UFC 299 Main Event Preview: Sean O’Malley – Chito Vera 2

MMA: UFC 280-Yan vs O'Malley

Tomorrow night in the main event of UFC 299, the bantamweight title is on the line in a rematch. The champion “Suga” Sean O’Malley (17-1, 1 NC) will look to avenge his one career loss as he takes on Marlon “Chito” Vera (23-8-1).

These two first fought back in 2020 when O’Malley really started to take off. However, Vera set him back by finishing him in the first round. O’Malley was hindered by calf kicks from Vera and that ultimately led to Vera getting on top of him and finishing the fight near the end of the first round.

Since the O’Malley fight, Vera has gone 5-2 with the only two losses coming against Jose Aldo and Cory Sandhagen. The last time we saw Vera was back in August when he defeated Pedro Munhoz by decision. That same night, O’Malley knocked out Aljamain Sterling to become the champion.

Following the loss to Vera, O’Malley won three straight before a No Contest against Munhoz. He then defeated former UFC champion Petr Yan before getting his shot against Aljamain Sterling in August. Coming in as the champ, O’Malley is looking to avenge his loss and successfully defend his title for the first time.

UFC 299 Prediction

In the first fight, it really felt that O’Malley was getting the better of things before the calf kicks from Vera took him out. I believe that Sean O’Malley is the cleaner striker and I also think that he’ll have a speed advantage. O’Malley also is longer than Vera and that’ll help him fight from distance.

Vera also struggles getting going from time to time. In the fight against Cory Sandhagen, he looked like he was stuck in the mud the entire time. We’ve seen Vera have to come from behind in fights because he starts so slow. If he starts slow at UFC 299, he could be in serious trouble.

Ultimately, I just think that we are going to see these two trade for the majority of the fight and I think that O’Malley is the better striker. I don’t think he’s going to finish Vera, but he’ll do enough with landing clean and a higher clip which will result in a decision win with him retaining his title.

Prediction: Sean O’Malley by Decision

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