One of the best cards of the year comes in the final month of the year as UFC 269 takes place tonight. Cageside Press has its picks set.

Staff Writers
Paiva vs. O'Malley
France vs. Garbrandt
Neal vs. Ponzinibbio
Nunes vs. Pena
Oliveira vs. Poirier
Dan Doherty (133-73)
Justin Gibbons (133-82)
Alex Behunin (120-76)
Eddie Law (71-45)
Gabriel Gonzalez (124-91)
Mike McClory (67-52)
Jay Anderson (115-96)
Chris Prawdzik (38-34)
Dylan Bowker (105-97)

The main event of UFC 269 is between a pair of lightweight veterans who are just now peaking. Lightweight champion Charles Oliveira has been in the UFC since 2010, holding the most submissions in the promotion’s history. Dustin Poirier first entered the Octagon one year later and has put together one of the most impressive resumes you’ll see on the roster. All but two writers picked Poirier.

The co-main event features the greatest female fighter of all time, Amanda Nunes, defending her belt against TUF winner Julianna Pena. Nunes has dominated two weight classes since her last loss in 2014, holding and defending both bantamweight and featherweight belts since 2018. Pena recently earned an impressive submission win over Sara McMann to get back in the win column. All but one writer picked Nunes.

Geoff Neal faces Santiago Ponzinibbio in a welterweight banger. After winning his first five UFC fights with four stoppages, Neal has taken losses to both Stephen Thompson and Neil Magny. Ponzinibbio is 1-1 since a multi-year layoff, defeating Miguel Baeza last time out. All but one writer picked Ponzinibbio.

Cody Garbrandt heads to flyweight to face Kai Kara-France. The former bantamwieght champion has struggled recently, losing four of his last five. Kara-France has won two of his last three with a knockout in his last fight. All but two writers picked Garbrandt.

Opening up the UFC 269 main card will be the showman Sean O’Malley against Raulian Paiva. Paiva is a tough out, winning his three last fights including Kyler Phillips most recently. O’Malley has bounced back from his first career loss with knockouts against Thomas Almeida and Kris Moutinho. All but one writer picked O’Malley.

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