- What: UFC 290
- Co-Main Event: Brandon Moreno vs. Alexandre Pantoja
- Date: Saturday, July 8, 2023
- Location: T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, NV
- Time: Early Prelims (6:00 p.m. ET) Prelims (8:00 p.m. ET) Pay-Per-View (10:00 p.m. ET)
- How to Watch: Early Prelims (ESPN+), Prelims (ABC, ESPN), Main Card (ESPN+ PPV)
On Saturday, July 8, the UFC presents the UFC 290 pay-per-view card. The event takes place at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas and streams on ESPN+ PPV. In the evening’s main event, UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski faces interim UFC 145-pound champion Yair Rodriguez in a title unification bout. Before that title fight occurs, UFC flyweight champion Brandon Moreno puts his 125-pound title on the line against Alexandre Pantoja. Here is some background on Saturday’s UFC 290 PPV co-main event fighters, Brandon Moreno and Alexandre Pantoja, before we discuss the betting breakdown for the UFC 290 card.
Moreno is a 21-6-2 fighter. The UFC flyweight champ is in his second run with the title after defeating Deiveson Figueiredo in a title unification bout in January. Moreno was the interim UFC champ heading into that contest. The 29-year-old won the fight via TKO at the end of the third round on a doctor stoppage because of an eye injury.
Pantoja served as the backup for the January matchup between Moreno and Figueiredo for that UFC 283 contest. The 25-5 fighter gets his chance to defeat Moreno a second time on Saturday. The 33-year-old won a decision over Moreno in 2018. The loss led to Moreno being released from the promotion.
UFC Vegas 290 co-main event: Brandon Moreno vs. Alexandre Pantoja betting picks
|To Win UFC 290 Co-Main Event|
UFC Vegas 290 co-main event: Brandon Moreno vs. Alexandre Pantoja betting breakdown
The first thing one wants to do in July 2023 is forget about the fight between Moreno and Pantoja that took place in 2018. That scrap is not pertinent today. Why? Because Moreno is not the same fighter he was more than five years ago. Since that loss, he has gone 6-1-2 in the UFC and showed consistent improvement while fighting competitors at the top of the division. Yes, Pantoja is the No. 2 ranked fighter in the official UFC flyweight rankings, but there is a reason Moreno and Figueiredo fought four times for the UFC flyweight title. That reason is they are head and shoulders better than any other fighters in the division.
With that being said, I don’t expect Moreno to take Pantoja lightly since Pantoja is 1-0 over Moreno with a win the judges scored 30-26 x 2 and 29-27 in his favor. Moreno is a competitor, he wants to get that win back and show that he was not a fully formed fighter when the two met in 2018. The version of Pantoja we saw in 2018 is much closer to the 2023 edition. The same cannot be said of Moreno. He has improved exponentially since then.
UFC Vegas 290 co-main event: Brandon Moreno vs. Alexandre Pantoja – Who has the edge?
This is an exciting matchup to consider. While Moreno is the more accomplished and better all-around fighter, Pantoja is underrated and a handful of a flyweight, especially on the mat. I expect Moreno will try to keep this fight standing. He could experiment with grappling in the later rounds, but if he tangles with Pantoja on the ground early when the two fighters are dry, Pantoja could lock up a submission. Over his career, Pantoja has 10 career submission victories, and he is coming off back-to-back submission wins of Brandon Royval and Alex Perez. Pantoja also has a exhibition submission win over Moreno in 2016 during filming of “The Ultimate Fighter.”
The edge in cardio and big-fight experience go to Moreno. His past five fights have all been scheduled for five rounds, and he has gone the distance in two of those outings. Pantoja has never fought five rounds for a UFC title.
Best Bets for UFC 290 co-main event: Brandon Moreno vs. Alexandre Pantoja
My betting pick for the UFC 290 co-main event flyweight title fight between Brandon Moreno and Alexandre Pantoja is a Moreno victory. Before I look at that outcome, I will say that Pantoja presents some betting value at UFC 290. He has two wins, one official and one exhibition, over Moreno, which makes him a live underdog, and he is a better grappler, which makes a betting pick for Pantoja to win via submission an interesting value bet. I don’t think that will be the outcome of the UFC 290 co-headliner, but I can understand leaning in that direction. My betting pick is Moreno to win after five rounds via decision.
Best UFC 290 co-main event betting pick: Brandon Moreno to beat Alexandre Pantoja via decision.
See below the top sportsbooks where you can wager online and choose the best one for you: