MMA Preview – Jennifer Maia vs Casey O’Neill at UFC 286
JENNIFER MAIA VS CASEY O’NEILL FACTS
When is UFC 286? Saturday 18th March, 2023 - 19:00 (Prelims) 21:00 (PPV - £19.95)
Where is UFC 286? The O2 Arena, London (UK)
Where can I get tickets for UFC 286? Click here to buy tickets for UFC 286 at the O2 Arena
What channel is UFC 286 on? BT Sport 1
Where can I stream UFC 286? BT Sport subscribers can stream the fight online via the BT Sport website
For viewers in the United States, the event will be shown live on ESPN+ and you can sign up for access as part of a Disney Bundle here!
JENNIFER MAIA VS CASEY O’NEILL LOWDOWN
Jennifer Maia (20-9-1) is beginning to turn into a flyweight gatekeeper after her title fight loss to Valentina Shevchenko (2020). She lost a unanimous decision and then responded with one of her own against Jessica Eye (2022). However, she went on to lose two more to chief gatekeeper Katlyn Chookagian (2022) and future contender Manon Fiorot (2022). She fought for a third time last year and got back in the win column closing the gate on Maryna Moroz.
Casey O’Neill (9-0) has been storming towards that gate since her debut in 2021. She only had five fights to her name back then and had a comfortable entrance to the big time, mauling through and TKOing Shana Dobson (2021). She followed that up with a submission over Lara Procopio (2021), another TKO over Antonina Shevchenko (2021) and a split decision over Roxanne Modafferi (2022).
JENNIFER MAIA VS CASEY O’NEILL PREDICTION
O’Neill look superb in her first few UFC fights although that split decision with Modafferi will not leave Maia quaking in her boots. The Brazilian is a significant step-up in competition and has the experience to match her skill set.
This is a huge test for O’Neill at only 25 years old especially after tearing her ACL. She is a rabid wrestler and we expect her to be able to take Maia down, but Maia is a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and is a strong offensive wrestler herself.
O’Neill is explosive but Maia is a solid boxer. She will be giving up five inches in reach but will make up for that with the better technique and we expect her to win the exchanges on the feet.
That said, we expect a lot of grappling here with both ladies having success in securing takedowns. Even though Maia has better jiu-jitsu, she does not want to be on her back as O’Neill is ferocious in top position with violent ground-and-pound.
Maia holds all the value as the underdog and we feel she has the experience and boxing to give O’Neill her toughest test to date. However, we feel Maia’s takedown defence will let her down here.
Prediction: O’Neill via Decision - CLICK HERE FOR PARIMATCH'S WELCOME OFFER (BET £5, GET £30 IN BONUSES!)
Value bet: Maia via Decision