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UFC 277: Pena vs. Nunes 2 staff picks and predictions

The Bloody Elbow staff has made its picks for Saturdays UFC 277 event in Texas, and many people are picking Amanda Nunes to take the womens bantamweight title back from Julianna Pena. Are you aware that co-main, many of us are picking Brandon Moreno to win his rematch over Kai Kara-France to win the interim mens flyweight title.

To start to see the latest betting lines for these fights, head to DraftKings Sportsbook.

Julianna Pena vs. Amanda Nunes

Anton Tabuena: Has Nunes fallen deeply in love with her power that shell again just continue an all out brawl, without respect on her behalf opponent? Because that has been clearly wii idea against a faster, and much more tenacious foe. In some recoverable format, it appears like minor adjustments and sticking with a smarter idea is quite achievable, but bad habits and possible complacency can always hinder that. Nunes can be 34 and contains been achieving this for 14 years, therefore i guess everything boils right down to which Nunes turns up. I wouldnt be surprised to visit a repeat, but Nunes must have plenty of tools open to beat Pena, so if you ask me shes still the logical pick. Amanda Nunes by TKO.

Mookie Alexander: My concerns about Nunes tend to be more mental than they’re physical, but you may still find worries physically. She had COVID-19 and she hadnt cut weight to 135 in 2 yrs when she lost to Pena. Mentally, shes left ATT, has accomplished just about everything shes attempt to accomplish in the activity, and may curently have one foot in the retirement door. and I believe theres plenty of precedent to claim that she just completely falls apart when someone sustains a pace on her behalf and may exhaust her. Pena may not be a technical marvel on your feet but her strategy of just throwing a lot of shit worked! Looked after helps that shes very durable. But having said that… After all Nunes at her best still wins this, right? Shes the more well-rounded fighter, better striker (although she didnt look it the final time), and an underrated top game grappler. She won the initial round pretty clearly and Pena just went berserk and hurt and exhausted Nunes into submission. Pena isnt that far taken off rallying to beat Sara McMann and getting submitted by Germaine de Randamie (!!!). Nunes doesnt need to make way too many tactical adjustments to win for gods sake, dont sloppily brawl again but is she likely to succumb to Penas pace and determination again? I believe its likely but Im still choosing Amanda Nunes by submission, round 1. I wouldnt be shocked if Nunes correction was to go aggressively for an opening round finish.

Zane Simon: My immediate thought in the aftermath of UFC 269 is that I wouldnt pick Julianna Pena to win that fight nine times out of ten. So, Im not likely to. She got dropped, she got removed, she got take down and finally she battled her way by way of a couple of 50-50 exchanges with a more impressive puncher to overwhelm Nunes based purely on heart and grit. Could she take action all again? Yes, definitely. Nunes has been beatable in this manner before during the past. Even though shes faced several opponents in her title run who’ve the style to force that same sort of issue, few experienced the raw strength and speed that Pena does. But, I also need to give some stock to the theory that Nunes really did have a miserable camp last time, attempting to run things on her behalf own for the very first time maybe ever. If shes had an improved run up I must believe shed also maintain a better spot to battle through what adversity she may face. A lot more than that though, she could you need to Pena down and submit her in the initial round. Amanda Nunes via submission, round 1.

Staff picking Pena: Victor, Connor, Lewis

Staff picking Nunes: Mookie, Anton, Zane, Dayne, Stephie

Brandon Moreno vs. Kai Kara-France

Anton Tabuena: Kai Kara-France has made plenty of improvements and strides since their first meeting in 2019, and I believe itll be considered a lot tougher to beat him if this remains mostly on your feet again. Moreno is insanely durable and really should function as more well rounded fighter, but Im uncertain if hell have the ability as well as want to help keep this on the mat for long stretches, and that may be what decides this. Will Morenos relentless pace and output prevail on your feet, or will Kara-France have the ability to pick and land his shots better now en-route to some other (interim) gold for that City Kickboxing team? I believe its the latter and we’re able to maintain for an upset. Kai Kara-France by Decision.

Mookie Alexander: The initial fight was just about a kickboxing match which Moreno very clearly won. I actually dont think thats the easiest method to go another time around given Kara-Frances edge in power, but even still its likely Moreno can just outwork and outland Kara-France to take the fight again through 25 minutes. I expect Moreno to combine in a few more takedowns and keep Kara-France guessing and reacting differently than he did against Askar Askarov, whos got a one track mind with regards to his style. Without doubt that Kara-France has improved a whole lot since even the Royval fight, but I believe Moreno is definitely going to be considered a difficult matchup for him due to how well-rounded and durable he could be, not forgetting his unrelenting pace cant be matched by most at flyweight. Brandon Moreno by decision.

Zane Simon: I love the changes which have come over Kara-Frances game previously couple years a lot more than Morenos, if Im being honest. While Moreno has sharpened up his technical boxing, his bouts with Figueiredo have felt awfully difficult and attritive, like maybe hes losing some small area of the pure doggedness that brought him to the title. It wouldnt be unusual, its a thing that often gets lost when fighters reach a championship and discover themselves fighting to guard instead of acquire, nonetheless it will probably be worth some slight pause. However, Kara-France seems well informed about pressing his power striking than ever before, less ready to await counters, and better about putting long combos together while continue. For a large puncher who isnt the tallest guy at 125, thats an excellent adjustment to see. But, I really do wonder just how much it’ll all change the essential dynamic of these first fight, that was mostly predicated round the proven fact that Moreno fights just a little longer and always ensured he was the final man throwing within an exchange. If hes lost a small amount of that willingness to stand in, and Kara-France has added more of it, it may be enough, but I dont think itll develop a totally new narrative, frankly. And when I couple that with Morenos toughness, tirelessness and amazing scrambling grappling game, and hes just got an excessive amount of potential to stand out a hardcore couple rounds prior to starting to show things his way, potentially by using a couple of takedowns. Brandon Moreno by decision.

Staff picking Moreno: Mookie, Stephie, Zane, Dayne, Connor, Lewis

Staff picking Kara-France: Victor, Anton

Derrick Lewis vs. Sergei Pavlovich

Anton Tabuena: Say what you need about Derrick Lewis, but his only losses in two a decade have already been to former champions and top contenders. Heavyweight will get wildly unpredictable, but I dont think Pavlovich is for the reason that group. Derrick Lewis by KO.

Mookie Alexander: Its likely were seeing the finish of Lewis as another heavyweight but Personally i think like hes actually improving? It strips away a few of why is The Black Beast so fun but I believe hes still sufficient to beat famous brands Pavlovich. Without doubt that Pavlovich is powerful but I wonder if theres the opportunity hell be considered a little too ready to wrestle, which includes often proven the downfall for most non-Daniel Cormier opponents. Then theres the question of whether he is able to take Lewis best shot, and I dont think he is able to. Derrick Lewis by KO, round 2.

Zane Simon: Theres every reason to believe that Pavlovich can venture out there, work behind his jab, especially to your body, and just pick Lewis off on his solution to a TKO win. Its a proven method and also Curtis Blaydes was working it perfectly until he decided he had a need to shoot a takedown instead. But, given time and space to possess his sort of fight, Pavlovich isnt really known for pressing the action. He will pick his shots carefully or clinch around slow people down. Both of these things should give Lewis maximum time and energy to find their own bombs. The additional time and chances Lewis has, the much more likely he could be to land one huge crushing shot that totally changes the fight. Derrick Lewis via KO, Round 2.

Staff picking Lewis: Mookie, Stephie, Victor, Anton, Zane, Dayne, Connor, Lewis

Staff picking Pavlovich:

Alexandre Pantoja vs. Alex Perez

Mookie Alexander: Im biased because Im a Pantoja fan, but I admit this isnt as easy a pick when i thought. Perez may be the better striker and his low kicks and wrestling could pose serious problems for Pantoja. Having said that, Perezs defense aint the very best and when hes likely to be considered a willing grappler against Pantoja he risks getting caught in a negative spot in a scramble. This may be one where Perez is winning until he isnt. Also remember he hasnt fought for 20 months so there might be the opportunity hes rusty following a long layoff (through umpteen fight cancellations). Alexandre Pantoja by submission, round 2.

Zane Simon: I gotta give Connor some credit for reminding me that, on the almost all his career, Alex Perez has mostly been a front runner. In the event that you let him get yourself started his kicking game early, or let him hit key takedowns and begin controlling you on the mat, he is able to build some very nice momentum. But Pantoja is rarely a fighter to let someone just out-maneuver him easily. Standing he will throw with wild power and consistent, controlled aggression, and on the mat, hes a complete scrambling terror, with great back take ability. If Pantoja can begin turning the momentum of the fight, it appears probably that hell discover a way to complete it aswell. Alexandre Pantoja via submission, round 3.

Staff picking Pantoja: Mookie, Stephie, Victor, Anton, Zane, Dayne, Connor

Staff picking Perez:

Anthony Smith vs. Magomed Ankalaev

Mookie Alexander: I dont think Ankalaev ought to be as big a popular as he could be at this time, but maybe thats just me always ready to give Smith a good chance at victory. Ankalaevs output is low but he’s got a lot of his power in his striking, but where hes probably to win is through his wrestling. Without doubt that Smith will attempt and make life problematic for him having an active guard but Id prefer to think Ankalaev wont get Paul Craigd again. Smiths got a genuine chance if he is able to capitalize on Ankalaevs tendency to drift from anything offensive, however the pick is Magomed Ankalaev by unanimous decision.

Zane Simon: I really do involve some slight concerns about Ankalaev as a regularly winning elite contender. Its not that hes not he isnt consistent or controlled, but that he might be to a fault. Hes had several recent fights now where it felt like he previously opponents obviously outclassed, but let them loaf around completely to the ultimate bell, testing him again and again in 50/50 exchanges. And, when Ive seen Ankalaev really invest in trying to dominate a bout along with his standup, thats often been as soon as he gets caught by surprised and hurt. It could be that his consistent caution is covering up for the truth that he is able to actually be produced quite uncomfortable by at the very top opponent really ready to head to war with him. That may be Anthony Smith. Smith isnt nearly so controlled as Ankalaev, but hes an extremely hot starter who’ll press the action right from the start if he sees an opening. Still, Smiths been a fighter who is able to you need to be entirely tracked out of a bout for multiple rounds if his opponent is dominating and controlling enough. And when Ankalaev starts hitting takedowns, its easy for me personally to see Smith getting stuck on his back for 3 rounds, struggling to discover a way in to the fight. Magomed Ankalaev by decision.

Staff picking Smith: Victor

Staff picking Ankalaev: Mookie, Stephie, Anton, Dayne, Zane, Connor

Alex Morono vs. Matthew Semelsberger

Zane Simon: I love most of the game Semelsberger is building. A higher output power striking game created to challenge less imposing athletes. That certainly can work against Morono, who always gets the potential to obtain caught out, even yet in fights hes winning. But I believe its still quite definitely a work happening for Semi the Jedi. Hes had fights over his whole career in which a ready, aggressive opponent may take him off his game early and force him to possess to battle back to the fight. And Morono is a person who always seems ready, and with the ideal method of tackle whoevers standing across from him. He might not function as prettiest striker or most dominating grappler on the market, but he is able to find the way to victory and stay with it as well as adjust as needed. The opportunity for Semelsberger to essentially introduce himself at welterweight, but Ill take Morono to prove why hes a fantastic gatekeeper. Alex Morono by decision.

Staff picking Morono: Mookie, Anton, Zane, Connor

Staff picking Semelsberger: Dayne

Drew Dober vs. Rafael Alves

Zane Simon: Alves is incredibly dangerous and Drew Dober will absolutely press a fight that gets him hit hard, especially in early stages. But, up to now, Dober in addition has proven himself to be nearly the toughest guy to place away in the lightweight division, at the very least with strikes. Even though Alves has some subs to his name, its not necessarily a choice hes likely to press if Dober just really wants to have a kickboxing bout with him. Assuming Dober doesnt suffer a magnificent KO loss, I’ve far more faith in him to remain consistent and press the action for 3 whole rounds. Drew Dober via decision.

Staff picking Dober: Mookie, Anton, Dayne, Zane, Connor

Staff picking Alves:

DonTale Mayes vs. Hamdy Abdelwahab

Zane Simon: Mayes isnt exactly a global beater in the UFC, but hes still an enormous intensify from the forms of dudes that Abdelwahab has been beating previously. While theres some very nice power plus some solid technique in the Egyptians game, its quite definitely a style happening. Heavy takedowns without the real GnP or grappling, single strikes without clean followups or footwork. If Mayes can hang tough for a round, I believe hell have the ability to catch Abdelwahab flagging hard. DonTale Mayes via TKO, round 2.

Staff picking Mayes: Mookie, Anton, Zane, Connor

Staff picking Abdelwahab: Dayne

Drakkar Klose vs. Rafa Garcia

Zane Simon: When everything is clicking for Garcia, hes got an extremely hard style to take care of; big punches directly into heavy takedowns, right into a controlling grappling game. But Klose is quite hard to take care of in the clinch or even to remove and keep there. And when he is able to shut that 1 / 2 of Garcias gem off, then your striking Garcia provides becomes far more rote and predictable. Drakkar Klose via decision.

Staff picking Klose: Mookie, Anton, Dayne, Zane, Connor

Staff picking Garcia:

Michael Morales vs. Adam Fugitt

Zane Simon: Fugitt has some fun funk to his game, but I expect Morales will hit takedowns and make him purchase the short notice nature of the bout. Michael Morales via submission, round 1.

Staff picking Morales: Mookie, Anton, Dayne, Zane, Connor

Staff picking Fugitt:

Joselyne Edwards vs. Ji Yeon Kim

Zane Simon: Really dont trust Ji Yeon Kim upgrading a division, due to the fact she appeared to be at an electrical deficit last periods against Priscila Cachoeira. Edwards overall game is sort of chaos, but she hits hard and Kim will just keep getting the same exchange again and again if thats what Edwards wants. Joselyne Edwards by decision.

Staff picking Edwards: Mookie, Dayne, Zane, Connor

Staff picking Kim: Anton

Nicolae Negumereanu vs. Ihor Potieria

Zane Simon: Never convinced that Potieria is preparing to stand and trade with someone he cant easily knock out over 15 minutes. Negumereanu isnt probably the most skilled LHW on the market, but hes being among the most durable. Nicolae Negumereanu via decision.

Staff picking Negumereanu: Dayne, Zane, Connor

Staff picking Potieria: Mookie, Anton

Orion Cosce vs. Blood Diamond

Zane Simon: I dont have any reason to trust that Cosce cant hit the very same takedown Wells got on Mr. Diamond in his Octagon debut. Cosce hit it immediately on Rowe within their bout and Diamond will absolutely give him the opportunity to get yourself a bodylock and make it work again. Orion Cosce via submission, round 1.

Staff picking Cosce: Dayne, Zane, Connor

Staff picking Diamond: Mookie, Anton


Who wins?

  • 16%

    Pena and Moreno

    (18 votes)

  • 18%

    Pena and Kara-France

    (20 votes)

  • 45%

    Nunes and Moreno

    (51 votes)

  • 19%

    Nunes and Kara-France

    (22 votes)

111 votes total Vote Now

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