Marlon Vera vs. Sean O'Malley - 8/15/20 UFC 252 Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Marlon Vera vs. Sean O'Malley - 8/15/20 UFC 252 Pick, Odds, and Prediction Photo by Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Sean O'Malley vs. Marlon Vera

Saturday, August 15, 2020 at 10:00 PM (UFC APEX)

The Line: Marlon Vera +252 / Sean O'Malley -302 -- Over/Under: Click Here for the Latest Odds

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Sean O'Malley and Marlon Vera fight Saturday during UFC 252 at the UFC APEX.

Sean O'Malley enters this fight with a 12-0 record and has won 67 percent of his fights by knockout. This will be O'Malley’s third fight this year and is coming off a June win over Eddie Wineland. O'Malley is averaging 6.86 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 58 percent. O'Malley is averaging 1.18 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 50 percent. O'Malley is coming off an impressive first round knockout at UFC 250 where he earned performance of the night honors, which is exactly how things played out at UFC 248. O'Malley is quickly becoming a star under the UFC banner and he’s seen six of his last eight fights overall end in knockouts. O'Malley is a lengthy athlete with a kickboxing background and is an unpredictable highlight reel. O'Malley will throw anything at any moment and he has some of the cleanest boxing in the sport. With his creativity, length and power, few are going to be able to standup with O'Malley in this division. O'Malley also has a deep background in grappling, so he’s far from this standup striker who is only comfortable landing bombs. At almost 26 years old, O'Malley is becoming one of the biggest names on the roster and is a must watch for MMA fans anywhere. This will be O'Malley’s sixth career fight in Las Vegas.

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Marlon Vera enters this fight with a 15-6-1 record and is winning 53 percent of his fights by submission. Vera has won five of his last six fights and is coming off a May loss to Song Yadong. Vera is averaging 3.70 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 48 percent. Vera is averaging 0.88 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 42 percent. Vera was on the wrong side of a decision at UFC on ESPN 8 that earned fight of the night honors. Vera landed 115 total strikes in the losing effort, but he was less sharp with his significant strikes and was taken down twice. Vera hopes to avoid back-to-back losses for the first time in his career. Vera is an athletic, jumpy fighter who is tough to get comfortable against on the feet and he throws compact strikes and leg kicks with some pop behind them. Vera is also a black belt in BJJ, so he knows his way around the canvas, and he’s never been finished in his career despite the six losses. Vera is an exciting fighter with a polished skill set and has finished each of his last seven victories, so he certainly brings excitement to the octagon. This will be Vera’s second career fight in Las Vegas.

Vera is a live dog in this fight given that he has high level finish ability, can throw bombs on the feet, mixes in hard knees in the clinch and knows his way around the canvas with eight submission victories. Don’t let this line fool you, Vera is not a pushover by any means. However, if O'Malley has shown you anything over his last two fights, it’s that he’s the real deal and is worth the hype. With some of the best footwork and standup striking in the sport, it’s hard to bet against O'Malley and what he’s done up to this point. Some would question the competition and need to see more from O'Malley before crowning him the next big thing, but I’m already onboard.

Give me O'Malley, and I’ll take him by knockout to lower the price.

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Randy’s Pick Sean O'Malley By KO / TKO

The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a Sports Chat Place site consensus.