UFC 277 predictions — Julianna Pena vs. Amanda Nunes 2: Combat card, odds, professional picks, prelims

On Saturday night time, Julianna Pena has the prospect to show lightning can strike twice when she defends her girls’s bantamweight championship towards Amanda Nunes in the principle occasion of UFC 277 from American Airways Heart in Dallas.

Pena shocked the MMA world at UFC 269, submitting Nunes to seize the championship. Previous to the defeat, Nunes had established herself as the best feminine fighter within the historical past of the game, successful each the bantamweight and featherweight titles and working via each girl to ever maintain both of these championships. Regardless of coming into the battle with a 2-2 report in her earlier 4 bouts, Pena was capable of finish Nunes’ run.

Within the UFC 277 co-main occasion, Brandon Moreno appears to be like to recapture gold when the previous flyweight champion battles Kai Kara-France for the interim belt. The pair beforehand met in 2019 with Moreno taking a call victory. Kara-France has gone on a 4-1 run, together with a present three-fight successful streak, since that battle.

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With a lot occurring on Saturday night time, let’s take a better have a look at the total battle card with the most recent odds from Caesars Sportsbook earlier than we get to our workers predictions and picks for the PPV portion of the festivities.

UFC 277 battle card, odds

Odds through Caesars Sportsbook

  • Amanda Nunes -270 vs. Julianna Pena (c) +220, girls’s bantamweight championship
  • Brandon Moreno -210 vs. Kai Kara-France +175, interim flyweight championship
  • Sergei Pavlovich -140 vs. Derrick Lewis +120, heavyweight
  • Alexandre Pantoja -200 vs. Alex Perez +170, flyweight
  • Magomed Ankalaev -550 vs. Anthony Smith +400, mild heavyweight
  • Matthew Semelsberger -155 vs. Alex Morono +130, welterweight
  • Drew Dober -170 vs. Rafael Alves +145, light-weight
  • Don’Story Mayes -180 vs. Hamdy Abdelwahab +155, heavyweight
  • Drakkar Klose -220 vs. Rafa Garcia +180, lightweights
  • Michael Morales -650 vs. Adam Fugitt +475, welterweight
  • Joselyne Edwards -125 vs. Ji Yeon Kim +105, girls’s flyweight
  • Nicolae Negumereanu -115 vs. Ihor Potieria -105, mild heavyweight
  • Orion Cosce -180 vs. Blood Diamond +155, welterweight

With such a large essential occasion on faucet, the crew at CBS Sports activities went forward with predictions and picks for the principle card. Listed here are your choose makers: Brent Brookhouse (Fight sports activities author), Brian Campbell (Fight sports activities author, co-host of “Morning Kombat”), Shakiel Mahjouri (author), Michael Mormile (producer) and Brandon Clever (senior editor).

UFC 277 picks, predictions

Pena (c) vs. Nunes Nunes Nunes Nunes Nunes Nunes
Moreno vs. Kara-France Kara-France Moreno Moreno Moreno Moreno
Lewis vs. Pavlovich Lewis Lewis Lewis Lewis Pavlovich
Pantoja vs. Perez Pantoja Perez Pantoja Pantoja Pantoja
Smith vs. Ankalaev Ankalaev Ankalaev Ankalaev Ankalaev Ankalaev
Information thus far (2022) 16-17 19-14 16-17 17-16 22-11

Pena vs. Nunes

Campbell: Is it honest to counsel their first assembly at UFC 269 noticed Pena ship the best efficiency of her profession whereas Nunes gave arguably her worst? On the finish of the day, it’s honest, even when that feels prefer it’s undermining every thing that Pena did effectively that night time to shock the world. Now we learn about Pena’s cussed toughness and her willingness to stay poised in excessive eventualities, which proved to be an enormous a part of how she gained, together with the way in which she gassed Nunes out on the bottom. It is simply laborious to think about the very same state of affairs enjoying out once more, with lightning hanging a second time in the identical place. Nunes remains to be often called the G.O.A.T. of ladies’s MMA due to how harmful and almost full a fighter she turned via an unimaginable 12-fight win streak. Nunes might want to battle extra from distance and remained poised in methods she could not the primary time. Simply re-watch her five-round victory over Valentina Shevchenko of their rematch to remind how a lot of a chess participant Nunes will be. If “The Lioness” can forestall the battle from turning into chaos and maintain it off the bottom for giant sections, she has the potential to win going away. However she should make Pena come to her and make her pay for crossing the road.

Brookhouse: Fight sports activities historical past is affected by nice athletes working into particular fighters who simply develop into their kryptonite, even when it simply appeared to not make sense on paper. Vernon Forrest had Shane Mosley’s quantity even when Mosley was the higher fighter traditionally. Equally, Forrest misplaced to Ricardo Mayorga twice regardless of all cause suggesting Forrest ought to have gained each fights. Is that the case with Pena and Nunes? It might be that Pena’s toughness and talent to fuel Nunes out within the first battle was indicative of Pena simply having Nunes’ quantity. That stated, it is laborious to facet towards the best feminine fighter within the historical past of ladies’s MMA now that she’s had time to soak up the data, prepare and modify. Pena deserves all credit score for the win and all respect coming into the rematch, however repeating is an enormous ask.

Moreno vs. Kara-France

Campbell: If his final three fights are any indication, Kara-France is a way more assured, harmful and advanced risk than the model of him who misplaced a unanimous determination to Moreno in 2019. The native of New Zealand has turn into extra of a risk to complete of late, and did simply that towards Rogerio Boterin and Cody Garbrandt. However his determination win over Askar Askarov, who pushed Moreno to the restrict of their draw three years in the past, showcased the total stage of his maturity. Anticipate this to be a high-speed duel with Moreno seeking to bounce again in an enormous approach from dropping the title to Deiveson Figueiredo of their third assembly. However Kara-France is solely driving the form of momentum that’s tough to place a ceiling upon. Kara-France will must be exact on his combos when he chooses to take possibilities, however the potential to pressure Moreno to second guess and chase him could be very a lot there. 

Brookhouse: This can be a very powerful battle to name. Kara-France is an excellent fighter who has gotten higher efficiency after efficiency. It is simply laborious to disregard that Moreno has largely completed the identical. He is gone three straight fights with Deiveson Figueiredo giving simply nearly as good as he received and arguably deserving the win all three outings. Moreno’s tempo and mixture of sharp hanging and offensive grappling make him such a harmful fighter that he is received the sting coming into what ought to be an unimaginable battle.

Lewis vs. Pavlovich

Campbell: For as self-implosive as his current knockout defeats to Cyril Gane and Tai Tuivasa seemed to be, Lewis is an excessive amount of of a sly fox to rely out simply but, particularly towards this stage of competitors. If Pavlovich, the slight betting favourite who has gained three straight since being stopped by Alistair Overeem, is on his approach to turning into one of many division’s elite, historical past will inform you he most likely will defeat Lewis. However that is still an enormous if and Lewis’ energy alone leaves him because the incorrect man to make an enormous mistake towards whereas attempting to make that leap. Lewis has rebounded enormous from one-sided defeats previously, together with the whitewashing placed on him by Daniel Cormier of their 2018 title bout. At 37, there’s nonetheless sufficient chunk left in Lewis to outlive and advance to the subsequent massive check.

Brookhouse: Lewis has appeared much less and fewer energetic throughout fights, largely seeking to land one fight-ending blow. He has all the time relied on his energy however every thing appears to be slowing down in his sport. That stated, Lewis’ energy is really important and he does solely have to land one. Pavlovich has regarded good in three straight outings, however he is been seeking to stand and commerce towards lower-tier opposition. There is a very robust likelihood Lewis will get caught once more in a brawl however stage of opposition issues and till Pavlovich proves himself to have the ability to proceed his success towards a greater tier of opponent, it looks as if you need to facet with Lewis to do what he has completed so usually and cease somebody from crashing into the highest 10.

Who wins UFC 277: Peña vs. Nunes 2? And what different picks do it is advisable to see? Go to SportsLine now to get detailed high picks on UFC Combat Night time, all from the insider who’s up greater than $10,000 on MMA picks the previous two years, and discover out.