As Sean O'Malley appears set for his first UFC title defense, a familiar foe waits in the wings.
UFC is reportedly targeting a matchup between O'Malley and bantamweight contender Marlon "Chito" Vera for the first part of 2024. Vera and O'Malley have history, as the Ecquadorian handed "Suga" his first and only UFC loss in 2020.
In this prospective bantamweight title fight, O'Malley is a -198 favorite over Vera, who comes back as the +164 underdog.
Sean O'Malley vs Marlon Vera 2 Betting Odds
Odds as of Oct. 10
O'Malley vs Vera Betting Preview: Show me the money
When this rematch goes down, there will be a few things worth watching and betting on.
How To Bet O'Malley
Suga Sean's been one hell of an underdog bet lately, cashing at +200 vs Aljamain Sterling and +230 vs Petr Yan. As such, he's revved up quite a massive fanbase that loves his high-flying style.
But Chito is quite good at neutralizing crazy offense. Since O'Malley knows Vera is an iron man, he'll need to manage distance with stance switches and then straight kicks. He found success with that strategy in their first bout a UFC 252.
Before O'Malley's right foot crumpled, he managed to piece Chito up, control the cage, and build some momentum. Since I'm convinced it is humanly impossible to knock Marlon out, I'd wager O'Malley by decision in this future title fight.
How To Bet Vera
Vera is a battering ram with his hard-hitting, sporadic offense, often taking abuse and loading up for big strikes. The 30-year-old often gets lured into low-volume duels (which is why I recommend O'Malley by decision), but he must break that streak to defeat the champ.
I don't dislike a bet on Vera to win straight-up, as it offers safe value, but I recommend considering a value bet on Vera by KO/TKO. Chito can chop O'Malley's legs down and corner him in the Octagon. That strategy worked last time.
O'Malley vs Vera Betting Pick
This rematch will be much closer than the first fight, but I'm confident in O'Malley's abilities. Suga Sean possesses far greater fight I.Q. than I originally gave him credit for, and Chito gets stuck in lulls where he throws no offense.
Given that criteria, I'll bet O'Malley by decision, and, depending on the odds, the OVERs on 3.5 and 4.5 rounds.