UFC 277 Odds, Props, & Picks: Peña vs. Nunes Sequel Headlines Dallas Card

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Heavy favorite Amanda Nunes (r) aims to take back bantamweight title from Julianna Peña at UFC 277 (Photo by Louis Grasse/PxImages/Icon Sportswire).

The UFC must believe “everything is bigger in Texas,” because the promotion’s next pay-per-view event features the biggest, most anticipated women’s fight of 2022. UFC 277 is set for two title fights and other bouts featuring top-tier fighters in their respective divisions. The event takes place on July 30 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. Here we discuss betting odds, props, and betting picks for the card.

The headliner is a Women’s Bantamweight Championship rematch between belt holder Julianna “The Venezuelan Vixen” Peña and former bantamweight and current featherweight champ Amanda “Lioness” Nunes. The pair first fought at UFC 269 last December, when Peña shocked the world by beating Nunes in a major upset to capture the 135-pound title. Despite stealing the strap from her opponent, the new champ is still the underdog the second time around, priced between +210 and +230 as of Thursday morning, while the challenger lays odds between -270 and -305.

The main event is preceded by an interim flyweight title bout between Brandon “The Assassin Baby” Moreno and Kai “Don’t Blink” Kara-France. Moreno lays odds between -210 and -235, while Kara-France can be grabbed between +170 and +180 at sportsbooks around the betting marketplace.

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UFC fans and bettors can watch the prelims starting at 8 p.m. ET on ABC and ESPN. The main card starts at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+.

We’ll add various props to this post as we get closer to fight night.

Peña vs. Nunes 2 Odds

Julianna Peña vs Amanda Nunes Odds UFC Odds

UFC · Sat (7/30) @ 10:00 pm ET

Julianna Peña at Amanda Nunes
American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX

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Nunes Dominated The Sport Before 269 Loss

Amanda Nunes (21-5 MMA, 14-2 UFC) is widely considered the greatest female fighter in MMA history, and there’s a multitude of ways to support that claim. A lethal, well-rounded striker and a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Lioness has a bag of tools that’s been used effectively against any style of opponent.

The 34-year-old UFC legend owns multiple records in women’s UFC, including most wins overall (14), most wins in UFC title fights (nine), most first-round finishes (14), and longest win streak (12). She also holds bantamweight records for most knockout wins (six) and stoppage wins (eight).

Nunes is one of four fighters – and the only female fighter – to hold two titles simultaneously and earn the label, “champ champ.” Given that Peña is the one who took that honor away from her, the former double champ seeks vengeance and will try to get back what’s rightfully hers.

Peña Defies Odds In First Meeting

Peña’s win over Nunes at UFC 269 is one of the biggest upsets in UFC history – narrative- and betting-wise.

Nunes entered the December bout on a 12-fight win streak – with eight finishes – beating the likes of Valentina Shevchenko (twice), Ronda Rousey, and Cris Cyborg. Her last loss prior to the match came in 2014. She was practically unbeatable, and routing Peña was supposed to be a foregone conclusion.

Peña’s odds opened at +500 and closed at +700 on BetMGM. After taking in twice as many significant strikes than she landed in the opening round, her odds lengthened to +1100 – an implied probability of 8.33% to win.

The underdog showed a different side of herself in the second round, though. She went blow for blow with the champion, to the point of landing way more devastating punches. Noticing that Nunes couldn’t handle the fire, Peña threw her to the ground, put her in a rear-naked choke, and caused her to tap. At +700 closing odds, Peña’s win is the fourth-biggest betting upset in UFC history, according to Tapology.

Fighters’ Form As Favorite, Underdog

Nunes is 7-1 in UFC fights as the favorite, the one loss coming against Peña.

Underdog status has boded well for Peña, posting a 3-2 record at the UFC level. This time, however, she faces the second-longest odds of her UFC career. The longest, of course, was against Nunes in the first go-around.

In-The-Octagon Preview

If the first meeting went any other way, a bet on Nunes at short odds may be justified, but the victor showed something in that first fight.

Peña was overmatched in the first round, getting tagged with a swarm of punches and spending most of the round on the wrong end of a grapple. She then called a bold audible in the next round, in which she challenged – and beat – the supreme striker at her own game of stand-up.

Expect to see a much more confident version of the Venezuelan Vixen this time. She’s the fighter who terminated Nunes’ dominant run as double champ when no one else could.

To be fair to the loser, she did cite knee injuries as the reason for losing, which might explain her sluggish fighting and off night as a whole. It could also be that age is beginning to catch up to the Brazilian. It’ll be interesting to see if the 14-year MMA vet will be able to rediscover her speed and rhythm in time for the rematch.

Peña vs. Nunes Props

Method of Victory
Peña by submission +750 (BetRivers)
Peña by KO/TKO/DQ +1300 (BetRivers)
Peña by decision +650 (BetRivers)
Nunes by submission +750 (Caesars)
Nunes by KO/TKO/DQ +144 (PointsBet)
Nunes by decision +460 (FanDuel)

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Total Rounds
2.5 (ov -102 (FanDuel), un -118 (PointsBet))

Note: 2:30 min mark of each round indicates the ‘half-round’ for under/over bets. For example, if you bet on Over 2.5 rounds, the fight would have to exceed the 2:30 min mark of the third round for you to win.

Alternate Total Rounds
0.5 (ov -1100 (DraftKings), un +550 (DraftKings))
1.5 (ov -193 (PointsBet), un +150 (DraftKings))
3.5 (ov +145 (BetRivers), un -164 (PointsBet))
4.5 (ov +190 (BetRivers), un -200 (PointsBet))

Will Fight Go the Distance
Yes +210 (BetRivers)
No -260 (FanDuel)

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Peña vs. Nunes Betting Picks

Moneyline: Nunes (-270, Caesars)

As exciting as the first meeting went, we can almost definitely expect the sequel to play out differently because we’re going to see a much different version of Nunes. The Brazilian was overconfident and unconditioned in that first bout. She told the press at the UFC 277 media day last Wednesday that she had a bad 269 training camp and hadn’t faced a tough challenge before Peña, and that her loss reignited her passion for fighting.

Lioness went into her first fight with Peña clearly unconditioned, which makes sense because she looked so gassed and unwilling to change her approach. It was also her first match at bantamweight since 2019.

Nunes knows how to fix her mistakes in time for her next fight, as she’s never lost two fights in a row in her 14-year career. And while I do believe Peña’s odds should be shorter than they currently are, it’s still Amanda Nunes – the women’s UFC G.O.AT. – we’re talking about here. She’ll be much more prepared and conditioned for the rematch and re-establish herself as the best female fighter in the world – today and in history.

Total Rounds: Over 2.5 (-102, FanDuel)

Nunes likes to finish fights early, but considering how the first fight went, she may want to change her approach. Peña has no problem standing in the pocket and going blow for blow with Nunes, which normally bodes well for the Brazilian striker. However, Nunes’ best strategy is to be patient, wrestle around a bit, and wear the American down enough to go for the kill late.

Nunes doesn’t need to try to force an early finish in order to win. After all, five of her last 12 contests have reached the third round or beyond.

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Best Bet: Nunes By KO/TKO/DQ (+144, PointsBet)

Nunes has superb grappling ability and four career submission wins, but going for the submission would just be playing to Peña’s strengths. If she wins, it’ll be because of her powerful strikes and vicious ground-and-pound.

There isn’t much value in taking her moneyline, even with the shortest odds of -270 at Caesars Sportsbook, so the best bet is to back the heavy favorite to win using her most effective method of victory.

Moreno vs. Kara-France 2 Odds

The two flyweights met at UFC 245 in December 2019 in a preliminary bout, in which Moreno won via decision as an underdog. The Mexico-born grappling specialist serves as the favorite in the rematch, with odds as short as -180 on DraftKings and FanDuel in late July. Moreno’s odds shortened from -225 in early July.

Brandon Moreno vs Kai Kara-France Odds UFC FLYWEIGHT Odds

UFC FLYWEIGHT · Sat (7/30) @ 10:00 pm ET

Brandon Moreno at Kai Kara-France
American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX

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From Prelims To Co-Main Event For Interim 125-Pound Belt

Both fighters were still learning the ropes of the UFC during their first encounter, and have grown and accomplished a lot since then. After out-dueling the New Zealander in 2019, Moreno (19-6-2 MMA, 7-3-2 UFC) went on to become the flyweight champion by beating Deiveson Figueiredo at UFC 263 last year. His reign was short-lived, though, after failing to defend his belt against Figueiredo in the matchup’s trilogy. But the Assassin Baby is inching in on the gold once again, with his second-to-last obstacle being Kara-France (24-9 MMA, 7-2 UFC).

Now, Don’t Blink’s story post-Moreno hasn’t been as glorious as his old foe’s, but it’s still been impressive enough to earn the second-ranked spot in the UFC flyweight rankings. He won his last three fights – finishing two of them – to earn his shot at the belt. However, the fight was called off after Figueiredo announced a hand injury in May.

The winner faces champion Figueiredo in a title unification bout to become the undisputed flyweight champion.

Kara-France Triggered By Underdog Status

The 29-year-old Kara-France doesn’t normally get fazed by playing the underdog role in fights. He overcame plus-money odds against his last two opponents – Cody Garbrandt and Askar Askarov. However, he expressed his distaste for being the betting underdog against Moreno at a UFC news conference last month.

The pumped-up dog has a lot fueling his tank for Dallas. He’s finally training at his preferred gym – City Kickboxing in New Zealand – after COVID restrictions were recently lifted, so bettors can anticipate an in-shape, fully powered striker with a chip on his shoulder.

About the Author
Cyrus Eshaghoff

Cyrus Eshaghoff

Sports Betting Writer
Cyrus Eshaghoff is a New York-based sports writer. Whether it's heated debates or uncovering statistical insights, he loves discussing sports. Check out his Twitter account (@CyrusEshaghoff).

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