We've got a double title fight feature at UFC 290, where Brandon Moreno and Alexandre Pantoja fight for the flyweight championship in the co-main event.
The five-round Pantoja-Moreno bout will warm up the T-Mobile Arena crowd for Saturday's main event between Alexander Volkanovski and Yair Rodriguez.
The UFC 290 prelims begin at 6 p.m. ET and the main card starts at 10 p.m.
Despite two losses to Pantoja earlier in his career (one in UFC, one in TUF), the champ Moreno is a -200 favorite.
UFC 290: Brandon Moreno vs Alexandre Pantoja Odds
Odds as of July 4
Per our odds calculator, Moreno's -200 status equates to a win probability of 66.67% and a $100 bet on him pays $150. Pantoja gets a 37.04% chance and a $100 bet yields $270.
UFC 290: Moreno vs Pantoja Preview
Can Pantoja squeak out another victory to become the new 125-pound champion?
How Pantoja Wins
"The Cannibal" has Moreno's number, beating the Mexican first during Season 24 of The Ultimate Fighter (second-round submission), then again at a Fight Night event in 2018 (decision win).
Pantoja is explosive — and he can snap into flurries of offense — but he beat Moreno in 2018 by sticking to fundamentals. Moreno's dancing movement worked against him because the Brazilian used straight punches, knees and leg kicks to beat Moreno's loopy shots.
It's actually amazing Moreno survived the 2018 bout. Pantoja crushed him, busting open his nose and whooping him for three rounds. Moreno has evolved plenty since then — his defense is much better — but he still has some of the same holes in his game.
Brandon tends to drop his hands after he strikes, exposing him to hard counters. Pantoja has more power than "The Assassin Baby" and, in my opinion, a more dangerous ground game. The Brazilian wins by employing the same gameplan he did in 2018, with an emphasis on battering Moreno on the feet.
How Moreno Wins
Get Pantoja moving. Moreno is a cardio king, and after his tetralogy vs Deiveson Figueiredo, he's learned a thing or two about energy preservation. This gives me lots of confidence in the champion.
Pantoja won in 2018 because he dictated the pace. He stalked Moreno, moving slowly while the Mexican twirled around the outside of the Octagon. Moreno can tire Pantoja by forcing him on his heels and using clinches or dirty boxing.
With Moreno's wildman energy in the cage, I'll bet Pantoja gasses out by the fourth round. The Brazilian has never done five rounds in a UFC event. Moreno's gone the full 25 minutes twice in his career.
UFC 290: Moreno vs Pantoja Pick
I went into this breakdown favoring Pantoja. After watching tape, specifically Pantoja's bout vs Askar Askarov in 2020, I'm convinced Moreno will win.
Cardio is the X-factor. Even if Pantoja tags Moreno early and the fight tumbles to the ground, I doubt Pantoja actually submits Moreno. Maybe he tries a few attempts, but Brandon is slippery, and all that jiu-jitsu is tiring.
I'm going Moreno inside the distance. And, yes, I know Pantoja's never been finished before.