UFC tips: Slam home our 3 best bets for UFC 269 on Saturday night

Paddy's resident MMA tipster Sean Taylor has all the picks you’ll need for the action inside of the octagon.

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* All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change.

  • All start times are subject to change.

Sunday 5:30am: Charles Oliveira to beat Dustin Poirier

This isn’t a play I’m going to enjoy recommending because I’m a huge Dustin Poirier fan but at the current prices, Oliveira is the obvious play here and it’s not a hard play to make a case for. Since Khabib Nurmagomedov retired, Poirier has largely been viewed by the MMA community as the uncrowned king at lightweight.

This isn’t unfair but it probably has led to Oliveira being somewhat underestimated coming into this fight. Oliveira long had a reputation of being somewhat soft and lacking the fight to grind it out. Of late, and since the move to lightweight this just hasn’t been the case and the biggest advertisement for this new version of Charles Oliveira was the Michael Chandler victory at UFC 262.

Chandler will be kicking himself for not getting him out of there but plenty of credit to Oliveira for doing what many said he wouldn’t and walking through the fire to get the win. He’s built up a fantastic striking base to compliment his already outstanding jiu-jitsu, often leaving opponents with nowhere to go. I think this has all the ingredients to be a brilliant fight, so don’t be surprised if we see the championship rounds here.

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Sunday 2:45am: Josh Emmett to beat Dan Ige by KO/TKO

If you’re looking for an under the radar fight with the potential to be a cracker, look no further. This is one of the fights I’m most looking forward to on this card. For me, Josh Emmett is one of the biggest ‘what ifs’ in the featherweight division. What if he could stay injury-free? He’s had a torrid time.

His last fight, a win against Shane Burgos, was contested with essentially one leg culminating in a complete ACL tear, an MCL sprain with a partial tear, a Baker’s cyst rupture, femur fracture and a cartilage defect on his tibia. It’s hard to find words to describe how tough you must be to fight through that level of injury, let alone get the win.

That win attested to his sheer grit and determination and we’ve seen previously that he has the power to send anyone to the shadow realm. Dan Ige is a fighter I really like, but with losses to Calvin Kattar and Korean Zombie in two of his last three, I just don’t think he’s at the level of Josh Emmett.

Unlike Emmett, he has been very active throughout the pandemic but his best win is a contentious split decision win over Edson Barboza back in May of last year and I think Emmett is just a really tough match-up for him.

Sunday 2:15am: Dominick Cruz to beat Pedro Munhoz

Another great fight going under the radar on a stacked prelims. There were a lot of questions about where Cruz was at going into his split decision win over Casey Kenny in March of this year. Speed and footwork have been the cornerstone of his time in this stacked bantamweight division and both looked to be very much intact during that win over Kenny.

At this stage of his career, I don’t think this is a fight he would be taking if he didn’t like the stylistic match up here. How do you stop a guy who likes to move? You chop away at his limbs and Munhoz would be best served looking to make use of the leg kicks.

However, if you look at Munhoz’ best wins, they are generally against guys who are happy to stand in front of you; see Cody Garbrandt. I’m more than happy to have Cruz on side at the prices here.

UFC 269 betting tips:

Sunday 5:30am: Charles Oliveira to beat Dustin Poirier
Sunday 2:45am: Josh Emmett to beat Dan Ige by KO/TKO
Sunday 2:15am: Dominick Cruz to beat Pedro Munhoz

* All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change.

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