UFC 269 Preview - Poirier v Oliveira
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UFC 269 Preview - Poirier v Oliveira

The UFC returns to Las Vegas this Saturday night for a star-studded UFC 269 event. The final pay-per-view card of the year is headlined by a lightweight title fight between champ Charles Oliveira and challenger Dustin Poirier. The co-main event features a women’s bantamweight title fight between the GOAT Amanda Nunes and challenger Julianna Pena. Let’s take a closer look at all of the action.


UFC 269 Prelim Card

The prelims open with a women's flyweight bout between Gillian Robertson and Priscila Cachoeira. Despite being on a two-fight win streak, Cachoeira is a heavy underdog with the grappler Robertson expected to come out on top.

Randy Costa meets Tony Kelley in bantamweight action between two Americans. It's a close fight, but Costa is just about favored to emerge victorious.

Ryan Hall will look to bounce back from his first UFC defeat when he takes on Derrick Minner in a featherweight contest. Minner is a wrestler, which will put him at danger with each take-down against the submission artist Hall.  I expect “The Wizard” to get a stoppage.

Former title challenger Alex Perez takes on Matt Schnel in a flyweight bout. Perez hasn’t competed since his submission defeat to Deiveson Figueiredo last year. Schnell is coming off a defeat as well after getting outpointed by Rogerio Bontorin in May. However, Perez is heavily favored to be the one who returns to the win column.

Miranda Maverick meets Erin Blanchfield in women's flyweight action. Although Maverick is coming off her first defeat in the UFC which was a controversial split decision loss to Maycee Barber, she is just about the betting favorite over Blanchfield who is undefeated in her last four.

Andre Muniz takes on Eryk Anders in a middleweight contest. Anders is coming off a decision win over Darren Stewart. Muniz, however, is coming off an armbar win over Jacare Souza May and is 3-0 in the UFC overall. Expect the Brazilian to remain undefeated and move up in the middleweight rankings.

Jordan Wright meets Bruno Silva in a middleweight tilt. Silva is expected to get the victory and remain undefeated in the UFC, but don’t count the “Beverly Hills Ninja” out of this one.

Heavyweights also feature as Augusto Sakai takes on Tai Tuivasa. This is essentially a pick’em but Tuivasa is a good bet given his power and current win streak.  Get that shoey ready!

Former bantamweight king Dominick Cruz collides with Pedro Munhoz in a a 135-pound matchup. Unbelievable that such a fight is on the undercard.  Cruz returned to the win column with a unanimous decision win over Casey Kenney earlier this year. Munhoz was last outpointed by Jose Aldo in August and has lost three of his last four. Despite that, Munhoz is the slightest of favorites.

Josh Emmett is back from injury, and will take on Dan Ige in a featherweight bout that headlines the prelims. Emmett is on a three-fight winning streak and showing that his power is unmatched in his hands.  The Californian based fighter should come out on top against Ige who most recently got outpointed by The Korean Zombie.

UFC 269 Main Card

Raulian Paiva v Sean O’Malley

The main card opens up with a bantamweight encounter between Raulian Paiva and rising star Sean O’Malley. Paiva recently moved up to bantamweight and enjoyed a decision win over Kyler Phillips to join the top-15 ranks. 

O’Malley is coming off a TKO win over Kris Moutinho and will look to crack the UFC rankings by defeating his first ranked opponent. 

Paiva is arguably the toughest opponent of O’Malley’s career. O’Malley continues to show that he is improving his skillset and lethal on the feet.  Look for the Sugar show to continue.

Kai Kara-France v Cody Garbrandt

An intriguing flyweight encounter takes place as Kai Kara-France welcomes former bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt to 125 pounds. Kara-France returned to the win column with a first-round knockout victory over Rogerio Bontorin back in March.

Garbrandt, meanwhile, is coming off a unanimous decision defeat to Rob Font in May which made it four losses in his last five overall. He has since decided to make his long-planned move down to the flyweight division in search of better results. 

How the weight cut affects remains to be seen for now, but Garbrandt is still slightly favored and his power and speed remain a big factor why.  Let’s just hope his chin holds up at the lighter weight.

Geoff Neal v Santiago Ponzinibbio

A battle between two hard-hitting welterweights in Geoff Neal and Santiago Ponzinibbio is also on the main card. Neal is coming off back-to-back decision defeats to Stephen Thompson and Neil Magny. Ponzinibbio returned to the win column with a decision win over Miguel Baeza in their back-and-forth war in June. 

This could go either way given how both fighters compete, but Ponzinibbio is currently a slight favorite to get his second win in a row.

Amanda Nunes v Julianna Pena

The co-headliner sees arguably the greatest women’s fighter of all time Amanda Nunes defend her women's bantamweight title against Julianna Pena. Nunes last competed in March when she made quick work of Megan Anderson with a first-round submission win to defend her featherweight crown. It was her 12th win in a row as she continues to be levels above her competition.

Pena, however, believes she is the one who can end the current win streak of Nunes. "The Venezuelan Vixen" is 2-1 since returning to the sport in 2019 after becoming a mother. Her most recent outing was a third-round submission victory over Sara McMann all the way back in January. 

While she can certainly provide Nunes a much tougher test than recent opponents, it's hard to see Pena really troubling Nunes too much. Expect another title defense for "The Lioness" who should make it 13 in a row and eliminate another contender.

Charles Oliveira v Dustin Poirier

The event's headliner sees Charles Oliveira looking to defend his lightweight title for the first time when he takes on the red-hot Dustin Poirier. Oliveira won the vacant strap after enjoying a come-from-behind second-round TKO victory over Michael Chandler back in May. 

It put "do Bronx" on an impressive nine-fight winning streak with eight of those finishes.

Poirier, meanwhile, is coming off back-to-back knockout wins over Conor McGregor. He knocked the Irishman out in January before winning the trilogy in controversial fashion after McGregor broke his tibia towards the end of the first round which led to the TKO doctor stoppage. 

Prior to those wins, Poirier bounced back from his defeat to Khabib Nurmagomedov with a unanimous decision win over Dan Hooker. In total, Poirier has won seven of his last eight outings overall.

This fight could go either way in the five-round bout.  The “Diamand” is the favorite to get the win and with power on the feet, the path to victory in terms of a stoppage is easy to see against the Brazilian that has wilted before.  

However, Oliveira has shown newfound grit and confidence in his hands.  I put a play on an upset, with the champ retaining the title with a submission after finding some success on the feet.




About Ryan O’Leary

Ryan O’Leary is a veteran mixed martial arts journalist and commentator. The Swedish-based writer is the founder and editor at MMAViking.com, which is the premier source for Nordic mixed martial arts news since 2008.

V: 1.31.0 All rights reserved. August 2021