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COBE'S TOP PICKS UFC 269


Charles Oliveira vs Dustin Poirier

Lightweight


Charles Oliveira's 14 Submissions are the most by any fighter in UFC history. He is a true mixed martial artist though. You can just look to his last victory over Michael Chandler by knockout. He is currently riding a 9 fight win streak.


Dustin Poirier is a high output brawler averaging over 5.5 strikes per minute. Dustin prefers to keep fights standing but will mix in Takedowns when he has an opponent hurt so he can deliver some vicious Ground and Pound.


The early betting lines have Dustin Poirier as the favourite. I see that as more of a reaction to his high profile victories over the sports largest personality Conor McGregor, than a true comparison of abilities. The stat that sticks out to me when comparing these fighters is Poirier's Takedown Defense. He stuffs 60% of Takedowns. Oliveira mixes in Takedowns every Round, and has a Ground game superior to Poirier's. I expect Charles to secure a Takedown in every Round, and wear down Dustin. Eventually I expect him to find an opening and go for a Submission.


Prediction
- Charles Oliveira to Win +130
Method of Victory
- Submission


Amanda Nunes vs Julianna Pena

Bantamweight


Amanda Nunes is an absolute beast. Her last two fights were at Featherweight so she will have to shed another 10lbs for this one. That might be the greatest factor in this fight. Whether the additional weight cut can slow her down some. Nunes has been absolutely dominant, and is dangerous everywhere.


Julianna Pena pretty much gets the title shot by default. The UFC are running out of legitimate challengers for Nunes. Pena is 2-2 over her last 4 fights with losses coming against the better fighters she has faced in that span. Pena has a great Ground game and is a BJJ specialist so look for her to get this fight to the mat asap.


Amanda Nunes is a huge favourite in this match as she should be. She is the far superior fighter standing, physically stronger, and her Ground game is more than sufficient to deal with Pena's Jujitsu. I expect Nunes to get top position and punish Pena both while standing and with Ground and Pound.


Prediction
- Amanda Nunes to win -935
Method of Victory
- TKO


Geoff Neal vs Alexander Ponzinibbio

Welterweight


Geoff Neal is a Striking specialist with heavy hands. His only weakness when standing is against high level elusive movement. Neal likes to keep fights standing, and generally only goes for Takedowns when he's in trouble. He has knockout power in both hands.


Alexander Ponzinibbio is a volume Striker with great combinations. He has a solid chin, and is looking to keep the fight standing. He was one of the Top Welterweights before an injury caused him to be away from competition for two years.


Expect this fight to be a slugfest. Both fighters are only a couple wins away from the top ranks in the Welterweight division. I give a slight advantage to Geoff Neal because of his power. If Ponzinibbio can weather the early storm he could win by decision. This fight may not go the distance, and if it doesn't I like Neal to get the KO.


Prediction
- Geoff Neal to win -115
Method of Victory
- TKO


Kai Kara-France vs Cody Garbrandt

Flyweight


Kai Kara-France is a quick volume striker with great head movement when he's in close. He prefers to keep the fight standing and has limited Ground skills.


Cody Garbrandt makes his Flyweight debut. A true mixed Martial Artist with great wrestling and knockout power. He prefers to use his wrestling in order to keep fights standing. His chin is suspect with multiple knockout losses as a result. At Flyweight it's possible that won't be as much of an issue.


I expect both fighters to land some solid shots early. I just feel that Garbrandt has the heavier hands as a true Bantamweight. His strikes should deal more damage, and his wrestling could be the difference if Kai hurts him.


Prediction
- Cody Garbrandt to win -175
Method of Victory
- Decision

Sean O'Malley vs Raulian Paiva

Bantamweight


Sean O'Malley is a pure Striker who has a long reach for the Division. He has an impressive arsenal of Strikes, and possesses knockout power in his hands and feet. That being said when pressured he is still accurate but loses a lot of his striking power.


Raulian Paiva is a precise counter striker with decent wrestling. He has great conditioning and a solid chin.


Sean O'Malley's last fight wasn't the highlight reel match everyone expected. Kris Moutinho showed a tonne of heart and kept coming forward. He was only in real trouble once during the fight. Unfortunately Herb Dean decided to punish him for his perseverance, and stopped the fight 30 seconds before the final bell. The UFC doesn't want their future star to be humbled again. By matching Sean O'Malley against a smaller, shorter, counter striker with less reach. They have practically guaranteed him a knockout.


Prediction
- Sean O'Malley to Win -350
Method of Victory
- TKO



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