UFC 277 Predictions — Juliana Pena Vs. Amanda Nunes 2: Fight Card, Odds, Beginners, Expert Picks

On Saturday night, Juliana Pena has a chance to prove she can strike twice when she defends her women’s bantamweight championship against Amanda Nunes in the main event of UFC 277 from the American Airlines Center in Dallas. Is.

Pena shocked the MMA world at UFC 269, submitting Nunes to capture the championship. Prior to the defeat, Nunes had established herself as the greatest female fighter in the history of the sport, having won both the bantamweight and featherweight titles and becoming the first woman to hold either championship. Ran. Despite coming into the fight with a 2-2 record in her previous four bouts, Pena was able to end Nunes’ run.

In the UFC 277 co-main event, Brandon Moreno looks to recapture the gold when the former flyweight champion battles Kai Cara France for the interim belt. The pair had previously met in 2019 with Moreno taking a decisive victory. Cara-France has gone 4-1 since that fight, including a current three-fight winning streak.

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With so much happening on Saturday night, let’s take a closer look at the full fight card with the latest odds from Caesars Sportsbook before we get to our staff predictions and picks for the PPV portion of the festivities.

UFC 277 fight card, odds

Odds by Caesars Sportsbook

  • Amanda Nunes -270 vs. Juliana Pena (c) +220, Women’s Bantamweight Championship
  • Brandon Moreno -210 vs. Kai Cara-France +175, Interim Flyweight Championship
  • Sergey Pavlovich -140 vs. Derrick Lewis +120, heavyweight
  • Alexander Pantoja -200 vs. Alex Perez +170, flyweight
  • Magomed Ankalaev -550 vs. Anthony Smith +400, light heavyweight
  • Matthew Semmelsberger -155 Vs. Alex Morono +130, welterweight
  • Drew Duber -170 vs. Rafael Alves +145, lightweight
  • Don Tal Miz -180 vs. Hamdi Abdul Wahab +155, Heavyweight
  • Drucker Close -220 vs. Rafa Garcia +180, lightweight
  • Michael Morales -650 vs. Adam Vogt +475, Welterweight
  • Jocelyn Edwards -125 vs. Ji Yoon Kim +105, women’s flyweight
  • Nicolae Negumereanu -115 vs. Ihor Potieria -105, light heavyweight
  • Orion Kos -180 vs. Blood Diamond +155, welterweight

With such a big main event on tap, the CBS Sports staff went ahead with predictions and picks for the main card. Here are your picks: Brent Brookhouse (War Games Writer), Brian Campbell (War Games Writer, “Morning Combat” Co-Host), Shakeel Mehjouri (Writer), Michael Mormile (Producer) and Brandon Wise (Sr. editor).

UFC 277 picks, predictions

Pena (c) vs. Nunes Nunes Nunes Nunes Nunes Nunes
Moreno vs Cara France Kara France Moreno Moreno Moreno Moreno
Lewis v. Pavlovich Lewis Lewis Lewis Lewis Pavlovich
Pantoja v. Perez Pantoja Perez Pantoja Pantoja Pantoja
Smith v. Uncalif Ankalif Ankalif Ankalif Ankalif Ankalif
Records till date (2022) 16-17 19-14 16-17 17-16 22-11

Pain vs. Nonce

Campbell: Is it fair to suggest their first meeting at UFC 269 saw Pena put on the biggest performance of her career while Nunes put on her worst? At the end of the day, it’s fair, even if it feels like it’s undermining everything Pena did to shock the world that night. Now we know about Pena’s stubborn toughness and his willingness to be prepared in extreme situations, which proved to be a huge part of how he won, as well as the way he wore Nunes out on the ground. threw With lightning striking the same place a second time, it’s hard to imagine the exact same scenario. Nunes is still regarded as the GOAT of women’s MMA because of how incredibly dangerous and nearly complete a fighter she became, winning 12 fights. Nunes will need to fight more from distance and be prepared in ways she couldn’t the first time around. Relive her five-round rematch victory over Valentina Shevchenko for a reminder of just how much of a chess player Nunes can be. If “Tioness” can keep the fight from turning into chaos and keep it off the ground for large sections, she has the potential to win. But he must have Pina come to him and pay him for crossing the line.

Brock House: The history of combat sports is littered with great athletes running into specific fighters that just turned out to be their kryptonite, even if it meant nothing on paper. Vernon Forrest had Shane Mosley’s number even if Mosley was historically the better fighter. Likewise, Forrest lost twice to Ricardo Mayorga, despite all reasons suggesting Forrest should have won both fights. Is it the same with Pina and Nunes? It could be that Pena’s toughness and ability to knock Nunes out in the first fight indicated that Pena just had Nunes’ number. That said, it’s hard to keep up with the greatest female fighter in women’s MMA history while she has time to learn, train and adjust. Pena deserves all the credit for the win and all the honor coming into the rematch, but a repeat is a big ask.

Exile: Nunes vs. Too bad it was an unusually dirty feud for Nunes. Pena delivered a winning game plan and the champ deserves a ton of credit. Pena pressured Nunes and won the fight. Pena presented a winning game plan on Dec. 11, but I’m still not convinced he’s the more skilled fighter overall. Respect the champion’s name but expect a more thoughtful approach from the challenger. Nonce by judgment.

Moreno vs Cara France

Campbell: If his last three fights are any indication, Cara France is a far more confident, dangerous and developed threat than the version of him who lost a unanimous decision to Moreno in 2019. The New Zealander has become more vulnerable to extinction. Late, and did the same against Rogerio Buteren and Cody Garbrandt. But his decision win over Askar Skarov, who pushed Moreno to the limit in his draw three years ago, showed the full extent of his maturity. It’s expected to be a fast-paced duel with Moreno looking to bounce back in a big way from dropping the title to Davison Figueredo in their third meeting. But Cara France rides just the kind of speed that’s hard to pin down. Carra-France will need to be precise with his combinations when he chooses to take chances, but his ability to force Mourinho to second-guess and chase is huge.

Brock House: This is too tough a fight to call. Cara France is an outstanding fighter who has improved performance after performance. It is hard to ignore that Moreno has largely done the same. He’s gone three straight fights with Deiveson Figueiredo as he’s gotten and arguably deserved all three outing wins. Moreno’s combination of speed and fast striking and aggressive grappling make him such a dangerous fighter that he has an incredible fightback.

Lewis v. Pavlovich

Campbell: As self-proclaimed as his recent knockout losses against Cyril Ginn and Tai Toiwasa, Lewis is too slick a fox to count out just yet, especially against this level of competition. If Pavlovic, a slight betting favorite who has won three straight since being stopped by Alistair Overeem, is on his way to becoming one of the division’s elites, history will tell you he might just beat Lewis. will But it’s a big if and Lewis’s strength leaves him as the wrong man to make a huge mistake against him in trying to make that leap. Lewis has benefited heavily from one-sided defeats in the past, including a whitewash by Daniel Cormier in a 2018 title bout. At 37, Lewis has enough bite left to survive and advance to the next big test.

Brock House: Lewis appears to be the least active during fights, largely looking to land a fight-ending blow. He has always relied on his strength but everything seems to be slowing down in his game. That said, Lewis has power. Really Important and it only needs one landing. Pavlovich has looked good in three straight outings, but he’s looking to stand up and trade against lower-tier opposition. There is a very strong possibility that Lewis will once again find himself in contention but the level of opposition matters and until Pavlovic proves himself that he can continue his success against a better ranked opponent. , looks like you’ll have to side with Lewis for what he has. Do this often and prevent anyone from getting into the top 10.

Exile: Lewis isn’t the most reliable pick on the planet, but he usually does well against all but the very best. “The Black Beast” was getting the better of Tai Toiwasa before suffering a second-round stoppage loss. Pavlovic has been nearly flawless in the Octagon, but first-round knockouts of Shimal Abdrakhimov, Maurice Greene and Marcelo Gollum didn’t hold up well against a first-round loss to Alistair Overeem. Lewis is more experienced and possibly more powerful. Expect another classic post-fight victory speech.

Who Wins UFC 277: Peña vs. Nunes 2? And what other picks do you need? Visit Sportsline now for detailed top picks on UFC fight night.Ask all the insiders who have taken more than $10,000 on MMA over the past two years, and find out.