UFC 277 picks as the promotion goes to PPV, live from Dallas, Texas.
And here’s a new rule, let’s get through main events without a freak injury.
The last two have ended in brutal, primarily unprovoked, injuries and surprise victories for the underdog. UFC London’s main event was clear that Curtis Blaydes vs. Tom Aspinall was not going to go to a decision; they were engaged in a firefight with wild striking exchanges.
Shoutout to Nick Kalikas, Aka FightOdds on Twitter, for his guest appearance last weekend. His predictions were dead on, aside from the freak injury (which no one could predict).
Below we preview two title fights and more for UFC 277.
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UFC 277 picks and predictions
Julianna Peña (+230) vs. Amanda Nunes (-275)
To close 2021, Julianna Peña completed one of the most unbelievable upsets in UFC history. Closing as a +700 underdog on BetMGM, Peña shocked the world and beat the unbeatable.
Can she do that again?
There is a reason for optimism here, too. Peña came into that fight fearless and unimpressed with Nunes’ power. But most importantly, she did it on her terms. Strong jabs and avoiding heavy hooks and crosses from Nunes.
There’s a lot to look at here for Nunes and where she is at in her personal life. Dana White equated it to a Conor McGregor situation back in for ESPN.
“Amanda is a multi-millionaire who is now at a completely different financial status. She has a baby now. Her life – she is not that hungry savage she was when she started to take this run at becoming a world champion. A lot of that factors in.”
Anytime that a fighter’s will is questioned, it’s hard to back them from a betting perspective. While Nunes is the better striker and arguably better grappler, Peña will have even more confidence this time.
The weigh-ins were extremely important to see how Nunes looked pre-fight. Nunes looks to be in excellent shape and prepared for a more prolonged fight. For now, it is not worth backing either fighter on the moneyline.
Instead, expect a deeper fight. The fight to start round 3 is -118 on FanDuel, and the fight to go the distance is +205 on Caesars. Both are very solid bets for this weekend’s main event.
UFC 277 picks
- Fight goes the distance +205 (Caesars)
- Fight to start round 3 -118 (FanDuel)
Brandon Moreno (-215) vs. Kai Kara-France (+185)
A pair of bantamweights battle in the co-main event for the interim title. This will be a five-round fight between two very durable fighters who are as difficult to finish as any in the UFC.
Kai Kara-France has improved dramatically as a fighter, knocking out Cody Garbrandt and winning a decision against Askar Askarov, a fighter no one was asking to fight. Kara-France and Brandon Moreno have fought before, and Moreno won.
Their first fight was close, and Kara-France’s improvement has shown he can defend the takedown. Furthermore, his coaches at City Kickboxing have done an excellent job bringing his standup game along.
Overall, this line is too wide. It’s fair to say, “Moreno could/should be the champion right now.” However, Moreno has never been considered elite at anything, and the current line shows that this is the biggest he has been favored in his UFC career.
Back Kara-France to pull off the upset this weekend in another excellent bantamweight battle.
UFC 277 picks
- Kai Kara-France ML +185 (BetMGM)
UFC 277 parlay
This parlay was bet on FanDuel Sportsbook, which offers an excellent promotion for its users. Any player who bets $20 cumulative 4+ leg parlays will get $10 in free bets win or lose (min. +400 odds). A few notes…
+613: Sergei Pavlovich (-140) + Nunes/Peña starts round three (-118) + Alexandre Pantoja (-196) + Don’Tale Mayes (-200)
- Pavlovich faces off against fan-favorite Derrick Lewis. Lewis is a much larger and powerful fighter but lacks, really any, technical advantages. He will probably be a fade for the remainder of his career against anyone that can avoid heavy strikes.
- Pantoja knows that a big showing this weekend puts him right up there for a title opportunity. Look for him to finish a talented Alex Perez in his main card fight.
- Do some research on Don’Tale Mayes’ opponent, Handy Abdelwahab. He is 5-0, fighting, mostly tomato cans. His most recent opponent (who he fought twice in five fights) is pictured above. Mayes is a decently component mixed martial artist.