After two straight weeks of UFC main events ending quickly in the first round due to freak injuries, fans are hoping the UFC 277 main event does not suffer the same fate.
In a rematch of arguably the two best women fighters on the planet, Amanda Nunes is hoping to reclaim her bantamweight title against champion Julianna Peña.
Nunes again enters as the favorite as she was in their first bout last December, won by Peña via second-round submission. The Lioness acknowledged she wasn’t 100 percent in the bout as she had just recovered from COVID and was battling some nagging injuries. That being said, credit needs to be given to Peña for doing exactly what she said she was going to do and leaving UFC 269 with the belt.
She said the plan is the same time this around, but the Lioness is favored for a reason.
Here are our staff’s best bets for UFC 277.
Date: Saturday, July 30, 2022
Time: 10 p.m. ET
Location: American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas
Early Prelims 6 p.m. ET
Orion Cosce (-188) vs. Mike Diamond (+155)
Nicolae Negumereanu (-118) vs. Ihor Potieria (+100)
Joselyne Edwards (-125) vs. Ji Yeon Kim (+105)
Michael Morales (-599) vs. Adam Fugitt (+450)
Prelims 8 p.m. ET
Drakkar Klose (-225) vs. Rafa Garcia (+188)
Don’tale Mayes (-188) vs. Hamdy Abdelwahab (+155)
Drew Dober (-188) vs. Rafael Alves (+155)
Alex Morono (+138) vs. Matthew Semelsberger (-163)
Main Card 10 p.m. ET
Magomed Ankalaev (-540) vs. Anthony Smith (+410)
Alexandre Pantoja (-188) vs. Alex Perez (+155)
Derrick Lewis (+115) vs. Sergei Pavlovich (-138)
Brandon Moreno (-213) vs. Kai Kara France (+175) Flyweight Interim Title Bout
Julianna Peña (+225) vs. Amanda Nunes (-275) Women’s Bantamweight Title Bout
SI MMA’s Justin Barrasso:
Amanda Nunes will restore order in the bantamweight division at UFC 277. Julianna Peña deserves credit for a spectacular win, but Nunes is too versatile to lose a second straight bout. She is also hungry after getting humbled in that loss, and this is her chance to pay a receipt to Peña.
BET: Nunes via TKO (+120)
SI Video’s Doug Vazquez:
If Derrick Lewis is on the card, that is the fight I will be most excited about 100 percent of the time regardless of who else is fighting. That is still the case for UFC 277 and the fact I can get The Black Beast at plus-money is very intriguing. His opponent in Sergiei Pavlovich is a scary dude, with a 3-1 UFC record, wining all via KO. There is no chance this fight goes to the scorecards. Someone is going to sleep and I am banking on Lewis baiting Pavlovich into tight quarters and finding an opportunity to plant one on his chin.
BETS: Lewis via KO (+150)
SI Video’s Julian Pinto:
Im playing close attention to the Anthony Smith-Magomed Ankalaev bout. Both men are pretty close to a title shot and this fight will have huge implications on the title picture at 205 pounds. I think Ankalaev gets the finish in this matchup. His striking is extremely crisp for MMA and his timing Is very good. He does a good job at maintaining striking distance and has a great check right hook, which is good for keeping his opponents from darting in and smothering him. Smith will have some fleeting moments here and there, but Ankalaev will outmatch him on the feet and stuff any takedowns Smith has in store.
BET: Ankalaev via DEC (+100)
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