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UFC 299: Betting picks and analysis | O’Malley vs. Vera – Kanpai Media

Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Welcome, UFC Fans and Degens. Hovz here with a breakdown of the upcoming fights this weekend. There are a lot of exciting matchups so be sure to tune in to see my favorite bets for Saturday night. We had an amazing week last week, can we run it back? 

Main Event: O’Malley (-260) vs Vera (+210)

I am going to start by saying that I don’t think this fight can warrant a bet at these current odds. To start, I don’t think I can take Vera here because he starts far too slow, and I don’t trust that he will get ahead on the cards early. Whereas Sean O’Malley may not be ready for a war against Vera who always brings out the dog in him and fights his heart out. I can see O’Malley starting hot and slowing down as the fight goes on (if he doesn’t KOVera) and Vera taking over in the championship rounds. For these reasons I am going to skip this and not place a bet. For those of you wondering who I am leaning? I would say Vera. 

Pick: skip 

Co Main: Poirier (+185) vs Saint-Denis (-225)

I am not going to lie. When this fight was first announced, I was preying that Saint-Denis would open an underdog, but that was not the case. Saint-Denis has relentless pressure and an amazing ground game. He has strong hands and can KO anyone at any second. However, his one problem area is that he enters head first. I believe taking Poirier at these odds is a profitable bet. Poirier may be the “old guard” and he may have just gotten knocked out, but that was against Gaethje, a far superior striker. If Poirier can keep his distance and get his counter boxing going, it is going to be a tough night for Saint-Denis. The hope is for Poirier to read the entries by Saint-Denis and clip him with a left hook, out goes Saint-Denis. Take Poirier here, I still think he has a little magic in him.   

Pick: Poirier (+185)

Holland (-135) vs Page (+115)

The question is, how do you bet against a man named “MVP”? The answer is, when he’s fighting Holland. Believe it or not, but Holland is actually the younger fighter here. I understand that Page is the shiny new, hyped (deservedly so), fighter in the UFC but this is not an easy matchup for him. When Kevin Holland is on and not against a wrestler, he is a very dangerous striker. I believe that MVP is a great fighter, but he is not that elite level fighter people are thinking that he is. He is not the next Alex Pereira. This is the big show now and I don’t think Page is going to show up. I believe Holland won’t get baited into Page’s theatrics nor will he let Page catch him with his unorthodox striking. I expect Holland to keep the distance here and pick Page apart. 

Pick: Holland (-135)

Burns (+135) vs Maddalena (-160)

I am going to say it, Jack Della Maddalena is the best boxer in the UFC. I don’t see a world where JDM loses this fight. He is the younger, hungrier and longer fighter in this matchup. I don’t see Burns even getting close to matching up with JDM on the feet and I think he is going to have trouble taking JDM down. Through his fights in the UFC, JDM has shown very solid takedown defense and I think he will keep this fight on the feet. This is no knock against Burns, the man is an animal, and if you ask me he made Khamzat look human. But this fight against JDM just is not gonna work out for him. I believe JDM wins with convincing fashion. Smash the line. 

Pick: Maddalena (-160)

Yan (-135) vs Yadong (+120)

If anyone tells you they are confident on a winner in this fight, they are lying. This might be one of the harder matchups on the card to predict, but Yan is the side here. If this fight were to be a couple years ago, I can guarantee Yan would have been a massive favorite. Not to say that Yadong has not gotten better in the past couple years but Yan is an elite fighter, whereas Yadong is a scary fighter. Yadong has the advantage in terms of knockout power, but that’s about it. I believe Yan can mix things up in this fight, and he can negate the power of Yadong. Yan has very solid boxing and I don’t think Yadong is just going to walk over Yan. Keep in mind that Yan has lost some fights through some contreversial decisions, especially against O’Malley who is the current champ. The strategy for Yan here should be to rip the body of Yadong and slow him down into the final round. I see Yan winning a fairly close decision, but don’t go too big on Yan.

Pick: Yan (-135) 

Blaydes (+100) vs Almeida (-120)

This might be the bet of the year. This might also be the most disrespectful line of all time. Almeida has yet to show anything in terms of striking other than a front kick. The man clearly lacks the confident to stay on the feet and we have yet to see his boxing. Sure, you can say that he is so dominant on the ground, why should he strike? Well your answer is Curtis Blaydes. Blaydes is one of the best wrestlers in the division and I don’t see Almeida dominating Blaydes in the grappling department. I have enough confidence to believe that Blaydes will keep this fight standing, and hell even he might control Almeida from the top position and hit him with some ground and pound. Almeida’s takedown entries will be exposed by Blaydes and I would say taking Blaydes at underdog money is a steal. 

Pick: Blaydes (+100)

Cerminara (Chookagian) (+160) vs Barber (-190)

I am not going to sit here and tell you that Cerminara is an elite fighter, but I am also not going to tell you that she is NOT a good fighter. I think Cerminara is a very solid fighter, that may or may not ever become UFC champ, but she will always be very close. Barber is a scrapper as well, I think she always brings it and she has great confidence on herself. However, this fight is going to be a problem for Barber. I don’t think she has the one shot power that have given Cerminara problems in the past, and when Cerminara does not have to worry about a heavy hitter, she is very comfortable picking her opponents apart. She knows how to utilize her range and score points through the rounds. She may not be super dominant but she does not give her opponents room to put out a lot of offense. Cerminara has fought one of the best female fighters in the UFC and I don’t think Barber has what it takes to beat her. Take Cerminara at these odds and be happy you have a great ticket in your hand. 

Pick: Cerminara (+160)


    • Poirier (+185)
    • Holland (-135)
    • Maddalena (-160)
    • Yan (-135)
    • Blaydes (+100)
    • Cerminara (+160)

Every week I will give myself a $500 budget on bets and will divide accordingly. Please gamble with what you can afford to lose and change your unit sizes in accordance with your own budget. 

Last week we had a decent week and cashed out for some profit. The underdogs did not show up, but I think we placed some good bets. Let’s run this back. We went 3-2 on our picks. Total for the night +$42.73

YTD: +$911.64 (13-5)

BET ($500 budget) Amount Payout
Poirier (+185)                                  $50 $92.5
Holland (-135)  $60 $44.44
Maddalena (-160)         $160 $100      
Yan (-135)                               $50  $37.04         
Blaydes (+100) $100 $100
Cerminara (+160) $50 $80
Parlay: Poirier + JDM + Blaydes  $30 $247.88


Remember, while these picks are based on thorough research and analysis, MMA is unpredictable. Always bet responsibly and never more than you can afford to lose. Enjoy the fights, and lets do some damage!


I have trained in Mix Martial Arts for about 15 years now (started as a kid) and have had boxing/kickboxing fights. I had to stop fighting due to numerous injuries so I have moved my talents towards the analysis side of things. I am now a UFC betting expert and will send picks on every single UFC card.