For the second time this month, the UFC returns to pay-per-view. In fitting fashion, this Saturday’s recurrence is headlined by a pair of top-tier rematches, with titles on the line at UFC 277: Julianna Peña vs Amanda Nunes 2 in Dallas, Texas. Atop the marquee is the women’s bantamweight championship where Nunes looks to reclaim her belt from Peña. Supporting them in the co-main event is an interim title match for the flyweight belt where top challenger Brandon Moreno will face No.2 Kai Kara France for the second time in their careers. With familiar foes in both fights, Saturday night will be about who made the adjustments from the first time around.
Watch UFC 277: Julianna Peña vs Amanda Nunes 2
- When: Saturday, July 30, 2022
- Early Prelims Start Time: 6 p.m. EST / 3 p.m. PST
- Prelims Start Time: 8 p.m. EST / 5 p.m. PST
- Main Card Start Time: 10 p.m. EST / 7 p.m. PST
- Location: American Airlines Center – Dallas, Texas
- How to Watch: ESPN+ / EPSPN+ PPV
The rest of the main card is stacked as well, featuring four top-five talents outside of the two headlining contests. No.5 Derrick Lewis is a slight underdog against No.11 Sergei Pavlovich in a heavyweight bout that could have a major impact on the division. To kick off the paid portion of the evening, No.4 Magomed Ankalaev is a heavy favorite against No.5 Anthony Smith in the light heavyweight division where he looks to extend his eight-fight winning streak and push for a title shot.
Main Event Preview
The world was stunned last December at UFC 269 when Peña upset Nunes, halting the reign of “The Lioness” at 135 pounds. As many champions inside and outside of the Octagon learn, staying at the top is really tough, not just physically but mentally. UFC president Dana White alluded to the notion that Nunes may have gotten comfortable and lost her passion to fight.
“Amanda’s a multi-millionaire who is now at a completely different financial status…,” he told ESPN last month. “She’s not that hungry savage she was when she started to take this run at becoming a world champion.”
Whether it was the money taking away her “fight” or an injury that contributed to the loss, Nunes realized something needed to change. She started by changing gyms in January, leaving American Top Team. Then she rechecked her mental approach, sharing this week that the loss “reignted” her fire. Whether it is hype or reality, the energy has been felt all the way to the sportsbooks who have listed Nunes as a strong favorite.
Whatever happens on Saturday, Peña, however, has already won. She showed that Nunes is stoppable, and will look to do so again. With all of the eyes on the former champion, just as they were last winter, this fight has the potential feeling of an upset yet again. What that could mean for the legacy of both fighters could be huge, but that’s looking too far ahead. First, the gloves have to touch on Saturday night in Dallas.
UFC 277: Julianna Peña vs Amanda Nunes 2
Fight Card and Odds
- (C) Julianna Peña (+230) vs #1 Amanda Nunes – Women’s Bantamweight Title Bout
- #1 Brandon Moreno (-205) vs #2 Kai Kara France (+175) – Flyweight Interim Title Bout
- #5 Derrick Lewis (+105) vs #11 Sergei Pavlovich (-125) – Heavyweight
- #4 Alexandre Pantoja (-165) vs #6 Alex Perez (+140) – Flyweight
- #4 Magomed Ankalaev (-475) vs #5 Anthony Smith (+380) – Light Heavyweight
- Alex Morono (+135) vs Matthew Semelsberger (-155) – Welterweight
- Drew Dober (-205) vs Rafael Alves (+175) – Lightweight
- Don’Tale Mayes (+160) vs Hamdy Adelwahab (-190) – Heavyweight
- #15 Drakkar Klose (–) vs Rafa Garcia (–) – Lightweight
Early Preliminary Card
- Michael Morales (+230) vs Adam Fugitt (-275) – Welterweight
- Joselyne Edwards (-130) vs Ji Yeon Kim (+110) – Women’s Bantamweight
- Nicolae Negumereanu (–) vs Ihor Potieria (–) – Light Heavyweight
- Orion Cosce (–) vs Mike Diamond (–) – Welterweight