Can the GOAT get back on top?
Amanda Nunes looks to avenge her Bantamweight title fight loss at the end of 2021 against Julianna Peña in the main event of UFC 277. After one of the biggest upsets of 2021, Peña is still a significant betting underdog. Will she retain her belt?
We'll break down the main event and co-main event that features Brandon Moreno and Kai Kara-France battling for the interim Flyweight title.
Odds courtesy of WynnBET Sportsbook
UFC Record: 46-67 -14.75U
Bantamweight Title Fight: Julianna Peña (+220) vs. Amanda Nunes (-275)
Peña cashed as a +700 underdog in December, handing Nunes her first loss since 2014 via second round submission. Peña was able to weather Nunes' early offense and force a grapple heavy approach, eventually landing a takedown and finishing it on the ground.
Now we enter this fight, and based on the first viewing I don't believe we can line Peña north of +150. Sure, Nunes' physicality is far superior to that of the 'Venezuelan Vixen' but she doesn't have the cardio to hold up after the first five minutes.
Nunes landed 46% of her significant strikes in the first bout while Pena threw 36 more strikes and landed 58% of them.
Many will be flocking to the Nunes side based on her track record and the drop in price, but I'm not sure there hasn't been enough of a reaction to how she lost that last fight as Peña fought on her terms and dragged it past the point where Nunes is as effective and dangerous.
Let's back another upset. I think we see a similar finish as well with Nunes running out of gas and the champ finding a finish.
PICK: Peña ML (+220), Pena Round 2 (+1300) 0.25U, Pena Round 3 (+1800) 0.25U, Pena Round 4 (+2200) 0.25U, Pena Round 5 (+2500) 0.25U
Parlay: Brandon Moreno (-215)/Alexandre Pantoja (-195)
Moreno has spent his last three fights going back-and-forth with Deiveson Figueiredo, losing last time out by decision, but I think he takes advantage of the drop in competition and beats Kai Kara-France, who has had a few breaks go his way.
KKF rallied to beat Rogerio Bontorin and took care of business against a washed Cody Garbrandt. Most recently, he won a very close decision against Askar Askarov.
I believe he is outmatched against Moreno, who is three inches taller and has experience fighting in championship fights. Two his last three have gone to five rounds. Meanwhile, the Australian has never been to a fourth or fifth round in his career.
Moreno is incredibly durable and I believe that he grows into this fight and outclasses Kara-France, setting up a fourth fight with Figueiredo.
The second leg features another Flyweight matchup where I favor Pantoja quite a bit. This is Alex Perez's first fight in two years after losing to Figueiredo in short order and he is giving up two inches of reach to Pantoja.
'The Cannibal' has better cardio and more finishing upside in my opinion as he enters on a two fight win streak. With questions about Perez after such a layoff I'll take the consistent fighter to get the job done.
PICK: Moreno/Pantoja (+122)
UFC 277 Best Bets
- Derrick Lewis (+120), Lewis by Decision (+850)
- Ji Yeon Kim by Decision (+170)
- Orion Cosce/Don'tale Mayes Parlay (+119)
Track all of Reed's bets at Betstamp HERE!