UFC 269: Oliveira vs. Poirier Odds, Predictions and Pre-Weigh-In Hype

Alex Ballentine@Ballentine_AlexFeatured ColumnistDecember 9, 2021

UFC 269: Oliveira vs. Poirier Odds, Predictions and Pre-Weigh-In Hype

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    The UFC will close out its 2021 pay-per-view calendar with a championship doubleheader Saturday, with Dustin Poirier and Charles Oliveira serving as the marquee fight for the lightweight title.

    The Diamond has been one of the top challengers in the division for some time. He came up short in his bid to take the title from Khabib Nurmagomedov and then had two fights with Conor McGregor, while Oliveira was busy claiming the title left behind by The Eagle when he retired.

    Now the two will have a chance to add further legitimacy to the title in the wake of that retirement that stunned the division.

    There is no question right now as to who is the best fighter in the women's bantamweight division. Amanda Nunes has reigned supreme since 2016 with little resistance. Julianna Pena will look to change that when she finally gets a crack at the belt in the co-main event.

    Saturday's card boasts plenty of depth. Multiple fights will factor directly into their respective division's title picture. Here's the full slate and the latest on what key fighters are saying before the weigh-ins.

UFC 269 Fight Card, Schedule and Odds: December 11

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    Main Card (ESPN+ PPV at 10 p.m. ET)

    • Dustin Poirier -160 (wager $160 to win $100) vs. Charles Oliveira (c) +140 (wager $100 to win $140)
    • Amanda Nunes (c) -900 vs. Julianna Pena +600
    • Geoff Neal +110 vs. Santiago Ponzinibbio -130
    • Cody Garbrandt -135 vs. Kai Kara-France +115
    • Sean O'Malley -300 vs. Raulian Paiva +235


    Prelims (ESPN2/ESPN+ at 8 p.m. ET)

    • Josh Emmett -165 vs. Dan Ige +145
    • Dominick Cruz +100 vs. Pedro Munhoz -120
    • Augusto Sakai -110 vs. Tai Tuivasa -110
    • Bruno Silva -365 vs. Jordan Wright +280


    Early Prelims (UFC Fight Pass at 6:15 p.m. ET)

    • Andre Muniz -135 vs. Eryk Anders +115
    • Miranda Maverick -135 vs. Erin Blanchfield +115
    • Alex Perez -335 vs. Matt Schnell +260
    • Ryan Hall -200 vs. Darrick Minner +170
    • Randy Costa -180 vs. Tony Kelley+155
    • Gillian Robertson -400 vs. Priscila Cachoeira +300

    Odds via DraftKings.

Oliveira Expecting a Little Bit of Everything in Main Event

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    The lightweight title fight is a matchup that has all the makings of an instant classic. There's not a whole lot of bad blood between Charles Oliveira and Dustin Poirier, and neither has said much about the other in the buildup.

    It's just two fighters with extraordinary skill sets and elite abilities doing battle for the biggest prize in the sport. The result should be a competitive bout that highlights what both guys do well.

    At least, that's how the champ sees it.

    "He has a big name and big skills, and it will make for a very exciting fight," Oliveira told E. Spencer Kyte of UFC.com. "He is a complete MMA fighter—great at everything—and he has big wins in big fights."

    Do Bronx also went on to say that he expects the fight to take place all over the cage. Where the contest takes place will be important to watch. Oliveira has the upper hand when it comes to the grappling exchanges while Poirier's boxing is better.

    Whoever gets the fight where they want it more often is going to be the winner.

    Prediction: Poirier via decision.

Pena Expecting a 'Long Night' for Nunes

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    Julianna Pena has not shied away from a fight with Amanda Nunes. The Venezuelan Vixen has called out the two-division champ after fights, in the media and pretty much anytime she's had an opportunity to talk over the past year.

    Whether that confidence is misguided is a good question, but she has at least done a great job of marketing herself and this bout.

    That self-belief hasn't even resulted in her predicting a win, though. All she knows is that she expects to bring the fight to the longtime champion of the division.

    "At the end of the day, I'm not guaranteeing anything other than she is not gonna be in some fight where it's gonna go a minute and it's gonna be this gigantic blowout. Absolutely not. It's going to be a very long night for both of us, and I’m expecting a long, tough, grueling fight. And that's what I'm preparing for," the 32-year-old told Jim Varsallone of The JimmyV3 Channel.

    The problem is there isn't a ton of substance behind what Pena is saying. She's not been incredibly active but hasn't looked great when she has been in the cage. She's just 2-2 in her four fights since 2017.

    She may be tough enough to survive five rounds with the Lioness, but it's difficult to find a path to victory for her.

    Prediction: Nunes via decision.

Ponzinibbio Looking to Break into Top 5

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    Like Juilianna Pena, Santiago Ponzinibbio has had a hard time remaining active in the cage over the last few years. Between bouts with a staph infection and COVID-19, he was out of commission for all of 2019 and 2020.

    When the Argentine came back, he had his seven-fight win streak snapped by Li Jingliang. However, with the ring rust shaken off, he looked like he could be back to his old self with a unanimous-decision win over Miguel Baeza in which the two combined to land 225 significant strikes across three rounds.

    And Ponzinibbio doesn't seem to have lost confidence that he can get back into the title picture.

    "Fortunately, I'm in great shape, I'm feeling good and I'm prepared to beat him," the 35-year-old told Danny Segura of MMA Junkie. "The idea is to finish the fight and then get in there with a top five. That's what I'm looking for. I want a top five, so I can then get an opportunity for the title."

    On Saturday, he'll see an opponent who is desperate to get a win in Geoff Neal. The 31-year-old has lost back-to-back fights against Stephen Thompson and Neil Magny.

    Neal is the exact style of fighter Ponzinibbio loves to see in the cage. He's more than willing to take a punch to give a punch, and he'll oblige if The Argentine Dagger wants to fight in a phone booth.

    It should be a great fight, but Ponzinibbio is set to reestablish himself as a factor in the division.

    Prediction: Ponzinibbio via second-round TKO

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