Dustin Poirier vs. Benoit Saint-Denis prediction & odds | UFC 299 1

Perennial contender and interim lightweight champion Dustin Poirier returns this weekend at UFC 299. The Louisianna-born fighter is coming off a devastating knockout-of-the-year contender at the hands of Justin Gaethje and has a tough test ahead of him in Benoit Saint-Denis.

Despite having a near-perfect record, the French fighter has only been in the business for roughly six years, but he’s made a lasting impression on the sport with his devastating power and unrelenting pace nonetheless. This bout has all the markings of a match between a classic veteran and a rising prospect, making it all the more exhilarating.

Check out all of our UFC 299 predictions below:

Betting Odds

Surprisingly enough, Dustin Poirier enters this bout as a slight betting underdog despite a much deeper record.

  • Dustin Poirier: +170 (BetUS)
  • Benoit Saint-Denis: -205 (BetUS)

Fight Breakdown

It’s hard to find deficits in the games of either man in this contest. I wholeheartedly believe that, if they were in any other weight class, they both have the necessary skillsets and attributes to be great champions. Both have sharp, fundamentally sound striking that has led to some phenomenal finishes, with solid grappling and an ability to fight at a breakneck pace.

In a lot of ways, the striking may come down to the speed and slickness of Poirier against the brute strength and power of Saint-Denis, but both fighters possess the grit and determination to weather storms and adapt mid-fight. Poirier’s fluidity in movement and ability to capitalize on openings contrasts nicely against Saint-Denis’ raw force and ability to dictate the pace.

In terms of grappling, I’d say it’s fairly even, but Poirier’s previous matchups and experience may hand him a slight edge. Saint-Denis is explosive and can shoot both from a distance and within the pocket, but this is nothing Poirier didn’t need to deal with in his bout against Michael Chandler, where he was able to find critical sweeps and reversals to eventually win the fight by submission. Saint-Denis’ ground and pound is devastating enough to change the fight at any moment, however, which shouldn’t be forgotten.

One important caveat to this matchup that many people, including the oddsmakers, seem to be dismissing is the fact that this is the first time Saint-Denis has even been scheduled for five rounds, which is a hug step-up from his previous bouts.

Meanwhile, Poirier has shown time and time again that he’s not just prepared for five rounds, but thrives in such fights, often going at an inhuman pace to completely wear out fighters who were otherwise known for their cardio. In a division where everyone is trying to make a name for themselves, this is likely the biggest test Saint-Denis could get to see if he’s prepared for a five-round title fight.

Prediction and Betting Guide

I think the oddsmakers and fans have this bout completely wrong. Although he got knocked out in his last bout, people routinely forget the skillset and grit that made Poirier a household name in the MMA community.

From an X’s and O’s standpoint, I don’t see any department in fighting where Saint-Denis outshines him, aside from sheer explosivity. Pair that with the fact that this is Saint-Denis’ first five-round bout, and I really wouldn’t be surprised if we see what happened to Shamil Gaziev this past weekend or Joe Pyfer three weeks ago.

Still, Saint-Denis is yet to be finished, so I’d be light on a knockout win, but +700 for a Poirier win via decision seems like one of the most profitable bets on the card.

Pick: Poirier via Decision (+700) or Poirier Moneyline (+170)

Lines to Watch: Poirier via Submission (+1000) or Saint-Denis via KO/TKO (+300)

Check out all of our UFC 299 predictions below:

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