Scheduled to take place in the heart of Texas later this month, UFC 277 features a brilliant women’s championship fight as its main event clash. In the women’s bantamweight division, champion Julianna Peña reigns supreme but will face her old rival Amanda Nunes in a rematch bout from UFC 269. In that contest, Peña scored a huge upset over Nunes with a second round submission. In the co-main event of the evening, Brandon Moreno and Kai Kara-France will duke it out for the interim UFC Flyweight Championship. The two previously met at UFC 245 where Moreno won via unanimous decision.
In this breakdown, SBS will go over what to look for from each fighter in these two championship contests and who will ultimately prevail in each bout.
|UFC 277 Main Event Bouts||The Pick|
|Pena vs. Nunes||Nunes||-330||-330||-330|
|Kara-France vs. Moreno||Kara-France||+180||+180||+180|
Fighter Spotlight: Julianna Peña (c)
After knocking off Nunes at UFC 269, Peña notched the Upset of the Year in 2021. Recognized by multiple publications from the UFC itself to ESPN, the 32-year old’s triumph over Nunes certainly rocked the MMA world. Prior to that bout, Peña had maintained a professional record of 10-4 (with five submission victories) and was coming off a submission win over Sara McMann. The winner of the Ultimate Fighter 18 Bantamweight Tournament, the native of Spokane, Washington is currently one of the hottest commodities in the UFC. However, with Nunes even more fired up to avenge her loss, Peña will have to work even harder to knock off her rival.
Fighter Spotlight: Amanda Nunes
One of the greatest female fighters of all-time, Nunes is hungry to reclaim her crown against the champion in Dallas. Before she fell to Peña, the 34-year old Brazilian was in the midst of an amazing 12-fight winning streak with marquee wins over the likes of Ronda Rousey, Miesha Tate, Cris Cyborg and Valentina Shevchenko. With a current professional record of 21-5, Nunes features one of the most devastating knockout repertoires in the bantamweight division with 13 career knockout victories. While Peña was able to submit Nunes via a rear-naked choke at UFC 269, she will definitely be on high alert this next time when the two lock horns in Texas. It also is worth noting that Nunes has never lost back-to-back fights in her professional career.
Prediction: In what should be another blistering bantamweight contest, look for Nunes to reclaim her crown in Dallas.
Fighter Spotlight: Brandon Moreno
Following a bitter title defense loss to Deiveson Figueiredo at UFC 270, the 28-year old Moreno is looking for a rebound performance in Texas. In their trilogy of fights, Moreno came up short at UFC 270 via a unanimous decision loss, but had upended Figueiredo in their prior bout at UFC 263 with a rear-naked choke win. He will be looking to replicate that success against Kara-France in what will be a rematch from their contest at UFC 245 in Las Vegas. In that bout, Moreno was able to get the better of Kara-France and won in unanimous fashion.
What to look for from: Kai Kara-France
A mixed martial artist fighter from New Zealand, Kara-France is on a solid winning streak as of late. After winning three of his last fights (including two Performance of the Night showings), the 29-year old will secure his place in history if he can notch a UFC Flyweight Championship. Since his return to the flyweight division, Kara-France has put together a record of 7-2, including multiple “Fight of the Night” showings. A balanced fighter, he has 11 knockout wins to his credit along with 10 decision victories during the course of his career, giving him an overall record of 24-9.
Prediction: This matchup is in many ways a toss-up, but perhaps this is the breakthrough performance that Kara-France has been preparing for.
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