Our hot prospect of the week is former lightweight and newly instated UFC featherweight Omar Morales.
Read on for our complete betting guide taking a first look at our hot prospect of the week, Omar Morales, and his challenger Jonathan Pearce, including updated UFC odds and our free expert UFC betting picks.
Jonathan Pearce vs. Omar Morales
UFC Featherweight Bout
Saturday, September 25, 2021 – 09:05 PM EDT at T-Mobile Arena
UFC Hot Prospect: Omar Morales (11-1)
Born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela, Morales was raised by a family who heavily invested their lives in martial arts. His father was known for his diverse combat skillset and even created his own form of combat known as 'slam', which later became highly recognized in the Venezuela region.
Before he evolved into MMA, Morales was trained by his father in full-contact kickboxing. His love for martial arts couldn't be overrun by any other sport, despite owning a passion for baseball which eventually fizzled out when he started MMA full-time aged seventeen. It would take another ten years before Morales made his MMA debut, as full combat kickboxing was still at the forefront of his fighting journey.
At 34-years-old, Omar has finally reached the pinnacle of martial arts competition and is a fully-fledged UFC fighter. Injuries were a setback, and UFC President Dana White rarely shows interest in aging fighters. Still, Morales impressed the Dana White Contender Series boss back in 2019 to earn his position on the roster.
Eight years spent competing on the regional and national circuit is now accompanied by the Sanford MMA gym, where Morales can gain an entire new wealth of combat knowledge. Morales had remained undefeated until a close battle with Giga Chikadze, and we should expect his career path to deliver more successful bouts.
UFC 266: Omar Morales Fighter Analysis
Omar Morales has a significant advantage over his opponent, Jonathan Pearce, this weekend.
Speed and power will leave Pearce in trouble when a pressuring version of Morales is exceptionally effective. A beautiful push jab, head kick, 1-2's switching to that head kick, and he possesses the power behind these strikes to end the fight. This would be a concern for Pearce who's striking defense can be labeled 'horrific'.
Pearce does own a nice jab, but even if Pearce does manage to become the pressuring fighter, he'll receive a bunch of low kicks and counter hooks. But a flat-footed stance and lead rear-uppercuts are a definite flaw in his game; easily readable telegraphed strikes shouldn't be a problem for Morales.
UFC 266 Hot Prospect Betting Pick
Pearce is no slouch by any means, but it's hard to ignore the technical striking offense of Omar Morales. Effective takedown defense should allow Morales to keep this fight standing, where he can outwork his opponent all night long. Giga Chikadze has brutalized his opponents, but Omar Morales was able to eat those strikes up.
For your UFC pick, consider that Jonathan Pearce is tough, but durability doesn't win fights – output does.
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.
UFC 266 Main Card and Odds
- Alexander Volkanovski vs. Brian Ortega [UFC featherweight championship main event bout]
- Valentina Shevchenko vs. Lauren Murphy [UFC women's flyweight title co-main event bout]
- Robbie Lawler vs. Nick Diaz [UFC middleweight bout]
- Curtis Blaydes vs. Jairzinho Rozenstruik [UFC heavyweight bout]
- Jessica Andrade vs. Cynthia Calvillo [UFC women's flyweight bout]