Nunes Again Favored Against Pena
UFC 277’s hotly anticipated rematch has shades of Serra-St-Pierre 2 as the former champion is again heavily favored to win. If we go by the UFC betting lines, Julianna Pena’s win was a one-off and Amanda Nunes should reclaim her bantamweight belt. Like most MMA rematches, expect this second bout to look much different than the original.
You Will Have To Put Pena Down
Pena entered the first bout with nothing to lose. She was a fighter as high as 6-1 on the online gambling odds. It may be cliche, but Pena was like Rocky in that fight. She had nothing to lose and withstood everything Nunes threw at her until she found the opportunity to sink in the rear-naked choke.
It was one of the biggest UFC upsets and one that Pena can pull off again. The “Venezuelan Vixen” can expect a different Nunes. But she’ll be ready even if she’s never fought in the championship rounds. Pena is still tough and can fight for days. In a sense, she’s almost like a “Diaz sister.”
With her cast-iron chin and dogged determination, Pena will walk into the octagon and defend her title like it was her child. Nunes will have to be ready for another fight for her life. Should Pena beat Nunes again, she will be the first champion since Frankie Edgar against B.J. Penn to defend her belt as a sizable underdog.
Nunes’ Line is Too Long
Many will argue that Pena didn’t win the first fight so much as Nunes lost. The former champion had a terrible game plan and when it did not work, she looked for a way out and Pena gave it to her. This is similar to a fight six years ago (UFC 196) where Nunes also fought.
Conor McGregor, the heavy favorite, unloaded on Nate Diaz. He dominated him in the first round but ran out of gas, panicked and choked. We know what happened in the rematch: McGregor paced himself more effectively and won a close decision over Diaz.
This time, bet online on Nunes to control the fight more. Don’t expect her to blitz Pena as she did in the first fight. Nunes will keep the fight standing and outstrike Pena even if it’s a lackluster decision victory.
Pena vs Nunes 2 Head-to-Head
Pena is significantly taller than Nunes: five inches. She holds a 2½-inch reach advantage. The champion is also six years younger and has three more professional bouts than his challenger. This will be Pena’s ninth five-round fight and Nunes’s fourth.
Pena vs Nunes 2 Fight Information
- Fighters: Pena (c) (11-4-0) vs Nunes (21-5-0)
- Location: American Airlines Center, Dallas
- Day/Time: Saturday July 30, 10 p.m. ET
- Pena vs Nunes 2 LiveStream: UFC Fight Pass
Pena vs Nunes 2 Betting Odds
|Julianna Pena||+210||2½ -115o|
|Amanda Nunes||-280||2½ -115u|
Pena vs Nunes 2 Prediction
Pena’s first win over Nunes was no fluke. However, a refocused and better-prepared Nunes is the right side to bet here. Nunes is no stranger to drawn-out fights like the one she had against Germaine de Randamie. She is the better striker here and has an 82 percent takedown defense.
Nunes should stuff Pena’s takedown attempts and keep the fight at range. She’ll better manage her cardio as her teammates allege she’s training a lot more effectively than before. But Pena is still dangerous and a mistake from Nunes on the mat will be her undoing. So instead of betting on Nunes, bet the total to go over 2½ rounds. That’s the best UFC bet as this one should go for much longer.