The UFC heads to Dallas on Saturday because of its second pay-per-view event of July: UFC 277. In the primary event, womens bantamweight champion Julianna Pea looks to go 2-0 against Amanda Nunes, and in the co-main event, former flyweight champion Brandon Moreno assumes Kai Kara-France for the interim 125-pound belt. Add another 12 fights, and theres a lot of action to speak about, so lets reach it.
As always, all it’s likely that thanks to our friends at DraftKings Sportsbook.
Kai Kara-France, +185
The co-main event is really a rematch of a 2019 fight that saw Moreno outwork Kara-France on the way to a unanimous decision win. Considering that, and given the dramatic improvements weve observed in Moreno since that time, its fair to wonder why you need to back this bet. The solution is easy: Because while Moreno has certainly improved, Kara-France in addition has, and this is really a much closer fight compared to the odds suggest.
In the last 2 yrs, Kara-France has enter into their own as a fighter. Even though Moreno could be the best 125er on earth, that is still not easy and simple style matchup for him. Kara-France may be the superior striker and his takedown defense is fairly strong. Moreno can mixed the fighting techinques better, but hes likely to be required to spend a lot of the fight on your feet, where Kara-Frances jab and feints gives him trouble. This fight may not be quite 50/50, but its certainly closer than +185, so Im going for a value play on Kara-France.
Derrick Lewis, +125
Im genuinely surprised this line has moved anywhere near this much. This fight opened at pickem odds but money has steadily streamed in on Sergei Pavlovich. Thats very good news for fans of The Black Beast, as you know when Lewis thrives? Because the underdog. Lewis is 7-3 because the underdog and hes got an excellent possiblity to make that 8-3. Pavlovich comes with an impressive record and is really a solid fighter, but his skills fall into line largely using what Lewis is proficient at. Pavlovich loves to box, he rarely kicks, and hes is quite willing to enter brawling exchanges. That type of style allowed Shamil Abdurakhimov to land some counter hooks, and when he does that against Lewis, its lights out and away we go. Add that Lewis is really a surprisingly good ground-and-pound artist and may simply choose to tackle Pavlovich and replicate the Russians loss to Alistair Overeem, and theres value on Lewis here.
Amanda Nunes by Unanimous Decision, +380
I did so an in-depth break down of this fight in my own Paths to Victory column, so be sure out for my full thoughts, however the short version is this: The Nunes-Pea rivalry is like Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz. Peas durability, pressure, and pace certainly are a uniquely bad matchup for Nunes, and in the initial fight, Nunes punched herself out not realizing that. I expect this second fight to be substantially more tactical from Nunes, comparable to her rematches with Valentina Shevchenko and Germaine de Randamie, where shes content to throw a huge amount of leg kicks and win a somewhat boring decision. As of this large of a cost, Im going for a shot on your choice prop.
Magomed Ankalaev by Decision, -105
I have already been an enormous proponent of Ankalaev for awhile now and feel pretty strongly that he could be the very best light heavyweight on the planet. Now, thats a harder sell following the bore-fest that has been Anklaev vs. Thiago Santos, but sometimes thats precisely how the cookie crumbles. This fight ought to be substantially more entertaining because Smith won’t relax and make an effort to counter the counter fighter hes likely to push the action, that may start more offense on both sides. Unfortunately for him, Ankalaev is merely better everywhere the fight goes. Still, Ankalaev isnt an enormous finisher 1 / 2 of his UFC wins have already been by decision and Smith is not finished within three rounds since Santos achieved it back 2018. I expect this to start to see the final horn, and for Ankalaev to possess his hand raised.
Parlay of the Week
Amanda Nunes, -265
As the prop bet on Nunes by Decision is difficult to feel confident about, given how good of a finisher she could be, I still feel great about her winning the rematch some way. Which is from the guy who picked Pea to upset her to begin with.
Magomed Ankalaev, -540
I also already talked through that one above. Theres a global where Smith is overly aggressive and gets caught and finished. I dont really visit a world where Smith wins, though.
Joselyne Edwards/Ji Yeon Kim WOULD GO TO Decision, -330
Here are a few fun stats for you personally: In her four UFC bouts, Joselyn Edwards went to decision four times. Also, in her four career losses, Edwards has only been finished once. On the other hand, in her eight UFC bouts, Ji Yeon Kim went to decision seven times, and in her 5 career losses, she’s never been finished. These women are hard to place away and arent great at finishing within their own right. This fight will probably the scorecards, and the line only being -330 could very well be the largest value on the complete fight card.
Parlay these three bets together for +112 odds.
Long Shot of the Week
Julianna Pea to win in Round 3 or Round 4, +1400
If Pea wins this fight, its likely to be by doing just what she did in the initial one, drawing Nunes right into a high-paced brawl. As stated above, I believe Nunes will probably approach this rematch a lot more cautiously, but Pea won’t quit. Theres a global where Nunes starts smart but following a round or two Pea sucks her in to the sort of ugly fight she can excel in, and ultimately gets another finish. For +1400, its worth a go.
It had been a hardcore week the other day. We took some shots that didnt pan out, but thats the name of the overall game. Lets try to bounce back this week. Be sure you have a look at No Bets Barred in the event that you havent already for a lot more betting discussion. Until in a few days, benefit from the fights, all the best, and gamble responsibly!
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