bantamweights in the world. This is O'Malley's first scheduled title defense.

Before Vera's fight-changing leg kick on O'Malley, the latter combatant had a great round and got a lot of shots off on the former. But let's remember, Vera undeniably caused the damage that changed the fight, and elbowed O'Malley unconscious.

O'Malley and Vera had different roads to the top. O'Malley went from brutalizing men outside the top 15 to taking a win over Yan and eventually knocking out former champion Sterling for the title. O'Malley's kickboxing, movement, and power have always been difference-makers. Vera collected knockouts over legends like Frankie Edgar and Dominic Cruz. He also showed his durability and superior defense in those fights, especially his five-round main-event win over Rob Font.

Vera tends to get out-pointed by opponents and uses his power later in fights to make up the difference. O'Malley may achieve success, but it will be hard to knock Vera out. Vera is beatable though, as he's dropped fights with José Aldo and most recently a unanimous decision to Sandhagen. Not overextending, picking Vera off from a distance, and gradually accumulating output are O'Malley's keys to victory. But, he must always be wary of Vera's fight-ending power.

Prediction: O'Malley by decision


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