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Charles Oliveira vs. Dustin Poirier UFC 269 Odds, Pick & Prediction: How to Find Value in Main Event (Saturday, December 11)

Charles Oliveira vs. Dustin Poirier UFC 269 Odds, Pick & Prediction: How to Find Value in Main Event (Saturday, December 11) article feature image
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Carmen Mandato/Getty Images. Pictured: UFC fighter Charles Oliveira.

  • Charles Oliveira is an underdog in his first UFC Lightweight Championship defense vs. Dustin Poirier.
  • Oliveira has won nine straight, while Poirier has just one loss since the start of 2017.
  • Sean Zerillo breaks down the fight below and makes his betting pick.

Charles Oliveira vs. Dustin Poirier Odds

Oliveira Odds
+120
Poirier Odds
-140
Over/Under
1.5 (-195 / +155)
Venue
T-Mobile Arena
Time
Approx. 12:30 a.m. ET
Channel
ESPN PPV
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute UFC odds here.

The main event at UFC 269 features a lightweight title bout between current champion Charles Oliveira and the uncrowned champion Dustin Poirier — who has scored consecutive victories over Conor McGregor in January and July of this year.

Poirier won the interim lightweight title against Max Holloway in 2019 before losing a unification bout against Khabib Nurmagomedov later that year. Since that loss, he has been on a three-fight winning streak and will take a second crack at undisputed UFC gold on Saturday.

Oliveira is currently riding a nine-fight winning streak that includes eight finishes. He is making his first title defense against Poirier following a come-from-behind knockout over Michael Chandler to win the belt in May.

“Do Bronx” has scored a finish in 28 of his 31 career victories and has never been to the fourth round in any fight. Poirier has finished 21 of his 28 career wins, and he has been to the championship rounds in three of his past seven contests.

Both men have competed in the UFC for more than a decade. The betting market lists this fight at -360 (78% implied) to end inside of the distance, so this should be a violent affair.

Let’s break down the main event of UFC 269 and see where we can find some betting value. For more analysis on the rest of the card, you can check out my projections for the entire slate here.

Tale of the Tape

Oliveira Poirier
Record 31-8 (1 NC) 28-6 (1 NC)
Avg. Fight Time 6:53 10:00
Height 5’10” 5’9″
Weight (pounds) 155 lbs. 154.5 lbs.
Reach (inches) 74″ 72″
Stance Orthodox Southpaw
Date of birth 10/17/89 1/19/89
Sig Strikes Per Min 3.26 5.62
SS Accuracy 52% 50%
SS Absorbed Per Min 3.01 4.19
SS Defense 53% 53%
Take Down Avg 2.64 1.50
TD Acc 44% 36%
TD Def 57% 61%
Submission Avg 2.7 1.2

The key attribute in this fight is likely Poirier’s submission defense/ability to survive on the bottom if Oliveira manages to gain top position.

Oliveira has a variety of methods to get his opponents to the mat — whether shooting a double leg from distance or transitioning to a body lock from the clinch — and his metrics demonstrate his effectiveness (2.64 takedowns per 15 minutes, 44% accuracy).

Poirier’s takedown defense (61%) isn’t overly impressive, particularly in the context of his schedule of opponents. Khabib (landed seven of eight takedowns, 8:52 control time) mauled Poirier on the mat, but even Dan Hooker (four of nine takedowns, 6:02 control) successfully put the American on his back and held him there last year.

Oliveira is one of the most lethal submission grapplers in the world and the most effective submission grappler in UFC history; if he can get on top of Poirier early, he’s going to take him to jiu-jitsu class:

Poirier is incredibly well-rounded and trains with an elite camp at American Top Team; still, he hasn’t faced many high-level offensive grapplers in the UFC. His overall submission defense remains a mystery against a top-flight grappler like Oliveira.

Oliveira is also an incredibly underrated and highly technical striker. He will be the taller and longer man in the cage against Poirier, and he is enormous for the 155-pound division. However, Oliveira’s Muay Thai base leaves him open to damage in pocket exchanges where his head often remains on the centerline.

Oliveira is the superior grappler and wrestler, and he might be able to stay outside and play the range game with his kicks, but Poirier is both the superior boxer and the more durable man. If Dustin is willing to bite his mouthpiece and blitz into the pocket, he can likely catch the champion clean and put him down. However, I expect him to be patient and look to drag Oliveira to deep waters.

The Poirier side might be a bit overvalued due to his highly-publicized wins over McGregor. Oliveira presents a much different stylistic matchup, and he can put Poirier into the dangerous positions that Dustin only sees in the training room.

For instance, Poirier has a tendency to give up his back in scrambles — opponents have rarely capitalized on those opportunities — but Oliveira is much more likely to capitalize on those mistakes.

If Poirier can survive the first couple of rounds, he should eventually take over the fight and likely put Oliveira away late. As I mentioned above, Oliveira has never been past the third round in a professional fight, and it’s difficult to imagine him maintaining his chaotic pace for 25 minutes.

Poirier lost the first 10 minutes in the Hooker fight and won the final three rounds. He typically withstands damage early and rallies, and if he can answer the grappling questions against Oliveira, he should be out of danger after the first couple of rounds.

If Oliveira is doing enough to win minutes with top position, he should finish the fight. And although he’s capable of hanging on the feet with Poirier, I do expect the American to land the harder shots and secure the majority of points over 25 minutes.

Oliveira vs. Poirier Pick

I project betting value on Oliveira’s moneyline (projected 47.5% or +111 implied), and I show slight value on the fight to end inside the distance (projected -394).

Moreover, I project value on Oliveira to win by submission (projected +224, listed +300) or by finish (projected +148, listed +200 at DraftKings).

Most of Oliveira’s win condition (projected 85%) is tied to a finish. I could say the same for Poirier (projected 75%). Still, he’s the much likelier minute winner in the fight — particularly over the final three rounds — which is why I prefer Oliveira’s inside-the-distance prop compared to his moneyline.

If Poirier survives to Round 3, I will look to jump in on his side live. Suppose he’s able to survive the initial onslaught of submission attempts and/or keep this fight standing. In that case, Poirier should eventually pull away on the scorecards or finish Oliveira in the late stages. 

Fight doesn’t start Round 4 (-175) is my favorite way to attack the total.

The Pick: Charles Oliveira wins by Finish (+200)

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