This weekend, MMA fans are treated to yet another July PPV event, as UFC 277 showcases two elite rematches long in the making. Amanda Nunes has the chance to reclaim her bantamweight belt from Julianna Pena in the headlining bout, whilst the co-main event has Brandon Moreno seeking to pick up a second victory over Kai Kara-France as they compete for the interim flyweight title.
Elite prospects and experienced veterans fill out the rest of the main card, with the likes of Derrick Lewis, Magomed Ankalaev, Alexandre Pantoja, and Anthony Smith all featuring.
Join us at LowKickMMA as we break down, and hopefully make some money from, the main card of UFC 277.
In the co-main event of UFC 277, Kai Kara-France finally has his chance to claim yet another title for the famed City Kickboxing Gym. The elite New Zealand camp has already produced two champions, with middleweight king Israel Adesanya and potential featherweight GOAT Alexander Volkanovski. Kara-France could complete the trifecta when he takes on Brandon Moreno this weekend.
Moreno is a top-level competitor and has even picked up a win over Kara-France, although the fight was admittedly razor close. Since then, ‘The Assasin Baby’ has faced off against Deiveson Figueiredo three times, winning once, losing once, and going to a draw. Moreno did look impressive in these bouts, but he arguably lost two of them, with the draw only coming about as a result of Figueiredo being deducted a point.
Kai Kara-France has also remained active during this time, picking up three consecutive wins. ‘Don’t Blink’ lived up to his nickname in fights with Rogerio Bontorin and Cody Garbrandt, knocking out both men in emphatic fashion. He also proved that his defensive wrestling is more than up to par as he defeated elite Dagestani grappler Askar Askarov via decision.
We are backing Kara-France to win at UFC 277, as the Kiwi has improved remarkably since the first fight. Moreno’s durability may see him survive the full five rounds, but Kara-France’s power and tenacity will likely see him have the bigger round-winning moments. Kara-France is the underdog, with Betway placing his ML at 2.80.
Another elite flyweight bout takes place on the main card of UFC 277, as 125lb veteran Alexandre Pantoja takes on DWCS prospect Alex Perez. This time we will be backing the favorite to win. Pantoja has been in the UFC octagon with some of the all-time flyweight greats and has rarely looked out of place. Defying the regular stereotype of flyweights, Pantoja is always live for a finish, with clinical striking and a lethal submission game.
Comparatively, Alex Perez does not hold a win over a single flyweight in the current top 15. He has also been out for over a year now, with his last fight being a first-round submission loss to current champion Deiveson Figueiredo. The are a multitude of reasons for this time away from the sport, with opponent pull-outs, bad weight cuts and illness all coming into play.
Considering all these factors, it is very hard to go against Pantoja. We will take him at his money line which Betway has at 1.53. If you want better odds, Pantoja to win inside the difference is priced at 2.87, a solid line considering Perez has only gone to the distance once in his past six bouts.
Magomed Ankalaev Dec
Our final pick for the UFC 277 main card will be a prop bet. Magomed Ankalev is a massive favorite to defeat former title challenger Anthony ‘Lionheart’ Smith. This does seem slightly overpriced, considering the resume and winning streak Smith has. However, barring the last-second submission loss to Paul Craig, Magomed Ankalaev has looked near unstoppable during his entire MMA tenure.
The Dagestani light heavyweight holds a record of 17-1, having picked up wins over numerous high-level opponents, such as Thiago Santos, Volkan Oezdemir, and Nikita Krylov. Whilst Ankalaev did start his run with the UFC as a finisher, with the front kick KO over Dalcha Lungiambula a particular highlight, his last few fights have all gone to decision.
Smith often lives up to the ‘Lionheart’ moniker he has been given, with his losses often going the distance, or at very least to the later rounds of five-round fights. Even Jon Jones, the greatest fighter to ever compete in the division, was unable to get Smith out of there.
As a result, we are taking Magomed Ankalev to win via decision at UFC 277. Betway has this prop currently priced at 2.00.