Best UFC 299 Main Event Bets: Sean O’Malley vs. Marlon ‘Chito’ Vera 2

  • What: UFC 299 Main Event
  • Who: Sean O’Malley vs. Marlon “Chito” Vera 2
  • Date: Saturday, March 9, 2024
  • Location: Kaseya Center in Miami, Florida
  • Time: Early Prelims (6:00 p.m. ET) Prelims (8:00 p.m. ET) PPV Card (10:00 p.m. ET)
  • How to Watch: Early Prelims (ESPN+), Prelims (ESPN), Main Card (ESPN+ Pay-Per-View)

The UFC bantamweight title is up for grabs when the promotion heads to Kaseya Center in Miami, Florida, for the UFC 299 pay-per-view fight card. In the main event of UFC 299, UFC 135-pound champion Sean O’Malley faces Marlon “Chito” Vera in his first defense of the title he won in August 2023 with a second-round knockout of Aljamain Sterling. Vera is the only fighter who has defeated O’Malley, scoring a first-round TKO over O’Malley in August 2020.

Sean O’Malley (17-1-0-1) is unbeaten in his past six outings. The UFC bantamweight champ has secured fight-night bonus awards in five of those outings, including picking up a “Performance of the Night” award for his knockout win over Sterling at UFC 292.

Marlon “Chito” Vera (23-8-1) enters UFC 299’s main event as the No. 5 fighter in the official UFC bantamweight rankings. Vera is 5-1 dating back to June 2021 and is coming off an August 2023 decision win over Pedro Munhoz. Vera’s only setback during his past six outings was a March 2023 split-decision setback to No. 3 ranked Cory Sandhagen.

Before we look at the best bets for the O’Malley vs. Vera 2 matchup on the UFC 299 PPV card, check out the best UFC betting sites and where you can find the best odds on all the UFC fights.

UFC 299 main event: Sean O’Malley vs. Marlon “Chito” Vera 2 betting picks

To Win UFC Bantamweight TitleBetOnline ReviewBovadaBetUS ReviewMyBookie ReviewBetNow Review
Sean O'Malley (C)-205-210-210-230-210
Marlon Vera+175+170+170+165+170

Sean O’Malley betting breakdown

Sean O’Malley has accumulated 12 knockout wins in his MMA career. Of those KO victories, six have come since he joined the UFC in 2017. The 29-year-old packs a lot of power into his 5-foot-11 inch frame. Unlike many other power punchers, O’Malley is also an active and accurate striker. The champion throws most of his strikes at the head of his foes, but he isn’t afraid to go to the body if the opportunity is there. He can be flashy at times, but his defense, footwork, and movement make him an elusive target for his opponents.

O’Malley is the most accurate striker in the history of the UFC’s bantamweight division, landing 61.2 percent of his significant strike attempts. He’s also tops in the division’s history in strikes landed per minute at 7.29 and striking differential at plus-3.89.

If there is a weakness in O’Malley’s game, it is that he struggles to block leg kicks. Those low leg kicks allowed Vera to pick up the win in the first meeting between these two. With that in mind, O’Malley must be more defensively sound in this fight. He needs to use his length to move in and out as quickly as possible and avoid Vera’s calf kicks, which will be heading his way.

Sean O'MalleyTO BEAT CHITO VERA
★★★★★
-205
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Chito Vera betting breakdown

A member of the UFC roster since 2014, Chito Vera took some time to find his place in the UFC’s bantamweight pecking order. A two-fight losing skid in 2017-18 had some wondering if Vera’s time with the UFC was about to end. Since that stumble, the 31-year-old is 11-3, with his only losses coming to Song Yadong, Jose Aldo, and Sandhagen. Vera may have had a slow build, but he has established himself as an elite fighter in the UFC’s 135-pound division

Vera is a muay Thai striker, who mixes his targets and techniques well. In his five-round scrap opposite Sandhagen, Vera landed 48 percent of his significant strikes to his foe’s head, 22 percent to the body, and 29 percent to the legs. Vera has a lot of power in his strikes. He has eight knockout wins and is an incredibly resilient fighter who has never been knocked out or submitted. Vera has the most knockdowns in UFC bantamweight history with 10 and has the most submission attempts in the division at 16.

There are some knocks against Vera. For one, he is a slow starter. He tends to “give away” the first round or two of his fights and then come on strong as the contest moves into the later rounds. He also gets hit more than he lands, landing 4.37 significant strikes per minute while absorbing 5.16 strikes per 60 seconds. That negative striking differential is an enormous concern when facing someone like O’Malley.

Chito VeraTO BEAT SEAN O'MALLEY
★★★★★
+170
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Best Bets: UFC 29 main event: Sean O’Malley vs. Chito Vera 2

Chito Vera is a pronounced betting underdog in UFC 299’s main event, but he is a live dog. If he is aggressive from the start of the fight and spams Sean O’Malley with leg kicks, Vera will slow O’Malley and compromise his offense. However, Vera’s past two fights have not been great showings for him. He has started slow. Doing so against O’Malley will allow the champion to bank rounds on the judge’s scorecards, and that’s dangerous when O’Malley is so active on his feet. The betting favorite in this fight, O’Malley, can’t take Vera lightly, and he can’t count on a knockout win. O’Malley tends to fade late because of his output. He needs to manage his energy in this contest, using his movement and length to avoid Vera while striking when the opportunity arises.

In the end, O’Malley is the more skilled fighter and in his prime, where an argument could be made that Vera is fading. The betting pick is for Sean O’Malley to retain the UFC bantamweight title via a decision win at UFC 299.

Sean O'MalleyTO BEAT CHITO VERA
★★★★☆
-230
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Trent Reinsmith

Trent is a professional sports journalist specializing in UFC, MMA, and esports coverage. His work has been featured in prestigious publications such as USA Today Sports, Vice, Bloody Elbow, Fight! Magazine, UFC 360, and Narratively. Trent's connection to MMA dates back to the early days when he and his friends pooled their resources to purchase the pay-per-view broadcast of UFC 1. He also has extensive experience in esports, particularly League of Legends and Counter Strike, dating back to the game's launch.