Quick Bit: Thanks to Sports Interaction, The Sporting News looks into the entire card of UFC 277. Who will walk out of the octagon victorious?

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A highly anticipated rematch will take place at UFC 277 on July 30 as Julianna Pena defends her UFC bantamweight title against Amanda Nunes. Nunes is ready to reclaim the title following Pena’s stunning upset win against her at UFC 269.

The fight will be at American Airlines Center in Dallas.

In the co-main event, Brandon Moreno will take on Kai Kara-France in a rematch for the interim UFC flyweight title. Also on the card will be fan favorites Derrick Lewis and Anthony Smith. Drakkar Klose and “Blood Diamond” are also scheduled to compete.

The Sporting News, with the help of Sports Interaction, takes a closer look at the UFC 277 card. Which fight stands out to you the most?

UFC 277 odds courtesy of Sports Interaction, Canada’s most trusted sportsbook.

MORE: Sign up to watch the UFC 277 PPV, exclusively on ESPN+

Julianna Pena (c) vs. Amanda Nunes 2 for the UFC bantamweight title

According to Sports Interaction, Nunes is the -305 favorite while Pena is the +195 underdog. Like the last fight, Pena is a sizable underdog despite being the champion.

In their first fight, Pena mowed down Nunes, who had recently recovered from a bout with COVID. She landed 79 strikes to Nunes’ 46 and jabbed away at her. One takedown was all it needed to submit Nunes with a rear-naked choke. That was Nunes’ first loss since 2014.

The question everyone wants to know is simple: What Nunes will we see at UFC 277?

Nunes has landed 4.55 significant strikes per minute in her career (3.36 for Pena) and has a strike accuracy rate of 51 percent (49 percent for Pena). While she didn’t show it in the Pena fight, Nunes is one of the best overall strikers in MMA today. She landed 221 strikes in three bouts before that, with 124 coming against Felicia Spencer. Pena landed 220 strikes, but it took seven fights for her to reach that mark.

On the ground is where things get interesting. Nunes averages 2.46 takedowns per 15 minutes while Pena lands 2.43. Nunes has a stronger takedown defense (82 percent) compared to Pena (22 percent). In her last four fights, Nunes has landed 15 takedowns. Pena has landed seven in four bouts and 16 total since she has been in the UFC.

Pena is confident in her ability and sees Nunes as just another fighter. So, again, what Nunes will we see at UFC 277? A healthy and motivated “Lioness” will be tough to battle. If she is truly back, then the rematch may go to her. The result is not as easy as one may think. The Sporting News, however, will be going with the former champion.

Sporting News prediction: Nunes via TKO

MORE: Pena vs. Nunes 2 purse, salaries: How much money will they make at UFC 277?

Alex Moreno vs. Kai Kara-France 2 for the interim UFC flyweight title

According to Sports Interaction, Moreno is the -200 favorite while Kara-France is the +150 underdog.

The last time these two fought, in 2019, Moreno outstruck Kara-France 91-82. Since then, Moreno has landed 333 shots and has taken down opponents nine times; Kara-France has landed 141 strikes.

Moreno lands 3.54 significant strikes per minute, while Kara-France lands 4.84. Moreno has the edge on the floor, with a 1.84 takedown average per 15 minutes (0.43 for Kara-France). He also has a 47 percent takedown accuracy mark (21 percent for Kara-France). Kara-France, however, has won two of his last three fights via knockout. He must avoid Moreno’s ground game to secure a win.

Can three years make a difference? If Moreno takes it to the floor, it may be game over. Fans are interested in a fourth fight between Moreno and Deiveson Figueredo. Kara-France, however, has become a much more intelligent and patient fighter. In a bout that could go either way, the flyweight division could end up being shaken up.

Sporting News prediction: Kara-France via TKO

Sergei Pavlovich vs. Derrick Lewis; heavyweights

According to Sports Interaction, Pavlovich and Lewis are a pick-’em at -115 each.

This is a “Big Boy vs. Big Boy” heavyweight fight that everyone is gearing up to see.

Lewis, a true fan favorite, lands 2.56 significant strikes per minute and has a 50 percent strike accuracy mark. He loves to strike an opponent down. Pavlovich lands 6.08 significant strikes per minute and also has 50 percent accuracy. These two are trigger-happy. They have a combined 33 wins via knockout. Pavlovich has three straight wins by KO.

The ground may not be a factor. Lewis has a takedown defense of 55 percent, but that won’t matter against a guy who has not landed a takedown in the UFC. Lewis is known to adapt, as seen by his fight against Curtis Blaydes in 2020. But against Ciryl Gane and Tai Tuivasa, Lewis was never able to recover.

The younger Pavlovich, who has a true reach advantage, should take home the win.

Sporting News prediction: Pavlovich via KO

MORE: Top 10 women’s fights in MMA history

Alexandre Pantoja vs. Alex Perez; flyweights

According to Sports Interaction, Perez is the +140 underdog while Pantoja is the -185 favorite.

If the co-main event is for the interim flyweight title, we may have found our next set of contenders.

Perez is 3-2 in his last five bouts but hasn’t fought since facing Deiveson Figueiredo in 2020 for the flyweight belt. Weight issues have been a major problem lately. Pantoja is 3-1 in his last four and is coming off a big win against Brandon Royval. He appeared to be next in line for a title shot before a knee injury altered those plans.

As far as their skills are concerned, the comparisons are pretty even. Perez lands 4.62 signifiant strikes per minute, with 4.24 for Pantoja. They are about even in strike accuracy: 47 percent for Perez and 48 percent for Pantoja. On the ground, Pantoja has a takedown average of 1.26 per 15 minutes, while Perez averages 2.92. Pantoja has landed seven takedowns in four fights, while Perez has landed three in four bouts.

The time off may not have helped Perez, or that he has missed weight more than once. Pantoja can attack from all angles and can submit from out of nowhere. That gives him the edge in what should be an electric showdown.

Sporting News prediction: Pantoja via submission

Anthony Smith vs. Magomed Ankalaev; light heavyweights

According to Sports Interaction, Anthony Smith is the +370 underdog, while Magomed Ankalaev is the -560 favorite. Do those odds truly reflect the fighters’ skills?

Ankalaev is one of the most dangerous fighters around and someone who is often avoided, Ankalaev averages 3.49 significant strikes landed per minute and has a 54 percent accuracy rate. Smith, a former UFC light heavyweight title contender, lands 3.03 strikes per minute and has a 47 percent accuracy rate. On the ground, Ankalaev averages 1.01 takedowns per 15 minutes and has a takedown defense of 33 percent. Smith averages 0.46 takedowns but has a 48 percent takedown defense.

In his last three fights, Ankalaev has landed 187 shots while Smith has landed 44. Smith has managed to rebound very well following bad losses to Jon Jones, Glover Texeira and Aleksandar Rakic. The winner could potentially become a title contender.

Smith believes he has what it takes to take Ankalaev.

“He’s a normal guy,” Smith told MMA Junkie. “He’s very simple in his game and his approach. There’s no tricky s– going on there. He’s never out of position. He likes to fight inside of his box. He likes to walk people down. He’s got a really heavy and active lead side. He’s got a nice high kick from the rear side. He wants to funnel you to the two. It’s the same s– that a lot of people do. His approach, and he’s very smart, he doesn’t leave a lot of opportunities to make mistakes. But that’s my job.”

Saying all that is one thing. Doing something about it is another. Can Smith pull off the upset? Anything is possible. But if Ankalaev can hold onto Smith and bring him onto the floor, it may be game over.

Sporting News prediction: Ankalaev via unanimous decision

Alex Morono vs. Matthew Semelsberger; welterweights

According to Sports Interaction, Morono is the +135 underdog while Semelsberger is the -160 favorite.

Morono has won three consecutive fights and landed 90 shots in two straight bouts. He averages 5.21 significant strikes landed per minute. Semelsberger, who has won his last two fights, averages 5.01 significant strikes. Morono can switch it up, however, as evidenced by winning six fights via submission. He hasn’t had a submission win since 2018, however.

Semelsberger has a height (6-1 to 5-9 for Morono) and reach (75 inches to 72 for Morono) advantage. Will that truly matter when they step inside the Octagon? That depends on who you ask. The younger Semelsberger’s level of competition is not as extensive compared to Morono’s. Looking at how Morono fights and how he can play it close to the vest, an upset may be on the horizon here.

Sporting News prediction: Morono via split decision

MORE: UFC 277 date, start time, odds, PPV schedule & card for Julianna Pena vs. Amanda Nunes 2

Rafael Alves vs. Drew Dober; lightweights

According to Sports Interaction, Alves is the +170 underdog while Dober is the -230 favorite.

This may end up being the perfect rebound fight for Dober. Why? Because he will not have to worry about an opponent who’s known for wrestling. Dober has a 53 percent takedown defense mark but has been taken down 14 times in four fights. Alves has not landed a single takedown since joining the UFC.

In his short time in the UFC, Alves has landed 2.10 significant strikes per minute, with a 47% accuracy mark. Dober has landed about 4.40 significant strikes with 40 percent accuracy.

Dober, who recovered from losses to Islam Makhachev and Brad Riddell with a win over Terrance McKinney, may have the edge here. On his feet, he can handle all the pressure thrown his way. This will most likely be a slugfest, with Dober coming out on top.

Sporting News prediction: Dober via TKO

Don’Tale Mayers vs. Hamdy Abdelwahab; heavyweights

According to Sports Interaction, Mayers is the -165 favorite while Abdelwahab is the +130 underdog for his UFC debut.

Mayers is a dangerous fighter, averaging 1.32 takedowns per 15 minutes. In his last two fights, he has landed seven takedowns. He also lands 3.75 significant strikes per minute.

Abdelwahab has won all five of his previous pro fights via knockout. Could this fight depend on who makes the first move? If Mayers gets Abdelwahab to the floor, it could be all over. An upset wouldn’t be extraordinary here, but picking Mayers may be the safer bet.

Sporting News prediction: Mayers via TKO

Drakkar Klose vs. Rafa Garcia; lightweights

According to Sports Interaction, Garcia is the +180 underdog while Klose is the -250 favorite. This is the third time in five bouts Garcia is the underdog.

Klose vs. Garcia has a chance to be Fight of the Night. Klose is 4-1 in his last five fights, while Garcia is 2-2 in his last four. The 34-year-old Klose has the edge in strikes, landing 4.42 significant strikes per minute. Garcia lands 3.54. Klose also has the edge with strike accuracy with a 55 percent mark. Garcia has a 36% mark.

When it comes to the ground, Garcia has a significant advantage. He averages 4.10 takedowns per 15 minutes (1.77 for Klose), and a 48 percent accuracy mark (33 percent for Klose). In his last three fights, Garcia landed 15 total takedowns. Klose has landed four in three bouts.

If the fighters end up on their feet, Klose might have the edge, while the floor may be Garcia’s path to victory. Klose has a 68 percent takedown defense but has been taken down eight times in eight fights. It wouldn’t be hard to think Garcia via submission can be the end result.

Sporting News prediction: Garcia via submission

MORE: Amanda Nunes net worth: purse history, career earnings for MMA champion

Michael Morales vs. Adam Fugitt; welterweights

Odds are currently unavailable for Morales vs. Fugitt.

Morales (13-0) is 2-0 in the UFC, while Fugitt (8-2) is making his UFC debut. Morales has landed four takedowns and 79 strikes inside the Octagon, and he has averaged 4.14 strikes per minute. He also has a striking defense of 36 percent.

This is not an easy debut for Fugitt, who is fighting on short notice. Morales has won 10 fights via knockout. One can expect the same result here.

Sporting News prediction: Morales via TKO

Joselyne Edwards vs. Ji Yeon Kim; bantamweights

According to Sports Interaction, Edwards is the -140 favorite, while Kim is the +105 underdog.

Edwards joined the UFC in 2021 and has gone 2-2 in four fights with the promotion. Kim is 3-5 overall and 1-4 in her last five bouts. Suffice to say, this will not be a close matchup. That is especially true when you look at the stats.

Edwards lands 5.33 significant strikes per minute, and she landed 164 in her fight against Ramona Pascual. Her strike accuracy is 57 percent. Kim has landed 5.86 significant strikes per minute and has landed 292 strikes in her past two fights. Edwards, however, has a takedown defense of 63 percent, while Kim has a 36 percent mark.

Kim has absorbed 5.64 significant strikes per minute, while Edwards gets tagged with just 3.27 strikes per minute. If Edwards can stick to what has helped her in the past, Kim’s bad luck may continue. An upset is always on the table, but one shouldn’t risk that bet.

Sporting News prediction: Edwards via unanimous decision

MORE: MMA Schedule 2022: Date, division, location for upcoming fights

Nicolae Negumereanu vs. Ihor Potieria; light heavyweights

According to Sports Interaction, Negumereanu is the +125 underdog, while Potieria is the -165 favorite.

Negumereanu made his pro debut in 2016 and started his career with six of his seven wins ending via TKO. He is 3-1 since joining the UFC in 2019, but only one of the wins has been by KO. He has landed 3.39 significant strikes per minute in his four UFC bouts Negumereanu has also landed 147 strikes while his opponents have combined for 274. He has a takedown defense of 62 percent, but that shouldn’t matter in this fight.

Potieria landed just 18 strikes in his lone UFC fight and absorbed 21 shots. The “Dana White Contender Series” alum is on a 15-fight winning streak, though, and 15 of his 19 career wins have come by way of KO. Can he do the same against Negumereanu? If everything goes according to plan, Potieria will secure KO win No. 16.

Sporting News prediction: Potieria via TKO

Orion Cosce vs. Mike Mathetha; welterweights

According to Sports Interaction, Mathetha is the +140 underdog while Cosce is the -180 favorite.

Mathetha, aka “Blood Diamond,” is another kickboxer-turned-MMA fighter. He did not get a chance to showcase his skills in his UFC debut as Jeremiah Wells submitted him via rear-naked choke in the first round. Blood Diamond only landed one shot but managed to produce a 21 percent strike defense.

Cosce is 1-1 in the UFC. He has landed 3.70 significant strikes per minute, with 89 total shots landed in the two fights. He also has averaged 1.87 takedowns per 15 minutes, with three in two bouts. That may play a role in the fight, especially if Blood Diamond isn’t used to being taken to the floor.

While one shouldn’t count Blood Diamond out, Cosce’s overall ability might trump his opponent’s.

Sporting News prediction: Cosce via submission

When is UFC 277: Julianna Pena vs. Amanda Nunes 2?

Date: Saturday, July 30
Fight Pass prelims: 6 p.m. ET
Prelims: 8 p.m. ET
Main card: 10 p.m. ET
Main event: 12:15 a.m. ET (approximate)

UFC 277 will take place on Saturday, July 30. The Fight Pass prelims will start at 6 p.m. ET, with the prelims to begin at 8 p.m. ET. The main card PPV will start at 10 p.m. ET. Pena and Nunes should make their way to the Octagon around 12:15 a.m. ET, depending on how long the undercard fights last.

How to watch UFC 277: Julianna Pena vs. Amanda Nunes 2

TV channels: ESPN+
Live stream: ESPN+, UFC Fight Pass

The main card for UFC 277 is available in the U.S. and Mexico on the ESPN+ subscription streaming service for a pay-per-view cost.

Earlier fights are viewable live on ESPN+, the WatchESPN app, and, for the early prelims, on UFC Fight Pass.

In Canada, the main card pay-per-view is available on TSN, Bell, Rogers, Shaw, Eastlink, and UFC PPV on UFC Fight Pass.

In the United Kingdom, the main card will be available on BT Sport 1, with the prelims available on UFC Fight Pass.

In Australia, the main card will be on Main Event, Kayo Sports, FOXTEL, and UFC PPV on UFC Fight Pass.

Julianna Pena vs. Amanda Nunes 2 price: How much does UFC 277 cost?

$74.99 (current ESPN+ subscribers)
$99.98 (new subscribers)

In the U.S., the UFC 277 main card is available via pay-per-view on ESPN+, which also requires a subscription. The PPV price for UFC 277 is $74.99 for current subscribers. New subscribers can pay a bundle price of $99.98 for the UFC 277 pay-per-view and an ESPN+ annual subscription, which offers savings of more than 30 percent.

MORE: Sign up to watch the UFC 277 PPV, exclusively on ESPN+

Product
Prices
ESPN+ Monthly Subscription
$6.99/month
ESPN+ Annual Subscription
$69.99/year
The Disney Bundle w/Hulu Ad-Supported
$13.99/month
The Disney Bundle w/Hulu No-Ads
$19.99/month
UFC PPV Standalone
$74.99 each
UFC PPV Package (UFC PPV & ESPN+ Annual)
$99.98, then $69.99/year
UFC PPV & The Disney Bundle

$88.98, then $13.99/month

* Beginning Aug. 23, ESPN+’s monthly subscription will change from $6.99 per month to $9.99 per month. The annual ESPN+ subscription package will change from $69.99 a year to $99.99 a year.

There is no change to the standalone PPV price, or to the Disney Bundle.

Click here to learn about the different pricing and bundling options with the ESPN+ platform.

UFC 277 fight card

Main card

Julianna Pena (c) vs. Amanda Nunes 2 for the UFC bantamweight title
Brandon Moreno vs. Kai Kara-France for the interim UFC flyweight title
Derrick Lewis vs. Sergei Pavlovich; heavyweights
Alexandre Pantoja vs. Alex Perez; flyweights
Anthony Smith vs. Magomed Ankalaev; light heavyweights

Prelims

Drew Dober vs. Rafael Alves; lightweights
Hamdy Abdelwahab vs. Don’Tale Mayes; heavyweights
Rafa Garc?a vs. Drakkar Klose; lightweights
Alex Morono vs. Matthew Semelsberger; welterweights

Fights Pass prelims

Adam Fugitt vs. Michael Morales; welterweights
Ji Yeon Kim vs. Joselyne Edwards; bantamweights
Orion Cosce vs. Mike Mathetha; welterweights
Nicolae Negumereanu vs. Ihor Potieria; light heavyweights

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