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UFC 277 predictions: Fight card, preview, and analysis



UFC 277 predictions: Fight card, preview, and analysis

When Julianna Pena faces Amanda Nunes in the UFC 277 main event at the American Airlines Center in Dallas on Saturday night, she will have the opportunity to demonstrate that lightning can strike twice. At UFC 269, Pena stunned the MMA community by dominating Nunes and winning the title. When she won the bantamweight and featherweight belts and defeated every woman who had ever held one of those titles, Nunes had already established herself as the best female fighter in the history of the sport. Pena was successful in stopping Nunes’ run despite having a 2-2 record in her previous four fights. When Brandon Moreno challenges Kai Kara-France for the interim flyweight title in the UFC 277 co-main event, he hopes to win the title back. When the two previously faced off in 2019, Moreno won the decision. Since that fight, Kara-France has gone 4-1, including her current three-bout winning streak.

135 lbs – UFC Bantamweight Champion Julianna “Venezuelan Vixen” Pena (11-4) vs. Amanda “Lioness” Nunes (21-5)

Last December, Julianna Pena astonished the entire world. Well, the MMA world, since I doubt anyone searching through the rubble in Ukraine is interested in the UFC women’s bantamweight championship. But that was a tremendous deal to us common folk. And rightly so, given that Nunes was and continues to be widely regarded as the greatest female fighter in history. The Brazilian owns two victories over Valentina Shevchenko, a pound-for-pound powerhouse, as well as victories over Ronda Rousey, Cris Cyborg, Holly Holm, and Miesha Tate. In women’s MMA, there is no other resume like that, and despite our collective predisposition toward recent events, one defeat to “The Venezuelan Vixen” does not change the course of history. What about two defeats, though? It might simply be the case that Pena’s feisty, in-your-face style and never-say-die attitude make her a poor match for Nunes. Pena can take a beating, but you can never break her. For this reason, the former Ultimate Fighter (TUF) champion was able to survive “Lioness'” early storm at UFC 269 and waited for the confused champion to run out of steam in the second round. Without diminishing Pena’s accomplishments, let’s not pretend that this was a patient and skillful masterwork comparable to Holm-Rousey at UFC 193. This was about as sloppy as it gets, but winning is winning, as the saying goes.

I was one of the few media mouthpieces to call for a Pena submission victory, but my call was based on a few assumptions. Given her trail of dead bodies, I thought Nunes, like so many winners before her, had mailed it for most of her camp and was confident she was unbeatable. It also helped that I was working for American Top Team (ATT) during the time Nunes was (cough) “in camp” and saw her arrive at the gym with her wife and child, jump around as everyone ogled her godlike presence, then depart with her gear and never return. I don’t think that was a one-off occurrence. She wasn’t simply relaxing; she was practically hibernating on her success. I would anticipate seeing a very different Nunes now that she is conscious of her own mortality and dubious conditioning. Nunes is a 34-year-old Brazilian woman. We must also eliminate the element of surprise, which played a significant role in Pena’s crime. Without a doubt, wrestling will play a role in the rematch, but I’m not sure if it will be the great equalizer Pena supporters hope for. In her last five fights, opponents have only been able to take her down once out of every ten times. “Lioness” has a slightly higher average takedown rate than Pena, but her accuracy is almost the same, even though she has more fights under her belt.

You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone, therefore I’m going with Nunes in the rematch because I think the former champion is fixated on regaining her title despite her several post-fight justifications. I am aware that “exposed” is the MMA fanboy’s favorite keyword, but let’s be honest: Nunes is the better fighter and is more skillful in every way than Pena, whose victory was more about seizing a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to defeat an overconfident champion (Amanda at the Bat?). The Venezuelan Vixen is not a tomato can, but there is a difference between being “excellent” and being the best at having done anything. Now it’s up to “Lioness” to go out and demonstrate it on Saturday. night. She has a new camp, a fresh outlook, and a need to establish herself as the finest fighter at 135 pounds that she hasn’t experienced in a very long time. I think she has a good chance.

125 lbs.-Brandon “The Assassin Baby” Moreno (19-6-2) vs. Kai Kara France (24-9, 1 NC) for the interim flyweight championship.

Despite the fact that their first encounter took place as part of the UFC 245 PPV event in late 2019, Brandon Moreno and Kai Kara France each won five more fights before agreeing to this flyweight rematch. Even though Deiveson Figueiredo, the current champion, is healthy enough to compete, it seems a little unusual to schedule an interim title match. However, given what occurred with Francis Ngannou the year before, I suppose I shouldn’t be shocked by the choice. In their first encounter, Moreno won by unanimous decision, but it wasn’t a huge victory. The first round was given to the Kiwi by two of the three judges, while Moreno won the latter two rounds, according to the majority of media outlets. Whatever the case, it was an entertaining fight, and now we’ll have two additional rounds to determine who is stronger.

Since they first met more than 2.5 years ago, Moreno is 3-1-1 with one title win to his name. His last three fights have all been against Figueiredo, and in this unusual circumstance where they are evenly matched in wins and knotted withdraws, a fourth fight makes sense. With two knockouts, Kara France has won three straight fights and four of his last five. The Russian “bullet” Askar Askarov’s victory at UFC Columbus in March was his most remarkable triumph during that time, but it doesn’t seem like his momentum has moved the bookmakers much. “Don’t Blink” (terrible nickname, sorry Kai) was still the underdog as of Friday AM.

I anticipate a tough, competitive fight, but I have Moreno winning because he has fought the division’s most dangerous fighter twice in 25-minute title fights over the past two years. We need to show that Kara France has developed more quickly over the past three years in order to argue that she will defeat Moreno. Although I can’t help but question whether Kara France hasn’t fallen in love with the KO punch after recording two knockout victories in 2021, I think they have both grown at a similar rate. Even though Moreno is imperfect and has a history of losing rounds, he is a tenacious fighter who can brawl with the best of them. City Kickboxing won’t be returning home from Dallas this weekend with a third UFC championship.

Derrick “The Black Beast” Lewis (26-9, 1 NC) vs. Sergei Pavlovich (15-1)

It’s difficult to be critical of a fighter who sets a promotion knockout record (13), yet our goal is to critically assess fighters, not to brag about their highlight reels. Lewis has been knocked out six times, including in February when Tai Tuivasa destroyed him, so you can admire “The Black Beast’s” heavy fists as long as you also remember that. We also can’t ignore the reality that strikers with superior technical ability routinely outperform Lewis. He was made to appear incompetent by Mark Hunt, Junior dos Santos, and Ciryl Gane, and was being picked apart by Alexander Volkov before his spectacular third-round buzzer-beater. Given that Lewis turned 37 in February of last year and has a history of back issues, it is difficult to anticipate which “The Black Beast” will emerge on fight night. His headline knockout victory over Curtis Blaydes was his most remarkable triumph, in my opinion, since it revealed a methodical, deliberate strategy that adhered to a very clear game plan. Perhaps this is why some of his knock-down, drag-out fights can be so annoying—they frequently come before a genuine demonstration of expertise.

In the heavyweight division, which usually seems like it’s one year away from collapse, at least in terms of prospective talent, Sergei Pavlovich has been a breath of new air. Not so long ago, Chris Daukaus was undefeated with four knockouts, and Ciryl Gane was the favorite to defeat Francis Ngannou and welp… Snake eyes on that roll came up. In any case, Pavlovich has improved significantly over the past several years. After losing his first match to Alistair Overeem, he went on to win three straight matches by first-round knockout. Of course, the level of opposition the 30-year-old Russian faces is a response to that. The once-durable Shamil Abdurakhimov is now 40 years old, and I doubt anyone is pulling out the party hats for a stoppage over Marcelo Golm or Maurice Greene. It’s also important to note that since falling 0-2 versus Overeem, Pavlovich has not attempted a takedown. I don’t think that will change on Saturday night, but depending on how the fight develops on the feet, a Lewis takedown wouldn’t surprise me. I know I made a big deal out of Lewis getting outboxed by fellow heavyweight strikers, and Pavlovich faces a similar risk, but until I see the Russian duplicate his success against a fighter ranked inside the Top 10, I’m going to go with the tried-and-true product. While Lewis is not without flaws, he has accomplished much more than his Rostovian rival and against much better opposition.

125 lbs.-Alexander “The Cannibal” Pantoja (24-5) vs. Alex Perez (24-5)

At The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 24 in the summer of 2016, Alexandre Pantoja attempted to become a UFC superstar but lost to Hiromasa Ougikubo by unanimous decision in the tournament quarterfinals. The following January, as part of the UFC on FOX 23 program in Denver, the promotion decided that “The Cannibal” had shown enough promise, supported by an exceptional run on the foreign circuit. Pantoja put together an 8-3 record in the five years that followed, which is not bad, but his unpredictability (together with his defeat to current flyweight champion Deiveson Figueiredo) has prevented him from winning the 125-pound crown. The division is still rebuilding after nearly collapsing in late 2019 (thanks Mick! ), which is excellent news for Pantoja, 32, who has managed to hold onto his spot in the flyweight Top 5. Pantoja has put himself in a position to get the title shot he’s always wanted, as long as he can beat Alex Perez this weekend in Dallas. He did this by beating Manel Kape and Brandon Royval back-to-back.

Pantoja is ranked No. 6, two positions above Perez, in the official flyweight standings. The Californian took a similar route to the UFC, punching his ticket with a first-round submission in late 2017 as a contestant in Dana White’s “Contender Series.” The 30-year-old Perez, like Pantoja, has been stopped by some of the division’s top players, including the aforementioned Figueiredo and the now-retired Joseph Benavidez. With four finishes outside of those two setbacks, Perez has a record of 6-2 inside the Octagon. Based on their relative performances, I’m not sure why bookmakers have him listed as the +160 underdog, but I would assume it has something to do with his absence. Perez’s first fight since losing to Figueiredo in November 2020 takes place at UFC 277, though Pantoja hasn’t competed in nearly a year. I think that during the three rounds of their fight, Perez will be more active and energetic, which could help him win a close decision from the judges.

205 lbs.-Magomed Ankalaev (16-1) vs. Anthony “Lionheart” Smith (36-16)

It’s a little surprising that a fighter with 16 losses in the professional ranks, 13 of which were by knockout or submission, has a solid opportunity to win the next light heavyweight title fight. That will require Russian bruiser Magomed Ankalaev, who may also stake his claim on the victor of Jiri Prochazka vs. Glover Teixeira 2, to be turned away by Anthony Smith, who is no stranger to 205-pound title battles. There have been rumors that Smith or Ankalaev may beat Teixeira to “Denisa,” but it would take a stunning victory and some post-fight banter with Joe Rogan. I am dunno. It seems implausible. Smith did a commendable job of coming back from consecutive defeats to Teixeira and Aleksandar Rakic to record three straight victories, including a first-round submission victory against Ryann Spann in September of last year. Smith may have gotten finished in most of his defeats, which I criticized, but in 36 victories, he has won with an astonishing 19 knockouts and 14 submissions. In fact, he has only ever earned a decision victory when he faced Leonardo Guimaraes in the Octagon six years ago. Smith will have a one-inch height advantage going into the PPV curtain-jerker and a one-inch reach disadvantage.

One of Dagestan’s finest athletes, Magomed Ankalaev, struggled in his UFC debut, falling to Paul Craig via submission at UFC London in early 2018. Unfazed, the former WFCA Light Heavyweight Champion came back to win eight consecutive fights, which puts him in a tie for second place all-time with Lyoto Machida (Jon Jones holds the record with 13 straight). The names on the bottom half of the list, like Klidson Abreu and Dalcha Lungiambula, are not particularly noteworthy. On the other hand, the top half, on the other hand, includes victories over former title contenders Volkan Oezdemir and Thiago Santos. Although “No Time” and “Marreta” have both had difficulties in their later years, I still place them higher than Smith’s most recent victories over Devin Clark and Jimmy Crute. In addition, Ankalaev holds the “Master of Sports” title in combat sambo, which sounds impressive on paper but hasn’t really translated to the Octagon, as shown by the fact that Ankalaev has zero victories via submission and has only been tapped once in defeat. Ankalaev has been fighting too conservatively during the last few battles. 

UFC 277 fight card, odds

Odds via Caesars Sportsbook

  • Amanda Nunes -270 vs. Julianna Pena (c) +220, women’s bantamweight championship
  • Brandon Moreno -210 vs. Kai Kara-France +175, interim flyweight championship
  • Sergei Pavlovich -140 vs. Derrick Lewis +120, heavyweight
  • Alexandre Pantoja -200 vs. Alex Perez +170, flyweight
  • Magomed Ankalaev -550 vs. Anthony Smith +400, light heavyweight
  • Matthew Semelsberger -155 vs. Alex Morono +130, welterweight
  • Drew Dober -170 vs. Rafael Alves +145, lightweight
  • Don’Tale Mayes -180 vs. Hamdy Abdelwahab +155, heavyweight
  • Drakkar Klose -220 vs. Rafa Garcia +180, lightweights
  • Michael Morales -650 vs. Adam Fugitt +475, welterweight
  • Joselyne Edwards -125 vs. Ji Yeon Kim +105, women’s flyweight
  • Nicolae Negumereanu -115 vs. Ihor Potieria -105, light heavyweight
  • Orion Cosce -180 vs. Blood Diamond +155, welterweight

UFC 277 picks, predictions

Pena (c) vs. NunesNunesNunesNunesNunesNunes
Moreno vs. Kara-FranceKara-FranceMorenoMorenoMorenoMoreno
Lewis vs. PavlovichLewisLewisLewisLewisPavlovich
Pantoja vs. PerezPantojaPerezPantojaPantojaPantoja
Smith vs. AnkalaevAnkalaevAnkalaevAnkalaevAnkalaevAnkalaev
Records to date (2022)16-1719-1416-1717-1622-11


UFC 281: Purse Payouts and Salaries



UFC 281: Purse Payouts and Salaries

On Saturday, November 12, Madison Square Garden in New York will host the return of UFC 281. The main event features the middleweight champion of the UFC, Israel Adesanya, defending his championship against former kickboxing rival Alex Pereira. Carla Esparaza, the strawweight champion, will face Weili Zhang in the co-main event to make her first title defense. What will the fighters be paid? Here, we examine the UFC 281 pay structure in further detail.

Fans anticipate a thrilling UFC 281 pay-per-view. Middleweight champion Israel Adesanya, one of the UFC’s top stars, will make his sixth title defense. Alex Pereira, Adesanya’s former kickboxing opponent, will present severe obstacles for the man dubbed “The Last Stylebender.” The fact that Alex “Poatan” Pereira has already defeated Adesanya twice in kickboxing—once by decision and once by KO—will give him more confidence going into this fight. Carla Esparaza, the current strawweight champion, will face former champion Weili Zhang in the co-main event to defend her title for the first time. A thrilling lightweight fight between Dustin Poirier and Michael Chandler will also take place.

UFC 281 Salary

How much will Israel Adesanya earn?

Adesanya was paid $153,500 for his UFC 221 match against Rob Wilkinson on February 11, 2018.However, “The Last Stylebender’s” fight purse increased as he advanced through the middleweight class. For example, he won the UFC middleweight belt and a sizable sum of $1,090,000 in his first bout with Robert Whittaker. Israel Adesanya (23-1-0), the current middleweight champion of the UFC, will get a $1 million guarantee for the title match. He will receive a sponsorship bonus of $42,000. Furthermore, a win bonus of another $100,000 will be offered. Israel Adesanya won UFC 276 by defeating Jared Cannonier, earning him a staggering $1.8 million.

How much will Alex Pereira make at UFC 281?

For a TKO victory over Andreas Michailidis at UFC 268, Alex Pereira earned a pitiful $134,000 at the start of his professional career. The Brazilian’s income increased as he began competing against well-known opponents. At UFC 276, he defeated Sean Strickland, earning a sizable $188,000 purse. At UFC 281, Pereira will face Adesanya, and he will receive a sizable guaranteed payday of $250,000. The Brazilian will earn a stunning $500,000 for the bout, which will be his best earnings thanks to sponsorship deals and PPV shares.

How much is Dustin Piirier expected to earn?

Poirier received a meager $18,000 payout for his fight with Josh Grispi on January 1, 2011, as part of UFC 125. However, “Diamond’s” fight purse increased as he advanced through the lightweight division’s ranks. For example, at UFC 178, his opening matchup with Conor McGregor brought in around $84,000 for him. Porier has earned close to $1 million in fight purses since claiming the title of interim champion. Despite losing, his first contest for the UFC Lightweight Championship against Khabib Nurmagomedov netted him a staggering $1,077,500 at UFC 242. According to reports, Dustin Poirier will receive a guaranteed purse of $750,000. Poirier will receive a substantial sum of $980,000 in addition to sponsorship arrangements.

How much is Michael Chandler expected to earn?

Michael Chandler, on the other hand, earned a pitiful $303,500 for defeating Dan Hooker via TKO at UFC 257. As he began competing against famous opponents, the American’s compensation increased. He received a hefty $1,074,500 payday for his battle with Tony Ferguson at UFC 274. Michael Chandler will receive a sizable guaranteed payday of $450,000 for his upcoming fight against Poirier at UFC 281. The sponsorship agreements will net Chandler a staggering $370,000 for the fight.

What will Carla Esparaza and Weili Zhang make in terms of pay?

The defending champion, Carla, will receive a guaranteed pay of $350,000 for the women’s strawweight title fight. Weili Zhang, the previous champion, will get a guaranteed purse of $210,000, on the other hand.

UFC 281 Purse Payouts

Let’s look at the compensation each competitor will receive for UFC 281:

Israel Adesanya  $1 million$42,000
Alex Pereira $500,000$32,000
Carla Esparaza $350,000$42,000
Weili Zhang $210,000$32,000
Dustin Poirier$500,000$15,000
Michael Chandler $500,000$10,000
Frankie Edgar$275,000$20,000
Chris Gutierrez $75,000$5,000
Dan Hooker$210,000$15,000
Claudio Puelles$36,000$5,000
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UFC legend Michael Bisping attacks Jake Paul and his desire to defeat Anderson Silva



UFC legend Michael Bisping attacks Jake Paul and his desire to defeat Anderson Silva

Jake Paul is currently one of the celebrities who is the subject of the greatest controversy. A boxing bout between the former actor and Anderson Silva has been scheduled, but a former UFC legend believes the former actor does not deserve to win against the Brazilian fighter. Jake Paul has not yet found the defining moment that will catalyze the next stage of his boxing career. Now, he will square off against Anderson Silva, a veteran of the sport of mixed martial arts, but the matchup hasn’t won over everyone’s enthusiasm. A famous UFC fighter has shown that the actor does not deserve to win against the Brazilian fighter.

It is common knowledge that, in recent years, fights between famous people and actual boxers have become increasingly common. Jake Paul is really interested in turning his fighting career over to professionals by competing against opponents that are more skilled than he is. Recently, the former actor has stated that he is looking for a top competitor to engage in a fight with him. Jake Paul has stated that Canelo Alvarez is the fighter he wants to face after him, but in order to get there, he needs to win against Anderson Silva in October.

The fight between Jake Paul and Anderson Silva is scheduled to take place on October 29 in Arizona. The Brazilian will come out of retirement to compete professionally against the actor who used to have that title, but not everyone agrees that this is a smart move on his part.

“Jake Paul’s young. He’ll be afforded that luxury. He’ll be afforded that leeway to say, ‘You lost to a legend’. “If Silva loses to Jake Paul, I’ll be devastated because Jake Paul doesn’t deserve to have a victory over Anderson,” said Michael Bisping, UFC legend, on his YouTube channel.

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