UFC 290 Co-Main Event Moreno vs. Pantoja Flyweight Championship

Alex Murray
By:
Alex Murray
07 Jul 23
Betting Magazine
News - UFC
UFC 290 Co-Main Event Moreno vs. Pantoja Flyweight Championship

It’s International Fight Week right now and UFC 290—which features two title fights—is the cherry on top, going down on July 8th at what is sure to be a sold out T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. In the co-main event, Brandon Moreno will look to defend his flyweight belt against challenger Alexandre Pantoja. The champ will come in as a pretty substantial moneyline favorite to retain his belt at most betting sites and betting apps.

Highlights

  • Brandon Moreno is a -200 odds favorite to win in the co-main event
  • The fight has -111 odds to go the distance
  • The most likely method of victory is Moreno by decision at +170

Brandon Moreno vs. Alexandre Pantoja Flyweight Championship Odds - July 8th

In a card that will be headlined by the featherweight championship bout between Alexander Volkanovski and Yair Rodriguez and also feature the likes of Robert Whittaker and Robbie Lawler, the most exciting fight could very well be the co-main featuring Moreno and Pantoja. Both guys have massive power at 125 and are deadly on the mat as well. All odds provided by Betway.

Fighter

Moneyline

Win by KO/TKO/DQ

Win by Submission

Win by Decision

Total Rounds

Brandon Moreno

-200

+250

+800

+170

O4.5 (-118)

Alexandre Pantoja

+162

+1,200

+450

+400

U4.5 (-118)

Fight To Go The Distance Odds Analysis

The UFC’s lightest division, flyweight, has produced some surprising fireworks in 2023, with 11 of 17 flyweight fights this year getting finished inside the distance. However, that trend has started to lose steam, with six of the last seven flyweight bouts reaching the final bell.

This co-main event is pitting two guys against each other that do not often allow their opponents to get to the final bell, with 34 of their combined 46 wins coming inside the distance. However, while Brandon Moreno and Alexandre Pantoja both know how to finish an opponent, neither has ever been finished themselves across 59 combined professional bouts, which is why the fight to go the distance prop at -111 odds looks mighty interesting here.

We’ve seen these two - especially Moreno in his epic quadrilogy with Deiveison Figueiredo—take some absolute haymakers and just keep on ticking. Their chins are both made of concrete and Moreno’s division leading 14:53 average fight time is a good omen as well, so unless one of the two makes an egregious error on the mat and allows themselves to be submitted, this fight should go the full 25.

Brandon Moreno Odds Analysis

Brandon Moreno embarked on a four-fight odyssey against former champ Deivison Figueiredo and came out on top with the belt and a 2-1-1 record against the Brazilian. Now, he must get through another Brazilian killer in Pantoja if he wants to hold onto his belt and continue building the legend of Assassin Baby.

Against Deus Da Guerra, Moreno showed that not only can he take some huge punches, he can return fire with the best of them. While the 125-pounder has just five knockout wins over his career, he fights on the feet more than willingly and knows how to vary his attack to keep his opponent guessing, as evidenced by his filthy body kick finish of Kai Kara-France last year.

Moreno has knockout power, he’s got volume, and he’s got variety in the stand up game, but he’s arguably at his best scrambling around on the mat. The Mexican fighter is a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt, and that should be no surprise considering his 11 submission wins. Moreno also ranks second in total control time, second in top position time, second in takedowns landed, and third in takedown accuracy among active UFC flyweights.

Pantoja is also a jiu-jitsu black belt, however, so Moreno’s advantage on the mat might not be as pronounced as it would be against most other opponents. For Moreno to hold onto his belt, he’ll want to keep the volume and energy up and tire out Pantoja, who has neve gone five rounds in the UFC. Moreno’s got a massive gas tank, so the longer this fight goes, the more the pendulum swings to the Mexican fighter.

Alexandre Pantoja Odds Analysis

Believe it or not, the man they call the Cannibal has already beaten the champ not once, but twice. He submitted Moreno on The Ultimate Fighter 24 in 2016 and won a decision in the UFC in 2018 during which he completely battered Moreno. He’s done it before, but can he do it again? Considering their last matchup was over five years ago, we’re not so sure.

Moreno is 29 to Pantoja’s 33, Moreno is 5’7” to Pantoja’s 5’5”, and Moreno’s 70 inch reach beats out Pantoja’s 68-inch wingspan. Apart from packing more power in his punches and maybe a slightly more dangerous submission game on the mat, there’s not much that Pantoja does better than Moreno.

If Pantoja can mix up his attack and keep Moreno in the pocket rather than chasing him around the octagon and tiring out, he’s got a shot here. Moreno does drop his hands after throwing punches from time to tie, so a well-timed counter could be significant for Pantoja. The thing is, even if he does catch Moreno flush, it very well might have no effect on the Assassin Baby’s inhuman steel chin.

Alex is a recent graduate of Ryerson's Sport Media program in 2019 and has been contributing to BettingTop10 since 2020. He has worked in the field of sports and sports betting for several years, including stops writing for theScore and daily fantasy sports website FantasyPros as one of the lead NBA news writers. A dedicated sports fan and experienced sports bettor, Alex has the knowledge to provide you with the best betting advice and the sneakiest props no matter what the sport may be.