UFC 299: O’Malley vs. Vera 2 Fight Card, Predictions, & Odds

min read
Sean O'Malley lands a left against Aljamain Sterling during their UFC 292 Bantamweight title mixed martial arts fight.
(AP Photo/Gregory Payan)
Anatoly Pimentel @AnatolyPimentel Mar 05, 2024, 7:35 PM
  • Sean O’Malley defends his UFC bantamweight title against No. 5-ranked contender Marlon Vera.
  • This is going to be their rematch after Vera defeated O’Malley during their first meeting in August 2020.
  • O’Malley is the betting favorite at -270, while Vera is the +220 betting underdog.

Sean O’Malley’s first UFC title defense of his bantamweight belt will be against a familiar foe in Marlon Vera as they headline the upcoming UFC 299 card on Saturday inside the Kaseya Center in Miami.

Vera was the first and only fighter to beat O’Malley by scoring a first-round TKO finish during their previous match in August 2020 at UFC 252. But despite that last victory over the current champion, he’s still the betting underdog at +220.

Meanwhile, due to his championship triumph and five-fight win streak, O’Malley is tagged as the betting favorite in UFC odds at -270. O’Malley wants to avenge that lone loss to his record and continue his reign in the 135-pound division.

Sean O’Malley Recent Fight Results

O’Malley entered the UFC through the Dana White Contender Series in July 2017, knocking out Alfred Khashakyan to earn a UFC contract. Since then, he has lived up to the hype surrounding his name by winning his first four fights in the promotion.

Vera momentarily stopped his rise to stardom due to the leg injury he suffered during their first fight, but “Suga” recovered from that setback and picked up five successive victories to become the undisputed king of the bantamweight division.

Marlon Vera Recent Fight Results

Vera is a 10-year UFC veteran, debuting in 2014. Unlike O’Malley, he had a roller-coaster journey to the top of the bantamweight and recorded 14 wins and seven losses in the UFC to stay afloat in the conversation for a title shot.

In August, the Ecuadorian MMA star officially punched his ticket for his first title fight when he masterfully beat Pedro Munhoz to pick up his 15th UFC win. Vera looks to reassert his mastery over his heated rival to claim the golden strap.

Sean O’Malley vs. Marlon Vera 2: Tale of the Tape

Sean O’MalleyMarlon Vera
Reach72 inches70.5 inches
Leg Reach40 inches40.5 inches
Fighting StyleStrikerBrazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Finishing Rate76%76%

Sean O’Malley vs. Marlon Vera 2: Fight Analysis

The first bout between O’Malley and Vera was a heavy striking affair where they exchanged powerful kicks and punches until the latter capitalized on the injury the former suffered in the opening round.

Vera claimed that he caused the injury on O’Malley’s leg by attacking them and checking several of his kicks, but according to O’Malley, it was because of his previous issues on that leg, and it resurfaced during the match.

Regardless of the injury’s origin, it will still be a massive factor going into this rerun between the two bantamweight heavy hitters. Vera is expected to target the same leg with lightning-quick kicks while O’Malley braces himself to counter it.

The key for Vera in this match is to try and utilize his grappling more to disrupt the momentum and rhythm of the defending champion. Furthermore, it could give him different looks that give him various variables to think about, especially since this will be a five-round clash.

On the other hand, O’Malley must impose his forward-pressure approach immediately and cut the angle off the challenger to set up his famous one-shot knockout power. His improved takedown defense should be enough to stop any attempts from Vera, and his primary motivation for revenge could be the deciding factor.

Official Prediction: TKO/KO victory for Sean O’Malley.

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About the Author

Anatoly Pimentel

Read More @AnatolyPimentel

Anatoly Pimentel is an NBA and MMA writer previously featured in ASEAN Sports, Asian Persuasion MMA, and Overtime Heroics MMA. He graduated from Adamson University with a B.A in Communication and is a Web Content Writer for BetMGM.

Anatoly Pimentel is an NBA and MMA writer previously featured in ASEAN Sports, Asian Persuasion MMA, and Overtime Heroics MMA. He graduated from Adamson University with a B.A in Communication and is a Web Content Writer for BetMGM.