UFC 277: Preview & Picks for Degenerates

UFC 277: Preview & Picks for Degenerates

This upcoming Saturday, July 30th, the Ultimate Fighting Championship will be putting on the most anticipated women’s championship fight of the year. Julianna Pena will be defending her Bantamweight title against the one and only Amanda Nunes. Other than the women’s championship fight, UFC 277 also consists of some great matchups consisting of names the casual degenerate fan should know including Kai Kara-France, Brandon Moreno, and of course Derrick Lewis. 

Below our team of degenerate gamblers, ReRack Picks, break down their top picks for each fight on the main card. 

Operation Bankrupt Vegas begins now…

Magomed Ankalaev vs Anthony Smith

Middleweight: 10:00 PM E.T.

Matchup on Paper

Magomed AnkalaevvsAnthony Smith
30Age33
6’2”Height6’3”
205lbs.Weight205lbs.
75”Reach76”
17-1Record36-16

JIGO’s Pick: Magomed Ankalaev by Decision (+120 via DraftKings) 1.5u

If I see a Russian, especially one from Dagestan, I take it with no research needed. But Magomed’s odds are at -500 for ML, and there is no fun in that value. Doing a little deep dive his previous three fights ended in him winning by decision so let’s not deviate and take Magomed Ankalaev by Decision at +120. 

Doctor Candi’s Pick: Magomed Ankalaev by Decision (+120) 0.5u

I think the price for Magomed Ankalaev is a little too steep here, but I do like his ability to just continue to chip away at Anthony Smith. I think this one’s going the distance and that should favor Ankalaev and so I’ll sprinkle half a unit on a decision win at plus money. 

Parlay Papi’s Pick: Fight Over 2.5 Rounds (-120) | Ankalev TKO (+145)

Magomed is a strong fighter especially With him now on an eight-fight win streak in the UFC and 13 wins streak overall with recent wins against Thiago Santos, Volkan Oezdemir, Nikita Krylov, and Ion Cutelaba. He is a beast, but I think Smith really knows how to end fights too so I lean towards him even as such a high underdog. But when money is on the table you gotta go with a smart pick. I think it’s going to be an even bout until the third round where I think Ankalev catches Smith personally so maybe sprinkle on Ankalev TKO +145. My main pick will be the over on the rounds.  Over 2.5 -120 

Alexandre Pantoja vs Alex Perez

Flyweight: 10:00 PM E.T.

Matchup on Paper

Alexandre PantojavsAlex Perez
32Age30
5’4”Height5’5”
125lbsWeight125lbs
67.5”Reach65.5”
24-5Record24-6

Doctor Candi’s Pick: Pantoja ML (-175) 1u

I am predicting this fight to be the best of the night. I think the fight is priced pretty well, but I am going to place a bet on Pantoja because I do think he is the deadlier and more well-rounded fighter. I think he can win by any method and there is certainly a path to a submission winning by submission at +420, but I feel safe with a money line bet on “The Cannibal.”

Parlay Papi’s Pick: Pantoja ML (-180)

Perez has a bit more of a wide shot selection, while Pantoja the pure one-punch power. I think Perez will come back a little rusty from his break and will put up a great fight, but ultimately I think Pantoja out his lights out by the end of the fight whether on the ground with a submission or with his fists. My pick is Pantoja ML -180

Derrick Lewis vs Sergei Pavlovich

Heavyweight: 10:00 PM E.T.

Matchup on Paper

Derrick LewisvsSergei Pavlovich
37Age30
6’2”Height6’2”
260lbsWeight257lbs
79”Reach84”
26-9-0 (1 NC)Record15-1

Emperor’s Pick: Derrick Lewis ML (+130) 1u

Being 1-2 in his previous three fights is absolutely terrifying for me. With that being said, this fight is truly a career-testing fight for Lewis. If he ever wants another title shot, he proves it tonight. Lewis ML.

JIGO’s Pick: Derrick Lewis ML (-105 via Draftkings) 5u

All it takes is one for Derrick “The Black Beast” Lewis to win in any fight he is in. In his previous 3 fights, Lewis is 1-2, losing to Ciryl Gane at UFC 265 by KO/TKO, defeating Curtis Blayde at UFC Fight Night by KO/TKO, and losing to Tai Tuivasa at UFC 271 by KO/TKO. Losing in 2 of his past 3 previous fights is a bit worrisome but still, all it takes is one, as seen by the results of each of the previous 3 fights. This fight is more of a let’s see if Pavlovich is ready for a title fight and let’s see if Lewis can have another shot at the title, and I sway in the way of the latter. 

Doctor Candi’s Pick: Sergei Pavlovich ML (-125), 1.5u 

 If we were seeing a healthy Derrick Lewis in his prime I would probably play his Moneyline up to -300, but I don’t think that’s what we’re getting here. Derrick Lewis has taken a lot of damage and suffered a lot of injuries, and he’s 37 years old. Now, I understand that the strength of schedule for Pavlovich has been suspect, but I do believe he is the more motivated fighter looking to earn his shot at a title fight. He has a significant reach advantage and I believe that will allow him to back Lewis up and finish him off early. Derrick Lewis opened up as a -143 favorite and that line has now flipped completely, despite a lot of the bets coming in on “The Black Beast.” I’m going to capitalize on this reverse line movement now and take Pavlovich at -125 before we see this line climb any further.

Parlay Papi’s Pick: Derrick Lewis by TKO Round One (+380)

I don’t have a lot to say about this one. The fact that The BLACK BEAST is on his way to try and get back in the title contingency talks and being one of the most prominent KO artists of all time; I think it’s easy to say he will be on his Fists giving everyone his Beastlike                 

celebration shortly after the fight begins. 

Derrick Lewis by TKO round one +380.

Brandon Moreno vs Kai Kara-France

Flyweight: 10:00 PM E.T.

Matchup on Paper

Brandon MorenovsKai Kara-France
28Age29
5’6”Height5’9”
125lbsWeight125lbs
70”Reach69”
19-6-2Record24-9-0 (1 NC)

Emperor’s Pick: Kai Kara-France ML (+175) .5u

JIGO’s Pick: Brandon Moreno by Decision (+140 via DraftKings) .5u | Fight goes to Decision (-157 via DraftKings) 1u

I have said before in other Preview/Picks Articles, I believe history repeats itself. And the last time Brandon Moreno and Kai Kara-France met in the octagon it was an absolute dog fight and I expect the same for UFC 277. These two have similar fight styles, (at least they did last time at UFC 245), and I cannot wait to see them battling with strikes back and forth. I think it will be the same exact result as last time with Moreno coming out on top, although Kai is coming off of a huge win against Askar Askarov. 

Doctor Candi’s Pick: Brandon Moreno/over 2.5 rounds (-114), 1u

I think a lot favors Moreno here. I think Moreno is a much better fighter than when he beat Kara-France in 2019. I could potentially see Kai Kara-France keeping the fight competitive early, but this fight should favor Moreno as it continues to the 3rd, 4th, 5th round. I don’t see Moreno ending this one early and I trust his cardio to be the difference maker in a 5 round fight, so I love the value on Brandon Moreno/over 2.5 rounds at -114.

Parlay Papi’s Pick: Moreno by decision (+140)

Brandon Moreno Mexico’s first UFC champ will have his hands raised by the end of this brawl. I do agree with JIGO’s pick and think this fight will be a repeat. These fighter’s styles replicate one another so much that it’s almost a stalemate, but Moreno seems to just know how to edge out his opponents with volume and significant strikes to come out on top. Moreno by decision +140.

Julianna Pena vs Amanda Nunes

Women Bantamweight: 10:00 PM E.T.

Matchup on Paper

Julianna PenavsAmanda Nunes
32Age34
5’6”Height5’8”
135lbsWeight134.50lbs
69”Reach69”
12-4Record21-5

Emperor’s Pick: Julia Peña ML (+225) .5u

Doctor Candi’s Pick: Over 2 Rounds or “Yes, Fight to start in round 3” (-126), 0.75u 

This feels like a situation where the perception is that Nunes lost because she got too cocky and that she’ll be on her A game against Peña this time around. Peña has made comments stating that she’s not truly a champion until you defend the belt. With that being said I do feel that there exists the misconception that Nunes is the more motivated fighter; rather, I believe that Peña will be more hungry to defend her title whereas a lot of the pressure will be on Nunes to prove that the first fight result was a fluke. Nunes has created a legacy that I don’t think Peña will ever come close to living up to, but I do think that Peña is being undervalued as a +235 dog. The problem is I don’t think a knockout victory is within her range of outcomes. I expect Nunes to take a much more conservative approach this time around, as opposed to engaging in another striking bloodbath and then mentally (and then, eventually, physically) tapping out. With that being said, there is reason to believe this fight both fighters will take a more conservative approach. I like Pena ML at +235, but I think the safer bet is over 2 rounds at -126.

Parlay Papi’s Pick: Julia Peña ML (+330)

I think Amanda Nunes is the greatest women’s fighter of all time and will take Julia Peña much more seriously this time out. I still believe that Amanda has so much skill and power, yet this fight could show where she goes after this. She is getting older now and her legacy has been historic, but I can definitely see her leaving the sport and going home to spend time with her newborn child and wife if her hand is not raised Saturday night. No real champ wants to continue to go on a decline. In my eyes, it’s reclaim the throne or past the torch and keeping your much-earned respect and stature intact. I think Julia is the real deal; she is the first woman ever to walk down “the Lioness.” She is strong and is still in her prime. I think she just has that edge mentally and that desire to be the best when Amanda’s already proven enough. Obsession is what I see in Julia’s eyes especially going into her last two or three fights. It’s so hard for me to do this because I love Nunes as she is the true GOAT, but my Pick is the torch being passed…Julia Peña ML +330

Preliminaries Picks

JIGO’s Pick:

  • Michael Morales -600 10u
  • Drakkar Klose -230 2u
  • Alex Morono wins by Decision +235 1u
  • Alex Morono vs Matthew Semelsberger over 2.5 rounds -185 2u

Doctor Candi’s Pick:

  • Drew Dober/over 1.5 rounds (+130), 0.75u
  • Nicolae Negumereanu ML (-104), 1u