For the final numeric pay-per-view of 2021, the UFC returns home to Las Vegas with a star-studded night to cap the year with UFC 269 at the T-Mobile Arena in Sin City. The main event of the night features a showdown between UFC Lightweight champion Charles Oliveira and the former interim champion, Dustin Poirier. Further down the card.
With Kamaru Usman and Colby Covington‘s rematch in the rearview mirror, another title fight will headline the monthly UFC showcase. Lightweight champion Oliveira is riding a nine-game winning streak and is fresh off winning the vacant UFC Lightweight Championship at UFC 262 vs. Michael Chandler. Oliveira was able to secure the victory via a second-round TKO and in the process, broke the record for most finishes at 17 in his Performance of the Night win. Though he has never matched up with Poirier in the past, Oliveira has a record of 31-8-1 and holds the UFC record for most submission wins in the organization’s history at 14. The 32-year old, already a multiple-time record holder, is truly a dynamic threat both standing up and on the mat.
His opponent, Dustin Poirier, is no stranger to big fights. His last bout was earlier this year against the legendary Conor McGregor at UFC 264 which he won via TKO doctor stoppage in the first round. In fact, this was the third fight in the Poirier vs. McGregor fight series and was the second consecutive victory for Poirier against McGregor giving him the rubber match edge. Poirier is known for his proficiency in the striking arts and has mainly finished his opponents via his furious and capable striking attacks. Poirier won the interim UFC Lightweight Championship back in 2019 as well by knocking off Max Holloway for the title via decision. Right now Poirier is favored over the champion by some of our partner sites and is in a prime position to take back his crown.
Prediction: Look for Poirier to take Oliveira to the limit when they match up. Though Oliveira has had many victories in the UFC, Poirier has already notched plenty of different high-profile wins and is hungry to take back his crown.
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The second title match of the evening will feature current Bantamweight Champion Amanda Nunes against the winner of The Ultimate Fighter (Team Rousey vs. Team Tate) Julianna Peña. The pair were previously supposed to match up at UFC 265 but Nunes tested positive for COVID-19 and the contest had to be pushed back. Going into this bout, Nunes is the heavy favorite, and for good reason.
For historical reference, she is the first woman to become a two-division UFC champion (she is also the featherweight crown holder), and the third fighter in UFC history to defend two titles while actively holding them. In that same breath, Nunes is also widely regarded as the greatest women’s mixed martial artist of all time by multiple publications. The Brazilian has not lost since 2014 and has beaten everyone from the likes of Ronda Rousey to Cris Cyborg.
Stepping up to face the challenge of knocking off Nunes is the challenger Julianna Peña. The 32-year old is coming off of a win over Sara McMann at UFC 257 where she won via rear-naked choke in the third round. Rated as the No. 5 contender in the UFC bantamweight rankings, Peña has shown a knack for winning in a variety of different ways with her victories being fairly split between knockouts (3), submissions (4), and decisions (3).
However, Peña has never faced an opponent of the caliber Nunes so this might be a difficult matchup for her to get off the ground. Though she has proven she can go the distance in the past for her wins, in all four of her losses she has only made it to the final bell once which is something to look for when it comes to prepping your wager.
Prediction: Nunes just has too much momentum for any fighter to get in her way at this point. She has been dominant in many of her wins and it should be much of the same at UFC 269.
Another interesting contest with odds and lines available in the welterweight matchup between Leon Edwards and Jorge Masvidal. From the start, Edwards has been picked as the favorite from some of our partner websites and he has also been riding a strong wave of momentum. The native of Kingston, Jamaica has not lost since late 2015 and is coming off of an impressive victory over Nate Diaz at UFC 263 earlier this year. In many of his fights, Edwards has been able to win via decision thanks to his balanced attack that scores well on the judge’s scorecards.
Opposite him will be Masvidal who holds the record for the fastest knockout in UFC history (five seconds) and he also holds the UFC “BMF” Championship belt. Masvidal is currently No. six in the UFC welterweight rankings (Edwards is third) and is coming off two straight losses to Usman at UFC 261 and 251, respectively. Despite these setbacks, Masvidal has had some impressive wins with his last also coming against Nate Diaz for the Symbolic “BMF” Championship at UFC 244.
Prediction: Look for this matchup to favor Edwards if it can go the distance or Masvidal if it goes the knockout route.
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