UFC & MMA Betting
UFC 277 Predictions: Julianna Pena vs. Amanda Nunes Best Bets, Odds and Picks
In December 2021, Julianna Peña delivered a powerful upset, strangling Amanda Nunes, who at that time was the dominant champion in 2 weight categories. At UFC 277, we will see if Amanda lost in December due to a stupid mistake and underestimation of her opponent, or if she began to decline.
UFC 277: Pena vs Nunes – Analysis, Best Odds, Predictions
Julianna Pena Preview
Julianna is a 32-year-old athlete from the United States. She made her UFC debut in 2013 after her success on the 18th season of The Ultimate Fighter. Peña's first opponent in the strongest league in the world was Milana Dudieva, whom she knocked out in the 1st round.
In total, Peña had 8 fights in the UFC: 6 won, and 2 lost. Peña's last fight took place in December 2021. Her opponent was Amanda Nunes. Julianna won by submission in the 2nd round.
Pena's Fighting Style and Skills
Julianna prefers to work on the ground. She is good at making takedowns and going through the defense of her opponents, trying to either go to the painful position or take a dominant position and break her opponent with ground and pound.
On her feet, Peña doesn't prepare punches and doesn't do much reconnaissance, which makes her attacks look straightforward and predictable. And she allows grapplers to transfer herself to the net too easily.
Amanda Nunes Preview
Amanda is a 34-year-old athlete from Brazil. She made her UFC debut in 2013 against Sheila Gaff, whom she knocked out in the 1st round. In July 2016, Amanda, as the main contender, knocked out Miesha Tate in 3 minutes and became the new champion of the women's bantamweight division.
After 2 years, in December 2018, Nunes moved up to the women's featherweight division, knocked out the champion in 51 seconds, and became the first holder of 2 titles in the history of the promotion.
In 2020 and 2021, Amanda focused on defending the belt in the women's featherweight division and returned to the bantamweight only in December 2021 in a duel against Julianna Peña. This was Nunes' last performance.
Nunes' Fighting Style and Skills
Amanda is a versatile fighter. In the standing position, she relies on her kickboxing skills. The champion has a large arsenal of punches, has knockout power, and constantly presses and throws inventive combinations.
In wrestling, Amanda relies on a background in judo and BJJ. In these disciplines, she has black and brown belts, respectively. She is a good at takedowns, strong in positional combat, has tenacious control, a devastating ground and pound, and can successfully perform a painful choke.
What happened in the previous fight?
Julianna Pena definitely shocked the world when she won the title last year and there is no clear answer as to why it happened. There are multiple assumptions about the real reason why Nunez did not look as good as before.
Firstly, Nunes recently had a baby and wants to spend more time with her family and not work in training. In addition, she did not lose for 7 years. Why improve when you are already winning?
Another reason – Amanda hasn't competed in the women's bantamweight division for a long time. She had lost the habit of intense weight racing, went into battle exhausted, and did not calculate her strength.
The third reason – Nunes' form was affected by complications from Covid-19. Amanda had been ill with a coronavirus and even before the fight with Peña, she stated that she had complications in the form of breathing problems.
If the problem was weight loss or Amanda's illness, then there's a good chance she'll regain the belt at UFC 277. But if she's really tired of competing and lost her motivation, then we'll see the once formidable champion plummet.
Before we get to the actual prediction for the main event, the UFC 277 Full Card includes some outstanding bouts that also deserve your attention.
Pena vs Nunes Prediction
I doubt that this bout will end as early as the previous one. Amanda will fight more carefully and our most reliable MMA prediction is for an over here. Nunes won't fight Peña because she still remembers that Julianna has a hard hit. Nunes will carefully disassemble the opponent on different floors, alternating body, legs, and head, and score points through control in the clinch.
If Peña tries to cut herself with Amanda again, then she will be caught on the approach and transferred to the ground with pure timing. On canvas, Nunes will favor passive control. Peña has good skills in BJJ, and improving the attacking position is always the risk of giving the neck or arm to the submission.
We are counting on Nunes' neat fighting style. As long as she is fresh and concentrated, Peña will not pose a threat. But what will happen in the later rounds is a big mystery. If Nunez runs out of steam, then Julianna will finish her or take the initiative and shoot again in the rack with collective blows.