Thursday, August 18, 2022

UFC 277 Final Faceoffs, Odds, & Full Card Preview

UFC 277 finally goes down tomorrow night, and MMA News is here to get you ready with the final faceoffs, odds, and full card preview!

Tomorrow night, one of the most anticipated rematches in UFC history will take place when Julianna Peña seeks to cement herself as the best female bantamweight on the planet by beating consensus WMMA GOAT Amanda Nunes in back-to-back fights. In the co-main event, Brandon Moreno and Kai Kara-France will compete for the interim flyweight championship.

The UFC 277 takes place this Saturday, July 30, 2022. The main card will be available exclusively on ESPN+ pay-per-view and begins at 10:00 PM ET. The ABC/ESPN preliminary card kicks off at 8:00 PM. The early ESPN+ preliminary card starts at 6:00 PM. The event will take place from the American Airlines Arena in Dallas, Texas.

Earlier today, the UFC 277 weigh-ins took place. Although there were two weight misses and a big scare caused by the trolling bantamweight champ Julianna Peña, all fights will proceed as scheduled.

This means that our UFC 277 staff predictions are still well represented by the intact main card. And after checking those out, you can also catch the pre-fight press conference highlights in case you missed them.

The UFC has provided an in-depth, fight-by-fight preview for tomorrow’s night’s action. Below, you can check out the odds and final faceoffs along with our own snapshot preview of each bout.

Orion Cosce (-205) vs. Blood Diamond (+175)

Kicking off the UFC 277 main card will be weltwelterweights Orion Cosce and City Kickboxing’s Mike Mathetha, aka “Blood Diamond.”

Blood Diamond was unsuccessful in his UFC debut against Jeremiah Wells at UFC 271. At only 3-1 in his MMA career, another loss could be a kill shot to Blood Diamond’s UFC run. Cosce will also be in pursuit of his promotional first win after earning his UFC contract through Dana White’s Contender Series.

Ihor Potieria (+100) vs. Nicolae Negumereanu (-120)

Light heavyweights Ihor Potieria and Nicolae Negumereanu will continue the prelim action, with both men looking to maintain their winning streaks.

Negumereanu has won three straight fights ever since dropping his UFC debut. He’ll be facing Potieria, who is on an incredible 17-fight winning streak. Potieria punched his ticket into the UFC with a Contender Series victory over Łukasz Sudolski last September.

Ji Yeon Kim (+102) vs. Joselyne Edwards (-122)

With three consecutive losses on her record, it’s fair to say that Ji Yeon Kim has her back against the wall as she faces Joselyne Edwards tomorrow night. Edwards, meanwhile, was able to improve her UFC record to 2-2 after defeating Ramona Pascual via unanimous decision at UFC 275.

Edwards missed weight earlier today and will forfeit 20% of her fight purse to Kim.

Michael Morales (-650) vs. Adam Fugitt (+425)

Capping off the early prelims is undefeated 23-year-old upstart Michael Morales putting his 13-0 record up against Adam Fugitt as the biggest favorite of the evening.

After earning a UFC contract on Contender Series last year, Morales passed his first promotional test against Trevin Giles in January. Now, he moves on to Fugitt, an 8-2 competitor who has won world titles in multiple promotions and will be making his UFC debut tomorrow night.

Drakkar Klose (-215) vs. Rafa García (+185)

Hot off a Performance of the Night in April with a TKO win over Brandon Jenkins, UFC vet Drakkar Klose returns with the ABC spotlight as he faces Rafa Garcia.

Klose currently sits as the -215 favorite, which may be in large part to his only loss in his last five fights coming to streaking top-10 lightweight contender Beneil Dariush. As for Garcia, after getting off to an 0-2 start in his UFC career, he has turned in back-to-back victories over Natan Levy and Jesse Ronson.

Don’Tale Mayes (-200) vs. Hamdy Abdelwahab (+170)

The heavy hitters are up next, with Don’Tale Mayes and Hamdy Abdelwahab battling it out in the first of two heavyweight scraps of the evening.

Mayes had the unfortunate task of drawing Ciryl Gane for his UFC debut three years ago. After losing that bout and then getting submitted for the second straight time in his next bout, Mayes has pulled out back-to-back wins. Mayes will try to make it three in a row against the UFC-debuting Abdelwahab, who comes in with an undefeated 5-0 record.

Drew Dober (-164) vs. Rafael Alves (+144)

Next up, UFC vet Drew Dober will take on Rafael Alves, who has won six of his last seven fights, including a victory over Marc Diakiese his last time out. After dropping consecutive fights to Islam Makhachev and Brad Riddell, Dober was able to bounce back with a win over Terrance McKinney last March and will enter this bout as the slight -164 favorite.

Alex Morono (+140) vs. Matthew Semelsberger (-160)

The featured prelim bout has Alex “The Great White” Morono attempting to extend his winning streak to four straight against Matthew Semelsberger, who’s got off to a 4-1 start in the UFC, including back-to-back wins over A.J. Fletcher and Martin Sano Jr. The 29-year-old is currently placed as the -160 favorite to get the job done tomorrow.

Magomed Ankalaev (-600) vs. Anthony Smith (+400)

Kicking off the main card is a bout that could certainly carry major title implications when Magomed Ankalaev (#4) faces Anthony “Lionheart” Smith (#5).

Many people believe it’s only a matter of time before Ankalev competes for a world title, and this high valuation is evident in his placement as a -600 favorite over a proven veteran and former title challenger Smith.

Smith is completely baffled by these odds and will have an opportunity to show anyone who finds them justified wrong tomorrow night.

Check out the intense final faceoff between these two light heavyweights below.

Alexandre Pantoja (-181) vs. Alex Perez (+156)

High-level flyweight scrap coming at you next, with top-10 contenders Alexandre Pantoja (#4) facing Alex Perez (#6).

Both men have their sights set on facing the winner of the co-main event next. Pantoja has already done so and holds wins over both Brandon Moreno and Kai Kara-France. Perhaps that fact among others is why Pantoja is favorited to defeat Perez, whose only UFC losses have come against Deiveson Figueiredo and Joseph Benavidez.

Derrick Lewis (+125) vs. Sergei Pavlovich (-145)

Derrick Lewis makes another walk to the Octagon, and as usual, you can expect the unexpected during and after the bout whenever “The Black Beast” is involved.

He’ll need to be all-business against the #11-ranked Pavlovich if he wants to get the job done. Pavlovich has a record of 15-1, with all three of his UFC wins coming by KO/TKO. Two of those wins earned him Performance of the Night, including his TKO of Shamil Abdurakhimov in March.

For Lewis’ part, he’ll look to bounce back from his KO loss to Tai Tuivasa at UFC 271 and start picking up some more wins before his eventual retirement and plotted UFC ownership.  

Brandon Moreno (-215) vs. Kai Kara-France (+185)

In the co-main event, we have an interim flyweight title bout between Brandon Moreno and Kai Kara-France. With champion Deiveson Figueiredo’s flyweight status still in question, the winner of this fight could go on to be crowned the official champion. This is a feeling Moreno is all too familiar with, as is the thrill of defeating Kai Kara-France.

Moreno holds a victory over Kara-France from 2019, which may have contributed to the former champ being placed as a -215 favorite. However, he’ll now be facing a more experienced and deadlier version of Kara-France, who has won three straight fights, including a KO over former bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt.

Julianna Peña (+225) vs. Amanda Nunes (-265)

What makes this rematch so huge is the magnitude of an upset that Peña’s victory over Nunes at UFC 269 was. The narrative coming out of the bout wasn’t just that Peña shocked the world but that she was able to completely silence the doubters who wrote her off. Yet, apparently, they’re still chirping, as she remains a moderate underdog against Nunes despite defeating her last December.

Nunes has insisted that Peña did not face her at her best, stating that her training camp was about a 1 or 2 out of 10 ahead of the fight. Peña’s confidence, meanwhile, has remained unwavering in the same fashion it was before their initial encounter.

If you missed any of the pre-fight stories leading up to this epic rematch, you can get all caught up here.

And now, it’s time for the final faceoff of the night and some closing remarks from tomorrow’s headliners!

You can catch the full, uncut UFC 277 Ceremonial Weigh-In here. And be sure to keep it locked right here on tomorrow for full coverage of UFC 277

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