Pena Enters Rematch as Big Underdog
Nobody believed she could do it the first time and few believe it the second time. Julianna Pena, the defending UFC Women’s bantamweight champion, is going to be another big underdog entering UFC 277 odds per the UFC odds. The “Venezuelan Vixen” stunned Nunes back in UFC 269 in what was the biggest upset of 2021. Can she do it again?
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Underdogs That Have Done It Again
Pena is not the first underdog to shock the world and win a UFC title. Matt Serra notoriously knocked Georges St-Pierre out as an 8-1 underdog. In the rematch, however, he was dominated by St-Pierre and dropped the belt. In boxing, 12-1 longshot Andy Ruiz stunned Anthony Joshua to capture the heavyweight belts but was schooled in the rematch.
At her current online sports betting, it feels like Pena is set to follow in the footsteps of these underdogs-turned-champions. But a few other fighters have pulled off the upset in consecutive fights. The greatest example is Frankie Edgar, who beat B.J. “The Prodigy” Penn two straight times, both as a big underdog.
In women’s MMA, Rose Namajunas dethroned Joanna Jedrzejczyk as a 5-1 underdog. However, in the rematch, the sportsbook evened out the odds by putting them at pick’em prices. Namajunas would earn a split decision to retain the title.
What Changed for Pena vs Nunes 2?
By the time Julianna Pena and Amanda Nunes have their rematch on July 30, it would be seven months since their first fight. The pair have filmed The Ultimate Fighter together, though according to Nunes, Pena has been more on the tamer side.
Maybe this is mind games on the champ’s part or maybe Pena has matured a little since their fight. Despite her bravado and crude comments, Pena has not lacked focus as a fighter. She’s constantly with a dogged mentality and has been known to pressure her opponents at every turn. It’s this fierce determination that helped her break the unseemingly unbeatable Nunes.
For Nunes, she has looked different lately. Without trying to read too much into Nunes’s mental state, she has looked physically heavier, and cutting down to 135 pounds may be putting too much of a strain on her.
Nunes already showed signs when she faded down the stretch against Germaine de Randamie. She blasted Holly Holm with a head kick but had the fight gone the distance, would Nunes have started to cruise like she did against Raquel Pennington?
Pena vs Nunes 2 Fight Information
- Fight: Pena (c) (11-4-0) vs Nunes 2 (21-5-0)
- Location: American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX
- Day/Time: Saturday, 10 p.m. ET
- Pena vs Nunes II Live stream: UFC Fight Pass
UFC 277: Remainder of Card
Another rematch is slated for UFC 277 as the co-main event. Former flyweight champion Brandon Moreno rematches Kai-Kara France for the interim title. The winner books a fight against Deiveson Figueiredo. If it is Moreno, it will be the fourth UFC Fight Night between the two. That would be the first in UFC history.
Former title heavyweight title challenger Derrick Lewis will also be in a feature bout as he takes on Sergei Pavlovich. The Russian has won three straight fights, all by knockout. The winner of this bout could just get a title shot.
Pena vs Nunes 2: Who has Edge?
The best UFC bet here could still be on Julianna Pena. Provided the champion is the same dog that entered in December, she will have the mental edge over Amanda Nunes, who could have one foot out the door from the division.
Pena is tough as nails and managed to survive Nunes’s initial onslaught. While there is a chance Nunes finishes her quickly this time, there is just a good chance that Pena survives and take Nunes to deep waters again. Betting online on the champ could be a more valuable proposition in this spot.
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