It’s back to business on UFC 269 for the greatest female fighter on the planet, two-division champion Amanda Nunes. This time, she defends her bantamweight belt for the sixth time as she welcomes Julianna Pena into her Lioness’ den as another large favorite on the BetUS online sportsbook.
Nunes (21-4-0) fights at 135 for the first time in two years while Pena (10-4-0) gets the shot after a submission victory over Sara McMann. This also marks one of her only two wins in the last four years. But as far as fighting for the belt, she’s “due” and can at least look to give Nunes a fight.
- Date: Saturday, 10 p.m. ET
- Venue: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, NV
- Watch on: Pay-per-view
Nunes vs Pena Betting Analysis
- Weight Class: Women’s Bantamweight (135)
- Rounds: Five (Championship Co-Main Event)
- Moneyline: Julianna Pena +600, Amanda Nunes -1000
- Totals: Over 1½ (-125o), Under 1½ (-105u)
The UFC odds have this as a one-sided beatdown for Nunes, who should finish the outmatched challenger within 7½ minutes. This is a bit disrespectful to Pena, who, despite being a flawed fighter, has plenty of fight in her. But even if Pena is as hungry as a lion, her mistakes will cost her this fight, especially if she makes them early.
Pena Not Short on Courage
We’ve seen in plenty of Nunes’ fights about how her challenger already looks defeated. Megan Anderson looked as pale as a ghost and quickly panicked after getting hit. Felicia Spencer did not want to engage Nunes all. And Cris “Cyborg” overcommitted with her offense and got knocked out. How will Nunes react when she feels Nunes’s power?
Pena has been the epitome of a “short fuse.” Stories about her on and off the cage highlight a hot-blooded fighter who will engage, sometimes ill-advisedly. Her two defeats in the UFC came via submission as she was outgrappled on the ground by two kickboxers.
Getting subbed by Valentina Shevchenko is nothing to be ashamed of. But by Germaine de Randamie? A fighter who had zero career submissions and was almost purely just a striker to that point. Pena will have to stay ice cold for this fight or she may not even last the 7½ minutes.
Where is Value in Nunes?
Nunes winning this fight is a foregone conclusion. She is better than Pena in almost every category and it’s a matter of when, not if, she wins. There is value in betting the under 1½ rounds as Nunes has one of the best finishing instincts. When she sees Pena make a mistake, she will pounce on it and live up to the moniker of The Lioness.
But even some props are juiced with Nunes. Betting online on her to win inside the distance is at -300. It may be better to take Nunes to win in round one at +150 or round two at +330 if we’re backing her to win early.
Three of Nunes’s last five wins came in the first round. In fact, nine of her 10 finishes all occurred within the first five minutes so +150 has great value for the champ.
Nunes vs Pena: Who Wins?
Freak injury or fight-ending cut aside, Nunes should beat Pena and do it quickly. She will stuff Pena’s takedown attempts and either smash her on their feet or ground-and-pound her on the mat. Either throw Nunes in a parlay with someone like Vasiliy Lomachenko in boxing or take her to win in round one at +150. But as far as a straight bet, grab the under 1½ rounds.