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Sean O’Malley Retains The Gold: UFC 299 Results

Sean O’Malley dominated Chito Vera in the main event

Sean O’Malley dominates Chito Vera

Sean O’Malley thoroughly dominated Chito Vera, winning by unanimous decision and avenging the only loss from his career.

Vera (23-9-1) defeated O’Malley in 2020, but the outcome was entirely different in this bantamweight title bout. This was an absolute masterclass from O’Malley (18-1, 1 NC), who got hit with a left hook to the liver in the waning moments of the fifth round but otherwise controlled the overwhelming majority of the action.

Courtesy Zuffa LLC

Courtesy Zuffa LLC

O’Malley had a strong start to the first round, using his speed and working on Vera’s body. The jab was a key to O’Malley’s success early in the second, and a key moment occurred with just over a minute remaining when O’Malley drilled Vera with a knee to the chin. Vera somehow withstood the blow, but it clearly affected his reflex as the round continued and O’Malley kept landing.

Courtesy Zuffa LLC

Courtesy Zuffa LLC

With O’Malley having won the first two rounds, he continued to stay on the outside and utilize those advantages. O’Malley’s footwork was so precise, a clear and distinct advantage as he won the first three rounds.

Vera showed some life at the end of the third, but O’Malley continued to snipe away. So far behind on the scorecard, Vera began taking chances. Vera bloodied O’Malley’s nose, and he started to land, but O’Malley always had an answer.

O’Malley further bloodied and battered Vera in the fifth. This was one of the most impressive showings of his career, and he absolutely dominated from start to finish. His striking and footwork were elite, and it sets up a must-see bout against Merab Dvalishvili. O’Malley called out Ilia Topuria, but the fight against Dvalishvili appears to be next.

Dustin Poirier knocks out Benoît Saint Denis

Don’t bury Dustin Poirier just yet.

Poirier knocked out Benoît Saint Denis, ending an outstanding fight in the second round with a ferocious right hook.

Courtesy Zuffa LLC

Courtesy Zuffa LLC

Saint Denis (13-2, 1 NC) appeared to be the next unstoppable force in the UFC, and he fought with his signature relentless style. But he got caught multiple times by Poirier (30-8, 1 NC), who had great success with his striking.

Without question, this is the fight of the night. Saint Denis opened the fight looking to wrestle. Poirier was also active, attempting a guillotine on three separate occasions. Setting a furious pace, Saint Denis was nonstop in Poirier’s face in the first three minutes.

Despite landing a solid shot in the opening moments of the second round, Saint Denis appeared to seize control on the ground. But Poirier got back to his feet, then finally turned the tables, capitalizing with an uppercut and then his right hand for the victory.

With the win, Poirier holds his position as one of the top fighters in the world.

MVP wins UFC debut

MVP has found a new home in the UFC.

A longtime Bellator star, Michael “Venom” Page defeated Kevin Holland by unanimous decision, making his debut in the Octagon a victorious one.

Courtesy Zuffa LLC

Courtesy Zuffa LLC

Page was elusive in the first round, using his speed to keep a healthy range between himself and Holland. A rare slip by Page in the second round allowed Holland to take him down and land some ground-and-pound, likely winning him the round.

But Page landed the first eight significant strikes in the third round, which carried him to victory. His unorthodox style caused problems for Holland, who simply could not connect with any consistency.

Holland (25-11, 1 NC) loses a tough bout, but this is an outstanding start for Page (22-2) in the UFC.

Jack Della Maddalena knocks out Gilbert Burns

In the biggest test of Jack Della Maddalena’s career, he performed at an elite level.

Della Maddalena knocked out Gilbert Burns in the third round, a vicious sequence that began with a brutal right knee. After a close first round and a second that favored Burns, Della Maddalena needed to secure a finish in the third. And that is precisely what he did.

Courtesy Zuffa LLC

Courtesy Zuffa LLC

Burns, 37, is ten years older than Della Maddalena, but he was every bit his equal for the majority of this fight.

Burns delivered the two biggest shots in the second round, with a vicious right elbow early and a big right hand late. Della Maddalena came out swinging in the third, ultimately finishing Burns and extending his winning streak to 17.

The hype around Della Maddalena (17-2) only grows with this showing. Burns (22-7) was every bit his equal, taking back control before Della Maddalena finally seized control with the knee. He called out the undefeated Shavkat Rakhmonov after the win, which would be a phenomenal five-round bout to determine the future of the welterweight division.

Petr Yan ends losing streak

Petr Yan’s losing streak is over.

After losing his last three fights, Yan (17-5) defeated Song Yadong by unanimous decision in the opening bout of the UFC 299 main card.

Courtesy Zuffa LLC

Courtesy Zuffa LLC

Yan got tougher as the fight extended, which he is known to do, but that is more complicated in a three-round bout. Yadong delivered more damage in the opening round, but Yan made immediate adjustments in the second round, especially with his grappling. Yan also controlled the majority of the third round, with his striking steadily becoming a factor throughout the final 10 minutes.

The loss is not too detrimental for Yadong (21-8-1, 1 NC), who remains in the middle of the pack. But Yan had not competed in a year, and this win was incredibly important for his standing in the bantamweight division.

UFC 299 is headlined by Sean O’Malley making the first defense of his bantamweight championship, which he will do in the main event against Chito Vera.

But this is also the breakout party for Benoît Saint Denis.

Courtesy Zuffa LLC

Courtesy Zuffa LLC

Saint Denis (13-1, 1 NC) has a lightweight bout in the co-main against Dustin Poirier. A UFC staple, Poirier (29-8, 1 NC) is synonymous with the lightweight division. But he turned 35 in January, and he is coming off a knockout loss last July against Justin Gaethje.

There have been plenty of hints foreshadowing Poirier’s demise. His victory over Michael Chandler in November of 2022 was impressive, but his only other wins in the past three years were against Conor McGregor. In a quiet manner, Poirier has been replaced among the division’s elite. His speed is not quite the same level, and he is now placed in an extremely difficult matchup.

Though still relatively unknown, Saint Denis, 28, is the future of the division. He brings an unrelenting aggressive pursuit, and plenty of speed and power. This has the potential to end extremely badly for Poirier. After manhandling Matt Frevola last November, Saint Denis now looks to catapult himself into the thick of the title picture with an emphatic win against a future UFC Hall of Famer.

On a card built around O’Malley, the focus at UFC 299 will ultimately be on Saint Denis.