UFC 252: O'Malley v Vera odds and predictions
Guy Giles is predicting an exciting bantamweight bout in the co-main event of UFC 252 in Las Vegas on Saturday.
O’Malley v Vera odds:
The co-main event of UFC 252 sees ‘The Suga Show’ head to Vegas as bantamweight prospect Sean O’Malley faces the experienced Marlon Vera.
O’Malley has started his UFC career with a bang, reeling off four straight wins in the Octagon following his success on Dana White’s Contender Series in July 2017.
‘Suga’ knocked out Eddie Wineland in spectacular fashion in his last fight to establish himself as one of the promotion’s newest stars, and he enters Saturday’s bout as the favourite.
Should the 12-0 prospect remain unbeaten this weekend, then a title shot is surely not far off.
Standing in his way is 14-fight UFC veteran Vera, who had secured five straight finishes at 135lb before dropping his last outing, at 145lb, against Song Yadong on the judges’ scorecards.
‘Chito’ heads to the UFC Apex in Vegas as underdog as he looks to derail the ‘Suga’ hype train in style on Saturday.
O’Malley v Vera prediction:
When a fighter starts his UFC career like O’Malley has, it is hard to not get caught up in the hype.
His relaxed style in the Octagon – hands down, wide stance – and bravado on the mic have made him one of the biggest draws in the 135lb division, and he has been rewarded with the co-main slot on Saturday.
His biggest test so far came last time out against Wineland, but a first-round walk-off KO proved he was ready for another step up, and he gets exactly that against Vera.
The Ecuadorian has compiled a 9-5 record since signing for the UFC in 2014, registering wins over the likes of Brad Pickett, Andre Ewell and Brian Kelleher.
‘Chito’ offers threat in every area, with five wins by KO, seven by submission and three on the scorecards across his MMA career.
The 27-year-old will probably try and use his superior wrestling to take the fight to the ground, where his black belt in jiu-jitsu puts him at a significant advantage.
He does have the power to compete on the feet, but O’Malley’s reach advantage and well-rounded kicking game may make it hard to close the distance consistently.
Vera does have an excellent chin, having never been knocked out in his career, but his struggles against opponents of a higher calibre such as John Lineker suggest he may find it hard against a fighter as slick as O’Malley.
Backing ‘Suga’ to take the W on the scorecards looks a good bet, then, in what should be a real thriller at the Apex.
O’Malley to win by decision
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