Can you believe it, this year is almost over! December is always an exciting time of the year. We are approaching Christmas, a New Year, and the last UFC Pay Per View of the year. Welcome to the UFC 269 Preview. I find this particular card intriguing. If you needed a word to describe this card, it would say clarity.
We will finally get clarity in the Lightweight title picture; as you have the champion Charles Oliveira against whom some say is the best in the division in Dustin Poirier. Will we get a clearer look into seeing if there is a woman alive who can compete with Amanda Nunes? Can Cody Garbrandt get back to his championship ways? Is Sean O’Malley really that dude, or just hype? Oh, and the prelims are sick too! As the great American literary genius Shawn Carter once said, “it’s about to go down!” Let’s check out this UFC 269 preview.
Oliveira vs Poirier
This is one of the craziest lead-ups to a title fight I can remember. The champion is the underdog. Most people feel like the challenger is the uncrowned champion, and this fight is just a formality. Dustin Poirier has been on a crazy run lately. He has been going out and dominating big money fights. He destroyed the biggest draw in the sport, Conor McGregor, twice in a row. I have watched his career closely. He has fought the best of the best, and now most pundits think it’s his time.
The same can be said about Charles “Do Bronx” Oliveira. He is a fighter that came in young and has fought nothing but top guys in the UFC. Oliveira is also extremely accomplished in the sport. Do Bronx has the UFC record for most finishes (17) and most submission wins (14). This fight will come down to if Poirier can stay away from the Brazilian jiu-jitsu of Oliveira.
Nunes vs Pena
What can you say about this one? I would not go to the restroom or get food during this one because it might be over before you get back. For Julianna Pena, this is an opportunity of a lifetime. She gets to fight the double champ. That is where all the positivity ends. Amanda Nunes is a monster. She is referred to as the best female fighter of all time. I think we are at the point where we have to drop the female portion of that title. I honestly don’t see this going past round one. Amanda Nunes’ dominance is ’90’s Chicago Bulls level right now, and I don’t see it stopping anytime soon.
Kai Kara-France vs Cody Garbrandt
This fight will be the most interesting of the night. It will provide clarity for a former champion, and where he goes next. Cody “No Love” Garbrandt is a former Bantamweight champion. He is looking to ascend back to championship levels in that jammed-pack division. For this fight, he’s going down 10 pounds to Flyweight to take on rising star Kai Kara-France. Cody has teased this move in the past, but now he’s officially done it. With a win, this could jump-start No Love into the title hunt at 125 lbs, and add to his legacy if he can win hardware at two different weight classes. We shall see.
O’Malley vs Paiva, Prelims
“Suga” Sean O’Malley is a prospect the UFC is high on. Suga is also high on himself. Saturday will be a time for him to prove himself against Paiva. The outspoken O’Malley feels he is the best 135 lbs fighter in the world. While he is still a long way off from being the best in the division or earning a title opportunity, he is exciting to watch. If he wins Saturday, he has to look at taking a step up in competition to be taken seriously with his claims.
The prelims are going to be lit. Dan Ige will be looking to return to the winner’s circle. He has lost two of his last three bouts. Unfortunately, he has to fight the ever dangerous Josh Emmett. I see Ige getting the win in this bout. We also have future Hall of Famer Dominick Cruz fighting Pedro Munhoz. I love Cruz, but I don’t see him winning this fight. The preliminary fight that has me the most hyped is the Heavyweight fight with Augusto Sakai vs Tai Tuivasa. These are two big boys that don’t get paid by the hour. I am predicting a knockout, I just don’t know by who. I just know we all win with this fight.
UFC 269 will be off the chain. As we close out this UFC 269 preview, don’t forget the word of the night is clarity. A lot of title pictures and career paths will look clearer Sunday morning. I can’t wait to see how all this plays out.