Kicking off the PPV main card at UFC 269 is a battle between two dynamic strikers in the bantamweight division. The Suga Show is back as Sean O’Malley (14-1) takes on Brazilian standout Raulian Paiva (21-3).
This is a massive opportunity for Raulian Paiva to really put himself on the map at 135 pounds. Paiva made his UFC debut at 17-1 and he did it in the flyweight division. However, he got off to a rough start.
Paiva lost his first two fights and ultimately moved up in weight. He’s now on a three-fight winning streak which includes a win over O’Malley’s teammate in Kyler Phillips.
That said, Paiva has a tall mountain to climb at UFC 269. Sean O’Malley is one of the more dynamic fighters in all the UFC. He’s incredibly talented wherever the fight takes place, but he shines in the stand up.
O’Malley is huge for the weight class and he’s going to have a big size advantage on Saturday night. After suffering his first loss to Chito Vera last year, O’Malley has bounced back with two solid wins this year.
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This is such a great fight to kick off the PPV main card because you have two guys who will stand in there and strike. These two will put on a show at UFC 269.
For Paiva, it’s going to be key to try and use his speed to his advantage. As mentioned, he’s going to be the smaller man in the cage so he’s going to need to be scappy.
On the flip side, O’Malley needs to keep the fight at range where he will have a big advantage. I’m expecting a kick-heavy attack from The Suga Show on Saturday night.
Ultimately, I’m finding a hard time seeing Paiva winning this fight. While I think he will put up a good fight, I think O’Malley catches him clean and puts him away in the second round.
Prediction: Sean O’Malley by TKO – Round 2