UFC 277 Main Card Preview

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Two of the baddest women in MMA will fight for the second time when Julianna Peña defends her Bantamweight title against the former champion Amanda Nunes in the main event.

The co-main event sees Kiwi Kai Kara-France looking to add a Flyweight title to City Kickboxing’s trophy cabinet when he takes on Brendon Moreno. Moreno is one of only two fighters who have beaten Kara-France.

Let’s have a look at the main card:

Julianna ‘The Venezuelan Vixen’ Peña vs Amanda ‘The Lioness’ Nunes

Hopefully, this fight lives up to the original. Though Nunes knocked her down a couple of times, Peña weathered the storm, and she tested Nunes like she hadn’t been tested before. She wasn’t afraid to take damage and stand and trade with the ‘Lioness’.

While Nunes was patient early in the last fight, she will need to do it again. I’m sure she would have worked on her conditioning and be ready to go into the ‘championship’ rounds, as she may be unable to put Peña away.

Peña needs to do what she did last time and make the fight a brawl, and she must be prepared to get down and dirty again and make the fight ugly.

It has been long believed that you are not a true champion in MMA until you defend for the first time. Peña will be desperate not to join that club (though it does include fighters like Matt Serra and Rashad Evans).

Regardless, both women have shown they are true competitors and worthy champions.

 

Betting Odds on Neds:  Amanda Nunes $1.36 Julianna Peña $3.20

Brendon ‘The Assasin Baby’ Moreno vs Kai ‘Don’t Blink’ Kara-France

Like the main event, the co-main is also a rematch. The last time that Moreno and Kara-France, ‘The Assasin Baby’ was victorious.

Flyweights fight at an unbelievable pace; sometimes, combinations are like blurs. This fight will be no different, especially with the interim title on the line.

Kara-France has shown that he has power; he picked up the only KO on season 24 of The Ultimate Fighter. The only other person to beat the Kiwi, Brendon Royval, once said that Kara-France’s stand-up was ‘basic’. It may not be flashy like Royval’s stand-up in that fight was, but it certainly isn’t basic.

While both men have much to fight for, Moreno would like to settle the score with Flyweight Champion Deiveson Figueiredo. They have fought three times; however, the first was scored a draw, sitting at one a piece.

Can Moreno again call himself the champ, or is it Kara-France’s time? The world will find out tomorrow.

Betting Odds on Neds Brendon Moreno $1.46 Kai Kara-France $2.70

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Derrick ‘The Black Beast’ Lewis vs Sergei Pavlovich

Before we see the Flyweight’s throwdown, which will be at a breakneck pace, We get to see a Heavyweight slobberknocker.

There is nothing better than seeing two Heavyweight fighters slug it out. And these two men have numerous KOs on their records. So, fans should not expect anything less than two big meaty men trading leather.

Lewis is coming off a loss to Aussie Tai Tuivasa, and while it’s not panic stations yet for Lewis, a loss here won’t help. He still has destructive power in his fists, and the beauty of MMA is that anything can happen.

Pavlovich is currently running a three-fight win streak, and they have all been first-round stoppages. A win over Lewis will catapult him up the rankings, especially now that Tom Aspinall may be out for a little while; the Russian may find himself near the top of some more fight cards.

Betting Odds on Neds: Derrick Lewis $2.25 Sergei Pavlovich $1.64

Alexandre ‘The Cannibal” Pantoja vs Alex Perez

Before the co-main event, fans will be treated to another Flyweight spectacle between two very experienced fighters.

Pantoja holds a win over Brendon Moreno and the man that beat Kai Kara-France, Brendon Royval. He has faced Flyweight king Deiveson Figueiredo and lost. And a win over Perez may see him get a rematch, depending on how the title picture pans out.

Perez is also a former title challenger, so it’s undeniable that he wants another shot at the gold. A win will see him take a step closer to facing Figueifedo, but it may be some time due to an interim title being on the card.

Betting Odds on Neds: Alexandre Pantoja $1.52 Alex Perez $2.55

Magomed Ankalaev vs Anthony ‘Lionheart’ Smith

Kicking off the main card is a Light Heavyweight bout between a former title challenger and a hungry Russian.

Anthony Smith has been there before and fought the best in the division. He wants to get back to the top and win the gold. After a two-fight skid, he is working himself back up the ladder. A win here, and by doing so dominantly, the man known as ‘Lionheart’ can get back there.

Beating Ankalaev is easier said than done, though. The Russian is riding an eight-fight win streak, and he only started his pro career in 2014 and has racked up quite a record. His only loss came in his UFC debut against submission specialist Paul Craig (yes, it was by triangle choke). A win against Smith in the opening bout will see him move into the division’s upper echelon.

Betting Odds on Neds: Magomed Ankalaev $1.16 Anthony Smith $5.40

For Australia Viewers, the card starts at 8 am AEST. The preliminary card will be shown on UFC Fight Pass; ESPN will only show the prelims from Klose vs Garcia. The main card can be purchased on Main Event through Foxtel or Kayo. Or you can also buy it on Fight Pass.

Enjoy the fights!

 

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