Best UFC 299 Bets: Sean O'Malley v Marlon Vera 2 Picks

Best UFC 299 Bets: Sean O'Malley v Marlon Vera 2 Picks

The UFC returns to Miami, Florida for UFC 299 for a huge bantamweight title fight between undisputed champion Sean O'Malley and first-time challenger Marlon Vera, in a hotly anticipated rematch.

O'Malley fulfilled his potential to become the world champion with a knockout win over Aljamain Sterling last time out, and will look to claim revenge for the only defeat in his career against "Chito", who earned this title shot off the back of a win over Pedro Munhoz last time out.

We'll take a look at the main event of this stacked fight card and provide you with our best free UFC picks to see if we can earn you some extra cash while watching an incredible fight card.

UFC 299BetOnlineBetUSBovada
Sean O'Malley-288-290-260
Marlon Vera+248+230+210

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UFC 299 information

  • Saturday, March 9th 2024
  • Kaseya Center, Miami, Florida
  • Bantamweight Championship fight (135-pound limit)
  • 5 x 5 minute rounds
  • Main card start time 22:00 ET

Sean O'Malley v Marlon Vera

A fight between these world-class fighters has been anticipated for several years with O'Malley and Vera fighting once before, with the Ecuadorian claiming the TKO victory after "Suga" suffered a leg injury in the first-round.

O'Malley has since gone 5-0 (1 no contest) to become the world champion and gain superstar status across the MMA world and beyond, with many comparing him to the Notorious Conor McGregor.

He claimed stunning knockout victories over Thomas Almeida, Kris Moutinho and Raulian Paiva in his three fights in 2021, before a big rankings clash with Pedro Munhoz ended controversially as a no contest due to an accidental eye poke in the second round.

O'Malley then shocked the world when he claimed a controversial decision win over former world champion Petr Yan in Abu Dhabi to set up a title fight with Sterling, where he claimed a sensational highlight-reel knockout to become champion.

His professional record stands at 17-1 (1 no contest) with 12 knockouts.

He'll be standing across the octagon from long-time rival Vera, who has been granted this title shot based solely off the fact of his history with O'Malley.

Since his win over "Suga", Vera was defeated by Jose Aldo in his next outing before then picking up four consecutive wins over Davey Grant, Frankie Edgar, Rob Font and Dominick Cruz.

A split decision defeat against Cory Sandhagen came next in a title eliminator bout, but with a victory over Munhoz and O'Malley claiming the title the UFC saw an opportunity for a big pay-per-view main event grudge match.

Vera's professional record stands at 23-8-1 with eight knockouts and 10 submission victories.

Route to victory

This is going to be a fantastic bout between two mixed martial artists with fantastic striking skills, but also capable of taking things to the ground if needed.

O'Malley is a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu but has rarely had to use those skills in the octagon due to his phenomenal striking and range management, although he was able to show a glimpse of his abilities against Yan when he was taken down several times.

He also stuffed the takedown attempts of Sterling regularly in their title fight despite entering the bout with a back injury that meant he was unable to wrestle during his training camp. If Vera wants to win this fight, he will need to do better on the ground than Yan did with controlling O'Malley.

The first fight between these two was a tentative striking affair with "Suga" getting the better of the exchanges until his leg injury, before what seemed like a premature stoppage seconds before the end of the round.

Vera will undoubtedly look to target the leg again with low kicks but his boxing isn't the greatest and O'Malley will look to maintain the distance between them and land powerful counterstrikes to win the rounds and eventually the fight.

Marlon Vera to beat Sean O'Malley

Check out our review for BetOnline sports betting here.

UFC Picks: Sean O'Malley to retain @ -260

Vera has got a great chance of winning the title in this fight, because he has already beaten O'Malley before and is the only person who can enter the octagon with him with that feeling.

His striking skills are powerful enough to hurt O'Malley if he lands flush, while he has got the grappling skills that make him a threat if he chooses to go that route also.

However, their first meeting saw O'Malley largely win the striking battle on the feet in the opening five minutes before a freak leg injury prevented his movement. But he hurt Vera early and if he continues to land cleanly over the course of a five-round fight he could well claim the knockout.

It seems more likely though that both fighters will be a little more tentative to ensure they have a chance of success, and that makes a longer fight more predictable. The longer the fight goes on however, especially if it's on the feet, O'Malley's chances of success grow.

Back the reigning champion to retain his title in a not-so-flashy performance that earns him revenge, but also likely raises more questions from his doubters.

Sean O'Malley to beat Marlon Vera

Check out our review for Bovada sports betting here.