MMA

UFC 277: Amanda Nunes vs Julianna Pena Picks, Predictions, Odds

Julianna Pena vs Amanda Nunes
July 30, 2022 11:50 pm EDT
The Line: Amanda Nunes -260 / Julianna Pena +220
(Click here for latest betting odds)

Julianna Pena and Amanda Nunes fight Saturday in UFC 277 at the American Airlines Center. Pena enters this fight with a 11-4 record and has won 45 percent of her fights by submission. Nunes enters this fight with a 21-5 record and has won 62 percent of her fights by knockout. 

Pena has won 7 of her 9 fights and is coming off a December win over Amanda Nunes. Pena is averaging 3.36 significant strikes per minute, with an accuracy percentage of 49 percent. Pena is averaging 2.43 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 55 percent. Pena is coming off a submission win at UFC 269 where she landed 90 total strikes and produced 1 takedown. Pena is now 7-2 under the UFC banner, and her last 2 fights have ended in submission victories. Pena looks for 3 straight wins for the first time since 2015-16. Pena comes from a background in kickboxing and BJJ, where she has a purple belt, and she’s been a rather accurate striker in the UFC. While sometimes sloppy on the feet, Pena does have some pace to her attack while also defending 53 percent of her shots. Pena is a successful takedown artist, and it’s where she does some of her best work. Pena also has good cardio and has won 7 of her 11 career fights that have made it out of the first round. This will be Pena’s second career fight in Texas.

Nunes has won 12 of her last 13 fights and is coming off a December loss to Julianna Peña. Nunes is averaging 4.55 significant strikes per minute, with an accuracy percentage of 51 percent. Nunes is averaging 2.46 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 54 percent. Nunes is coming off a submission loss at UFC 269 where she landed 58 total strikes. Nunes lost the Bantamweight Championship and now hopes to avoid back-to-back losses for the first time in her career. It was the second time Nunes was submitted and her first loss overall since UFC 178. Nunes is an accurate striker who cuts off the octagon and can land bombs when she has her opponent on her heels. Nunes is also a black belt in BJJ and effective when she looks for takedowns. Nunes is as balanced as anybody in the sport, with a high IQ and ability to end the fight on her terms while getting the fight she wants. A brown belt in Judo, there’s nothing Nunes can’t do in the octagon at a high level. This will be Nunes’ first career fight in Texas.

Pena has shown she’s worthy after her shocking upset, and you shouldn’t put it past her to win this fight as well. Pena was the more accurate striker in the first match and made Nunes uncomfortable as the fight dragged out. With all that said, we’re getting Nunes at a rather cheap price when you consider she was a -1000 favorite at UFC 269. I’m sorry, but Nunes has shown us way too much over the years to just jump off the bandwagon after 1 loss. She hasn’t lost back-to-back fights in her career, and I’m not betting that changes here.

Give me Nunes, and I’ll lay the respectable juice.

Randy Chambers's Free Pick:
Amanda Nunes -260

Randy Chambers

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