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UFC 269: Oliveira vs Poirier Odds, Best Bets, and Predictions
The UFC returns this weekend with another massive pay-per-view, sporting two Championship fights and a ton of ranked bouts. Last week, where I thought I was seeing the board clearly, I was made a fool. THIS WEEK will be different. I've returned to my roots and my mind is now clear and focused. I studied the game tape and I'm back this week with Best Bets that'll blow my old best bets out of the water. Here are three fights on the card that I love, and how I see them playing out:
Ryan Hall (-210) vs Darrick Minner (+176)
If you knew nothing about MMA and sat down to watch a Ryan Hall fight, you would think the only reason he was in the Octogan was that he won a raffle at his local rotary club. He looks more like an NYU student than he does a fighter, and he spends the majority of his time in the cage rolling around on the ground and grabbing at people’s ankles. What a weirdo, right?
Well, you might want to catch your tongue before Ryan Hall hears you and tears every ligament in your knee in the blink of an eye. Not only is Ryan Hall a black belt in BJJ, but he’s a two-time world Jiu-Jitsu Champion and has won several open Championships and National Championships. He’s the only fighter to ever submit UFC Hall of Famer BJ Penn in the octagon and was sporting an undefeated UFC record before his most recent fight, which was a KO loss to Ilia Topuria.
His opponent, Darrick Minner, is 2-2 inside of the UFC, with his most recent fight being a TKO loss to UFC veteran Darren Elkins. Minner’s game is mostly ground-based as well, with 22 of his 26 career wins coming via submission. At the same time, Minner has also shown himself to be susceptible to submissions, losing 8 of his 12 career losses via submission (most commonly the armbar).
If you love the stand-and-bang fights that are guaranteed to deliver a highlight, I would maybe recommend turning off your TV for this one. However, if you’re like me and love the back and forth warfare of a good old-fashioned grappling match, then this may as well be your main event. I think Ryan Hall should be able to get this one done, seeing as even though Minner has some great ground game he still barely holds a candle to what Hall can do in that same realm.
Prediction: Ryan Hall by Submission or on Points (-200)
Josh Emmett (-166) vs Dan Ige (+140)
The last fight of the prelims sees two featherweights with massive power and flare collide in what could very well end up being the fight of the night. Josh Emmett comes into this fight riding a three-fight win streak and will look to extend it to four with a win over Dan Ige, who is 1-2 in his last three. While both men have power, it’s obvious to see that Josh Emmett has POWER (all caps) and fights with frozen turkeys as hands. Emmett has won his last two fights via knockout, and has one of the deadliest KO finishes you’ll ever see back in 2017 against Ricardo Lamas.
One of Ige’s biggest flaws is he tends to block punches with his face–which is doable (yet not advisable) against an average striker, but he’ll have to be careful going up against someone like Emmett who has the proven ability to turn your lights off in an instant. This fight has serious barroom brawl potential, and I can see the two slugging it out for a majority of the fight. Ultimately, I think Emmett will land more frequently with more power, and hand Ige his second loss of the year.
Prediction: Josh Emmett (-166), Josh Emmett via TKO/KO (+280),
Sean O Malley (-300) vs Raulian Paiva (+245)
The Suga Show returns this weekend in a Bantamweight bout against budding prospect Raulian Paiva, who is looking to capitalize on his most recent victory over Kyler Phillips, who is a teammate of O’Malley’s. Everyone and their mother is riding high on Sean O’Malley, and for good reason–O’Malley has shown excellent striking and power for his size and apparently has a whole bag of tricks on the ground we haven’t even seen yet. However, this fight proves to be the hardest of O’Malley’s career, because Raulian Paiva ain't no joke. He’s riding high on a three-fight win streak, and comes into this fight with literally nothing to lose–the entire world has already written him off, so he has a real chance to shock the world and end the Sean O’Malley hype train. Add on the fact that O’Malley seemed more focused on Cody Garbrandt than his actual opponent at Thursday’s press conferences, and we have ourselves the perfect recipe for an upset.
Prediction: Raulian Paiva (+245), Fight to go the Distance YES (+126), O’Malley via Knockout (+110) ←let’s just be safe and hedge our bets a little bit, no?