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UFC 298: O’Malley vs. Vera 2 Betting Preview & Picks | Johnny Covers

Petr Yan (-115) vs. Song Yadong (-105)

The fact this is the first fight of the main card shows the insane quality of fights that we could be getting at UFC 299. 

Yan will be looking to stop a three-fight slight, as he has now run into three future champions or #1 contenders in Aljo, Suga Sean, and Merab, losing all narrowly by decision. Even through that murderer’s row, Yan has maintained a 5.04 significant strikes landed per minute clip combined with 1.71 takedowns per 15 minutes.

As for Yadong, despite a two-fight win streak, his competition has been Ricky Simon and Chris Gutierrez, two decent mid-tier fighters but neither close to the caliber that Yan has faced. Trailing in all major categories, I like for Yan to rack up points early and often and win on points, if not earlier. 

Pick: Petr Yan (-115 at FanDuel Sportsbook)

Kevin Holland (-135) vs. Michael Page (+115)

Michael “Venom” Page makes his long-awaited UFC debut on Saturday night in Miami, as he’ll look to carry over the success he’s had in Bellator to the biggest promotion of them all. With a 16-2 record under the Bellator banner, Page has a sniper of a right hand, and an above-average ground game for his size as well.

Kevin Holland will be looking to play spoiler, however, as he looks to get back into the win column following a September loss to Jack Della Maddalena. If he does, keeping this fight off the ground will be key, as Page is the much better grappler and surely is looking to exploit that come Saturday night. 

Despite being six years older, I think Page still has the strength to get Holland down and keep him there in what I think could be a more boring fight than many expect. 

Pick: Michael Page (+115 at FanDuel Sportsbook)

Moneyline Parlay:

Gilbert Burns (+140) vs. Jack Della Maddalena (-165)

As good as Burns has been for the UFC, a professional in every sense, the cracks are starting to show. He now steps into the octagon facing an up-and-coming fighter in Jack Della Maddelena who is 10 years his junior. 

Since dropping his first two professional fights (2016), Maddalena has been a terror, winning 16 straight including his first six in the UFC. As for Burns, who is just 2-2 in his past four fights, his wins come against two fellow fading fighters Neil Magny and Jorge Masvidal. 

Della Maddalena gets this one done, likely inside the distance. 

Sean O’Malley (-250) vs. Marlon Vera (+210)

Make no mistake, as a passionate fan of fighting, I am a “Chito” fan. That said, his 2020 win over O’Malley absolutely came with a big splash of luck, as O’Malley’s left knee went dead in the very first round. With a record of 5-2 in the time since though, Chito has absolutely earned this rematch, this time for a title. 

The problem for him coming into Saturday though is that O’Malley has significantly improved since then. Arguably the best striker in the sport, O’Malley most recently tuned up Aljo Sterling in the second round to claim the belt. 

What edges Chito does have on the ground, I think O’Malley’s big reach advantage here mostly negates. Though I can see this dragging out to a decision, O’Malley remains champ and redeems his only loss. 

Pick: Della Maddalena / O’Malley (+132 at DraftKings Sportsbook)

Johnny Covers

Johnny has been covering the sports betting markets and handicapping UFC for the better part of the past decade. Along the way, he has written for publications such as Oddschecker, Betting Pros, Sportsbook Review, Yardbarker, and many more. Johnny runs giving out free UFC analysis and picks on every card, going 56% in 2021, 65% in 2022, and trending at 60% for 2023. He has also made multiple appearances on UFC's official betting show "On the Line" along side head MMA oddsmaker at Circa Sportsbooks Nick Kalikas and professional sports bettor Gianni the Greek .