After two consecutive weeks of UFC main events ending quickly in the first round due to strange injuries, fans are hoping that the UFC 277 main event will not suffer the same fate.
In a rematch for the two best fighters on the planet, Amanda Nunes hopes to reclaim her welterweight title against champion Juliana Peña.
SI MMA: Can Peña prove it wasn’t a fluke?
Nunes enters again as the favourite because she was in her first match last December, and was won by Pena by submitting the second round. The Lioness admitted that she wasn’t 100% in the match because she had just recovered from COVID and was battling some annoying injuries. However, credit must be given to Peña for doing exactly what she said she would do and leaving UFC 269 with the belt.
She said the plan is at the same time, but the lioness is a favorite for a reason.
Here are our staff’s best bets at UFC 277.
Date: Saturday 30 July 2022
time: 10 p.m. Eastern time
Site: American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas
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Early Prelims 6pm ET
Orion Cosce (-188) vs. Mike Diamond (+155)
Nicolae Negomeriano (-118) vs Ihor Buteria (+100)
Jocelyn Edwards (-125) vs. Ji Eun Kim (+105)
Michael Morales (-599) vs Adam Fugate (+450)
Prelims 8pm ET
Drakkar Klose (-225) vs. Rafa Garcia (+188)
Nuttall Mays (-188) vs. Hamdi Abdel Wahab (+155)
Drew Dauber (-188) vs. Rafael Alves (+155)
Alex Morono (+138) vs Matthew Semmelsberger (-163)
Main card 10PM ET
Magomed Ankalife (-540) vs. Anthony Smith (+410)
Alexandre Pantoga (-188) vs. Alex Perez (+155)
Derek Lewis (+115) vs. Sergei Pavlovic (-138)
Brandon Moreno (-213) vs. Kai Cara France (+175) Flyweight Temporary title bout
Juliana Peña (+225) vs. Amanda Nunes (-275) Women’s bantam weight bout
Justin Barrasso from SI MMA:
Amanda Nunes will restore order in the bantamweight division at UFC 277. Juliana Peña deserves credit for her impressive win, but Nunes is too versatile to lose a second straight game. She is also hungry after being humbled by that loss, and this is her chance to pay a receipt to Peña.
Bet: Nunes via TKO (+120)
Doug Vasquez from SI Video:
If Derek Lewis is on the card, this is a fight I’ll be excited about 100 percent of the time no matter who else is fighting. That’s still the case for UFC 277 and the fact that I can get The Black Beast for the extra money is very interesting. His opponent in Sergei Pavlovich is a scary guy, with a 3-1 UFC record, winning all via KO. There is no chance that this fight will go to the scorecards. Someone’s going to sleep and I’m counting on Luis feeding Pavlovic in cramped quarters and I get a chance to plant one on his chin.
Bet: Lewis via KO (+150)
Julian Pinto from SI Video:
I play very closely with the Anthony Smith-Magomed Ankalayev match. Both men are very close to the title shot and this fight will have major implications for the title photo at 205 pounds. I think Ankalaev took the final place in this match. His hitting is too crisp for MMA and his timing is pretty good. He does a good job of keeping striking distance and has a great right hook, which is good for preventing his opponents from getting sucked into him and choking him. Smith will have some fleeting moments here and there, but Ankalaev will beat him to his feet and put any takedowns Smith has in store.
Bet: Ankalaev via DEC (+100)
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