UFC 277 Picks, Predictions, Odds
The Lioness will be out to reclaim her UFC Women’s Bantamweight Championship at UFC 277. Amanda Nunes suffered a shocking loss to Julianna Pena at UFC 269 in December, and she is a considerable favorite by the UFC betting odds in the rematch this Saturday night. However, there has been some action on Pena in the run-up to the fight this week as bettors are taking advantage of the uncommon opportunity of betting on the champion as a sizeable underdog.
Brandon Moreno and Kai-Kara France will square off for the interim UFC Flyweight Championship in the co-main event, and other top fighters like Derrick Lewis, Alexandre Pantoja, and Magomed Ankalaev will be in action this weekend too.
UFC 277 will be held at American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas on Saturday, July 30, 2022. The prelims for this major promotion will start at 8 p.m. ET on ABC, ESPN, and ESPN+ before the PPV starts at 10 p.m. ET sharp on ESPN+.
Julianna Pena vs. Amanda Nunes Picks
One of the biggest upsets in UFC history happened in December when Julianna Pena submitted Amanda Nunes with a rear-naked choke in the second round at UFC 269. Pena was close to 10-1 against Nunes, and her chances looked even longer after The Lioness dominated the first round. However, Nunes was uncharacteristically sloppy in the second round as she looked for an early finish. Pena took full advantage of the champion’s recklessness and landed some big blows that led to the submission.
Kudos to anyone that backed Pena in the first fight as there was nothing in her history that suggested she was capable of defeating Nunes. Pena was submitted by Valentina Shevchenko and Germaine de Randamie in two of her previous four fights, and she had just one victory that didn’t come by decision dating back over six years. The current champion hasn’t showcased a lot of power, so she will struggle in the rematch if Nunes is more patient.
Nunes is the greatest female fighter in UFC history. She has surpassed Ronda Rousey, Holly Holm, and contemporary Valentina Shevchenko, and she will be out to atone for her stunning loss. Focus seemed to be the major issue for Nunes in the first fight, so look for the reigning UFC Women’s Flyweight Champion to be more locked in this time around.
To Win Fight: Amanda Nunes (-275)
Total Rounds: Under 3.5 (-175)
Brandon Moreno vs. Kai Kara-France Picks
Current UFC Flyweight Championship title holder Deiveson Figueiredo is dealing with injuries to both of his hands, so the promotion decided to put an extra incentive on the flyweight contenders’ showdown between No. 1 Brandon Moreno and No. 2 Kai Kara-France.
Moreno’s last three fights have been against Figueiredo with the UFC Flyweight Championship on the line. Their first bout resulted in a majority draw after Figueiredo was penalized a point in the third round, but Moreno bounced back to win the rematch by submission at UFC 263 last summer. The trilogy resulted in a unanimous decision win for Figueiredo in January, so Moreno is hoping to face Figueiredo for the title once more in the first-ever ‘fourpeat’ in UFC history.
This is the second fight between Moreno and Kara-France. In their first meeting back at UFC 245 almost three years ago, they largely stood toe-to-toe and exchanged heavy blows. Moreno clearly got the better of Kara-France, landing more strikes and more powerful strikes on his way to winning a unanimous decision. He hasn’t lost to a fighter other than Figueiredo in over four years, making him a deserved favorite here.
Kara-France has won three straight fights, and he earned Performance of the Night bonuses against Rogerio Bontorin and Cody Garbrandt by knocking both fighters out in the first round. He won’t have the same success against Moreno though as he does not have a reach advantage, and he is facing an opponent that he already lost to in the prime of his career.
To Win Fight: Brandon Moreno (-210)
Total Rounds: Under 4.5 (+125)
Derrick Lewis vs. Sergei Pavlovich Picks
It’s unlikely that the bout between Derrick Lewis and Sergei Pavlovich goes the distance. Lewis has the most knockouts in UFC history, and only six of his 35 fights have been decided by the judges in his long career. Most of his bouts are decided in the first or second round, as he throws powerful punches but lacks stamina at 6’3 and 282 pounds.
Lewis is in an unfamiliar spot as an underdog against Sergei Pavlovich, but Pavlovich is 15-1 with 12 knockouts in his professional MMA career. Pavolich’s only loss came to Alistair Overeem in his UFC debut, but he has since responded in a big way with three consecutive first-round victories, and he earned Performance of the Night bonuses in two of those wins.
Although Lewis is about 30 pounds heavier than Pavlovich, the Russian has a huge reach advantage. That will allow him to mitigate Lewis’ power, and he has more stamina than the more well-known Lewis too.
To Win Fight: Sergei Pavlovich (-138)
Total Rounds: Over 2.5 (+275)
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Alexandre Pantoja vs. Alex Perez Picks
There’s a lot to like about Alexandre Pantoja prior to his showdown with Alex Perez this week. Pantoja’s only recent losses have come against elite flyweights Deiveson Figueiredo and Askar Askarov, and he has an impressive win over Brandon Moreno. He earned Performance of the Night bonuses for his quality victories over Brandon Royval and Matt Schnell over the last few years, making him a moderate favorite over Alex Perez.
Perez challenged Figueiredo for the UFC Flyweight Championship prior to the current champion’s trilogy with Brandon Moreno. He had made quick work of Jussier Formiga and Jordan Espinosa in his two fights before that showdown, but the loss to Figueiredo showed that he still has a way to go to become an elite fighter.
We haven’t seen Perez enter the Octagon since that loss to Figueiredo almost two years ago. Perez has dealt with injuries, and he has failed to make weight in two straight fights. That does not bode well for his chances here, so Pantoja has a lot of potential value.
To Win Fight: Alexandre Pantoja (-175)
Total Rounds: Over 2.5 (-150)
Anthony Smith vs. Magomed Ankalaev Picks
The biggest favorite on the board this week is Magomed Ankalaev. He is the No. 4 ranked light heavyweight in the UFC, and he is 17-1 in his career. Ankalaev has won eight straight fights since his loss to Paul Craig in his promotion debut, and he could soon get the opportunity to challenge for the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship. An impressive win against Anthony Smith this week might be the golden ticket he needs for a title shot.
The wind has left the sails of the Anthony Smith hype train. Smith has a great story, but he is just 36-16 as a professional fighter and his most recent wins weren’t against elite competition. He is at the tail end of his career, and the best case scenario for him now is as a gatekeeper.
To Win Fight: Magomed Ankalaev (-550)
Total Rounds: Under 2.5 (+110)
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