Best UFC 277 Bets: Julianna Pena vs. Amanda Nunes 2 Picks

  • Date & Location: Saturday, July 30 @ American Airlines Center in Dallas,  TX
  • Time: Early Prelims (TBA), Prelims (8 p.m. ET), Main Card (10 p.m. ET)
  • How to Watch: Early Prelims (TBA), Prelims (TBA). Main Card (ESPN + pay-per-view)

In what was an enormous upset, Julianna Pena submitted Amanda Nunes in the co-main event of UFC 269. When the odds closed for that fight, Nunes was a -1000 favorite over the +650 Pena. Despite those lopsided odds, Pena forced Nunes to tap to a rear-naked choke in the second round. With that, Nunes’ 12-fight winning streak ended, as did her reign as the UFC women’s bantamweight champion.

With her win over Nunes, Pena is on a two-fight winning streak. Both those victories came via submission. Pena, who is 11-4 in her career, has five wins via submission, three KO victories and three decision triumphs. Her past two setbacks were both submission defeats.

Prior to her loss to Pena, Nunes had not tasted defeat since her third fight in the UFC, which took place in 2014. The loss at UFC 269 dropped Nunes to 21-5 overall. Nunes has 13 knockout wins, four submission victories and four nods via decision. She bounced back from her last defeat with a first-round TKO win.

Before we look at the matchup between Julianna Pena and Amanda Nunes on the UFC 277 PPV card, which streams on ESPN+, check out the best UFC betting sites and where you can find the best odds on all the UFC fights.

UFC 277 Picks: Julianna Pena vs. Amanda Nunes

To Win UFC 277 Main EventBetOnlineBovada
Julianna Pena+245+240
Amanda Nunes-290-310

Julianna Pena vs. Amanda Nunes breakdown and analysis

Combat sports are an endeavor where confidence can become a hinderance. When a fighter wins a lot and makes it look easy, they sometimes believe things will always workout that way. That thinking is a trap, especially for a champion. The problem with that type of thinking is that it ignores the fact that while that champion is at the top of their weight class, the rest of the fighters looking to become the champ are training specifically to beat that fighter.

I don’t know if that’s what happened to Amanda Nunes in her fight with Julianna Pena, but I suspect that comfort and confidence played some part in her downfall. After all, at the time, Nunes was a two-division champion and riding a winning streak of 12 fights. That run included victories over fighters like Ronda Rousey, Holly Holm, Cris Cyborg, Miesha Tate and Valentina Shevchenko.

On paper, Nunes is better than Pena in every aspect of MMA and the feeling of many is that Nunes had an off night in losing to Pena in 2021. I agree with that feeling and I think Nunes gets the bantamweight title back at UFC 277.

Pick: Amanda Nunes to beat Julianna Pena.

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Betting value with Nunes

The odds are significantly different in the rematch between Pena and Nunes and that makes things very interesting. Nunes hasn’t seen odds this favorable since she upset Cris Cyborg in 2018 and that makes her a decent value for a straight win pick. On the other side of that, if you believe that Pena won the first fight because of what she did right and not what Nunes did wrong, there is still a fair amount of value with picking Pena, just not nearly as much as there was in the first fight.

I think the loss to Pena was an embarrassment for Nunes and that she will be ready for this rematch and as focused as she was during the run where she beat Tate, Rousey, Shevchenko, Cyborg and Holm over the span of three years. With that I think she wraps this up by knockout.

Prediction: Amanda Nunes to defeat Julianna Pena via knockout.

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Trent Reinsmith

Trent covers UFC and MMA for MTS. He has written for USA Today Sports, Vice, Bloody Elbow, Fight! Magazine, UFC 360, and Narratively among others. He has been involved with MMA since he and some friends threw some money together to purchase the pay-per-view of UFC 1, and the rest is history.

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