The UFC returns to our screens for a highly stacked pay-per-view event from the American Airlines Center in Texas. UFC women’s bantamweight champion Juliana Pena will gift the former champion Amanda Nunes her title rematch in the main event of the evening.
Julianna Pena vs. Amanda Nunes 2
UFC 277 Women’s Bantamweight Main Event Championship Bout
Saturday, July 30, 2022 – 11:50 PM EDT at American Airlines Center
Julianna “The Venezuelan Vixen” Pena (11-4-0)
Julianna Pena has been a household name within the UFC since the company’s initial introduction of women’s MMA back in 2013. Still, nobody could have predicted her success over the critically acclaimed greatest women’s competitor in the sport's history.
Time stood still, and fans were left in shock when Pena locked up Nunes in a rear naked choke at UFC 269 to claim the bantamweight championship and become the first fighter to defeat Nunes in seven years.
Pena came up through The Ultimate Fighter reality show, and her tendency to fall back on her grappling has assisted most of those eleven professional MMA victories on her record, including the championship-winning bout versus the Lioness.
The downside to Pena has been injuries and her lack of octagon activity. However, we can no longer overlook the Venezuelan Vixen after she dismantled the most decorated female fighter in women’s MMA and achieved it emphatically.
Julianna Pena MMA Accomplishments
- UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion (One time, current)
- The Ultimate Fighter 18 Tournament Winner
- Performance of the Night (Two times)
- 2021 Upset of the Year vs. Amanda Nunes
Best Available Odds: Julianna Pena (+225) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)
Amanda “The Lioness” Nunes (21-5-0)
Following a nine-year tenure on the UFC roster behind a 14-2 promotional record, the critically acclaimed greatest women’s fighter in MMA history has earnt her dues and etched her name in the Mount Rushmore of mixed martial arts.
Remaining undefeated since 2014, Amanda Nunes has fought and defeated the most recognizable names in the bantamweight and featherweight divisions:
- Shayna Baszler
- Sara McMann
- Valentina Shevchenko
- Miesha Tate
- Ronda Rousey
- Shevchenko (again)
- Raquel Pennington
- Cris Cyborg
- Holly Holm
- Germaine de Randamie
- Felicia Spencer
- Megan Anderson
The aforementioned names are the top-tier fighters that fell victim to Nunes during her unbeaten win streak between 2015-2021. If you know MMA, you’ll understand this killer’s row of female competitors is the reason why the Lioness has been labeled as the GOAT. Not to mention the fact that she finished most of these opponents inside the distance.
The list of achievements in Nunes’ career is breathtaking, including the ownership of becoming the first woman in UFC history to win two championships and simultaneously defend those titles without defeat.
A skillset that has evolved in all facets of the fight game has assisted the former two-division champ in successfully defending the UFC bantamweight and featherweight titles a combined seven times.
And although she’s only grasping one title right now, aged just 34 years old, don’t be surprised if she enters her rematch with Pena and steals the show.
Amanda Nunes MMA Accomplishments
- UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion (One time, five defenses)
- UFC Women’s Featherweight Champion (One time, current, two defenses)
- UFC Performance of the Night (Five times)
- First woman in UFC history to win two titles and hold them simultaneously
- First fighter in UFC history to defend titles in multiple divisions
- Longest combined UFC title reign of all time
- Most wins in UFC history amongst women (14) and most successful title fights (9)
- Most stoppage wins in UFC Women’s Bantamweight division history (8)
Best Available Odds: Amanda Nunes (-265) at BetOnline
UFC 277: Pena vs Nunes 2 Breakdown and Analysis
Pena Fight Style: How Can Pena Defeat Nunes?
We have the perfect matchup to evaluate two competing fighters because it’s a rematch, and to our surprise, Pena held her own in the striking realm. However, she shouldn’t let the first fight dictate her game plan in her title defense.
The best game plan for Pena is to emulate the dogfight she got involved in during the first contest, but she’ll need to zap the energy of Nunes to stand a chance of finishing the fight and successfully defend her belt.
Nunes decided to grapple early in the first contest; this became detrimental to the former champ’s gas tank and overall output. A repeat performance isn't off the cards if Pena can force Nunes into a similar situation.
Nunes fight style: how can Nunes defeat Pena?
Nunes looked as confident as ever inside the first 60 seconds of the first meeting with Pena, but it wasn’t wise to abandon a technical stand-up war she was winning.
When the second round arrived, and both women were back on their feet, Pena baited Nunes into the pocket, and we saw the Brazilian head hunt with a flat-footed, zero defense approach. Nunes lost her energy after two minutes of throwing haymakers, and the rest was history.
Nunes believed in her power too much while Pena was landing a plethora of jabs. The eventual rear naked choke saw Nunes tap. Her gas tank was depleted as she handed Pena the easiest path to victory.
It’s simple, Nunes needs to repeat the game plan that was working in the first minute of the first bout - a calm and relaxed pressure behind the technical striking she can deliver to out-strike Pena.
Julianna Pena vs. Amanda Nunes 2 Prediction and UFC 277 Odds
The available odds at the top-rated sportsbooks favor the former champion, and I feel uneasy with the disrespectful price we’re seeing on Pena.
As I believe we’re going to witness a cautious game plan from Nunes, I wouldn’t expect this bout to end inside the first 10 minutes, and for this reason, the over 2.5 rounds at +100 feels like a proposition I can support.
UFC Pick: Over 2 ½ Rounds (+100) [1u returns 1u profit] at BetOnline
UFC 277 Main Card
- Julianna Pena vs. Amanda Nunes II [UFC women’s bantamweight title bout]
- Brandon Moreno vs. Kai Kara-France [UFC flyweight co-main interim title bout]
- Derrick Lewis vs. Sergei Pavlovich [UFC heavyweight bout]
- Alexandre Pantoja vs. Alex Perez [UFC flyweight bout]
- Magomed Ankalaev vs. Anthony Smith [UFC light heavyweight bout]
UFC 277 Preliminary Card
- Alex Morono vs. Matt Semelsberger [UFC welterweight bout]
- Drew Dober vs. Rafael Alves [UFC lightweight bout]
- Don’Tale Mayes vs. Hamdy Abdelwahab [UFC heavyweight bout]
- Drakkar Klose vs. Rafa Garcia [UFC lightweight bout]
- Ji Yeon Kim vs. Joselyn Edwards [UFC women’s featherweight bout]
- Nick Negumereanu vs. Ihor Potieria [UFC light heavyweight bout]
- Orion Cosce vs. Blood Diamond [UFC welterweight bout]
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.