MMA

UFC 277: Alex Perez vs Alexandre Pantoja Picks, Predictions, Odds

Alexandre Pantoja vs Alex Perez
July 30, 2022 10:35 pm EDT
The Line: Alex Perez +157 / Alexandre Pantoja -182
(Click here for latest betting odds)

Alexandre Pantoja and Alex Perez fight Saturday in UFC 277 at the American Airlines Center. Pantoja enters this fight with a 24-5 record and has won 38 percent of his fights by submission. Perez enters this fight with a 24-6 record and has won 50 percent of his fights by decision.

Pantoja has won 6 of his last 8 fights and is coming off an August win over Brandon Royval. Pantoja is averaging 4.24 significant strikes per minute, with an accuracy percentage of 48 percent. Pantoja is averaging 1.26 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 38 percent. Pantoja is coming off a submission win at UFC on ESPN 29 that earned performance of the night honors. In the victory, Pantoja landed 23 total strikes and produced 3 takedowns. Pantoja is now 8-3 under the UFC banner. Pantoja is a ball of energy in the octagon, as he’s constantly doing something, whether throwing wild strikes or scrambling on the caverns. The Cannibal has produced finished in 17 of his 24 victories, and all 5 of his losses have been decisions. A high level athlete with a wild style, Pantoja is a fun fighter who usually puts on a show. This will be Pantoja’s first career fight in Texas.

Perez has won 11 of his last 13 fights and is coming off a November (2020) loss to Deiveson Figueiredo. Perez is averaging 4.62 significant strikes per minute, with an accuracy percentage of 47 percent. Perez is averaging 2.92 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 45 percent. Perez is coming off a submission loss at UFC 255, a fight that proceed a combined 11 total strikes. It’s going to be interesting to see how Perez responds to not fighting for a year and a half, and he hopes to avoid back-to-back losses for the third time in his career. Perez comes from a wrestling background, while also having experience in BJJ and boxing. He’s an accurate striker with solid takedown ability and a tough takedown defense. More times than not, Perez is going to determine where the fight ends up. Perez is effective in the clinch, and his impressive gas tank has allowed him to win 12 of his 13 career decisions. Perez is 7-2 under the UFC banner. This will be Perez’s first career fight in Texas.

Perez is capable of winning this fight with his balanced attack, but I don’t usually back fighters who are going through a long layoff. Perez hasn’t fought in about a year and a half, and now he’s clashing with a ball of energy in Pantoja. This isn’t the easiest return fight for the 30-year-old American. 

I have to lean toward Pantoja in this bout.

Randy Chambers's Free Pick:
Alexandre Pantoja -182

Randy Chambers

Randy has covered sports betting since 2014 and writes about everything from NFL to WNBA.
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