By Adam Martin | | 10 mins
UFC 277 Odds, Picks & Betting Predictions For Nunes vs Pena
The latest UFC pay-per-view card goes down this Saturday at American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas when UFC 277 takes place. The event features 13 fights in total, including a pair of title fights at the top of the bill.
Let's break down both title fights and give our UFC picks for both championship bouts, plus one awesome-looking undercard fight.
UFC 277 Main Event Odds
UFC 277 Main Event Prediction
Amanda Nunes (-265) vs. Julianna Pena (+225)
The main event of UFC 277 features Amanda Nunes against UFC women’s bantamweight champion Julianna Pena. Despite being the title holder, Pena is a +225 underdog on UFC betting sites to win the fight, and I believe she has what it takes to pull off a second straight upset of Nunes.
This is a rematch after Pena pulled off one of the biggest upsets in UFC history last December at UFC 269 when she submitted Nunes in the second round. The fight was not supposed to go that way, as Nunes was a -1000 favorite to win. However, she got tired and Pena was able to take her best shots, then keep pushing until she got the finish. Many believe the result of that first fight was a fluke, but I’m not so sure that’s exactly the case.
Don’t get me wrong, Nunes is arguably the greatest women’s MMA fighter of all time. She’s beaten many of the best fighters at both 135lbs and 145lbs in the UFC and she has defeated many of them in impressive fashion. But she could finally be slowing down at age 34.
She did not look good at all in the first fight against Pena, and despite her track record, there is no guarantee she will return to the form she showed before she fought Pena.
I believe Pena is an underrated fighter who was finally able to put it all together in the first Nunes fight. She has tremendous grappling and, as we saw against Nunes in their first meeting, she has improved her striking. In addition, she is mentally strong and is riding a wave of confidence right now. A lot of people counted Pena out the first time around, but after watching that fight, it’d be a mistake to do so again.
While I was shocked by the result of the first fight between Nunes and Pena, I won’t be making that same mistake again. Pena is a quality fighter, and I believe she has the skills to defeat Nunes again. The line on betting apps is disrespectful considering she is the champion at the moment.
The value is on Pena to win as a +225 underdog. For a prop, you can take a shot on her winning inside the distance for the second time against Nunes at +425 odds.
The Pick: Julianna Pena wins at +230 with DraftKings Sportsbook
Alternative Pick: Julianna Pena wins inside the distance at +425 at DraftKings Sportsbook
Other UFC 277 Best Bets
Brandon Moreno (-210) vs. Kai Kara-France (+180)
In the co-main event, Brandon Moreno fights Kai Kara-France for the interim UFC flyweight title. Despite being a +180 underdog on betting sites, I believe Kara-France has the tools needed to win the fight.
Kara-France and Moreno have fought before, with Moreno winning a competitive decision at UFC 245 in 2019. Since that first meeting, Moreno has won and lost the UFC flyweight belt to Deiveson Figueiredo, becoming a star in the process. He is very well-rounded with a great grappling game to go along with really sharp striking on the feet.
There aren’t many negatives you can say about Moreno other than he has absorbed quite a bit of damage in his last few fights, including three knockdowns absorbed against Figueiredo in their trilogy bout. Moreno is still a great fighter, but it’s possible Kara-France is catching him at just the right time.
Kara-France, meanwhile, is 4-1 since losing to Moreno, including wins in his last three fights. He has shown incredible knockout power for his weight class, not to mention improved grappling skills. He also has tremendous cardio and has shown a good chin in the UFC. Although Kara-France lost the first fight against Moreno, I believe he has significantly improved his overall MMA game. The first fight was close, and I expect this rematch to be close as well, but Kara-France has shown he has the tools needed to become a UFC champion.
Moreno is super durable and will be tough to finish, but I believe Kara-France can win a close fight. Give me Kara-France as a +180 underdog, and for a prop, you can take a look at Kara-France to win a decision at +330 odds.
The Pick: Kai Kara-France wins at +180 with DraftKings Sportsbook
Alternative Pick: Kai Kara-France wins by decision at +330 with DraftKings Sportsbook
Drakkar Klose (-225) vs. Rafa Garcia (+190)
On the preliminary card is a lightweight bout between Drakkar Klose and Rafa Garcia. Klose is a -225 favorite to win at DraftKings, and I like him to get his hand raised against his short-notice opponent Garcia.
Klose is one of the most underrated lightweights on the UFC roster. Having first joined the UFC in 2017, Klose has gone 6-2 so far in the promotion with notable wins over the likes of Bobby Green and Marc Diakiese. In his last outing, Klose smashed Brandon Jenkins to pick up his first UFC knockout victory. He is a tremendous wrestler with solid striking skills and a good gas tank, which makes him a tough matchup for the majority of lightweights in the UFC outside the top 15.
Garcia, meanwhile, is a solid fighter in his own right. He’s 2-2 since joining the UFC and is coming off back-to-back wins over Natan Levy and Jesse Ronson. He has fantastic wrestling skills and he has used those to win his fights, plus he has decent striking skills as well. In many ways, he’s a poor man’s version of Klose. While Garcia has the grappling skills to defeat many lightweights in the UFC, I’m not convinced he has the striking skills needed to knock Klose out.
Klose’s wrestling skills will neutralize Gracia’s grappling, and therefore I see mostly a standup-based fight here where Klose wins a majority of the striking exchanges. Look for Klose to win the fight as a -225 favorite, and for a prop, you can look at Klose by decision.
The Pick: Drakkar Klose wins at -225 at DraftKings Sportsbook
Alternative Pick: Drakkar Klose wins by decision (odds not available yet)