Brandon Moreno vs. Kai Kara-France 2, Magomed Ankalaev vs. Anthony Smith among fights to watch at UFC 277

UFC 277 should feature some important battles when the Octagon lands in Dallas on Saturday night. None will be bigger than the women’s bantamweight rematch between champion Julianna Pena and former titleholder Amanda Nunes.

Nunes entered the first fight on a 12-fight winning streak that included wins over every woman to hold the UFC featherweight or bantamweight title. This race had earned her the title of the best fighter in the history of women’s MMA. Pena was expected to be just another opponent in Nunes’ incredible march. Pena proved to be more than just an opponent as she overpowered Nunes before scoring a rear-naked choke in the second round.

The fans go Relive the shock of Pena’s massive upset at UFC 269 in December against fellow trainer “TUF” Nunes to win the UFC Women’s Bantamweight Championship. Also atop the card, former UFC flyweight champion Brandon Moreno is on the clock, as are former title challenger Anthony Smith and Magomed Ankalaev, who many expect to fight for the crown. light heavyweights one day soon.

Take a look below at three can’t-miss fights at UFC 277.

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Brandon Moreno vs. Kai Kara – France

It looked like we were on course for a rare fourth fight in the UFC flyweight championship saga between Deiveson Figueiredo and Moreno. The UFC pivoted to an unexpected interim title fight between Moreno and Kara-France due to an injury to the current titleholder. Moreno and Figueiredo are truly the 1A and 1B of men’s flyweight; Kara-France is about to complicate the picture. A teammate of UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya and featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski, Kara-France packs a big punch in his fists and eventually showed that power in fights against Askar Askarov, Cody Garbrandt and Rogerio Bontorin. Moreover, these two put on a classic performance when they first met in 2019 and Moreno got the unanimous decision.

Magomed Ankalaev vs. Anthony Smith

Ankalaev is seen by many as a future challenger or title champion. The powerhouse forward enters UFC 277 on a seven-fight winning streak that includes victories over Thiago Santos, Volkan Oezdemir, Nikita Krylov and Ion Cutelaba (twice). The aptly named “Lionheart” Smith bounced back from a tough time by finishing Ryan Spann, Jimmy Crute and Devin Clark each in one round. A win over Ankalaev likely puts Smith one fight away from another world title crack. Boring fights are an anomaly in Smith’s career, who maintains an absurd 85% finish rate (wins and losses) in 52 professional fights. While it’s true that Ankalaev has been more measured in his recent fights, Smith has the style to put on an exciting fight for as long as it lasts.

Alexandre Pantoja vs. Alex Perez

The flyweight division comes and goes at UFC 277. The days of flyweight being an afterthought are behind us. Three terrific fights between Figueiredo and Moreno ensured that. Pantoja and Perez are complementary components in this image change. Pantoja is 3-1 since losing a fight in 2019 to Figueiredo. He knocked out Matt Schnell, submitted Brandon Royval and edged out Manel Kape. Perez was a diverse finisher for five years in the UFC. He beat Jussier Formiga via TKO kick, slapped a triangle choke on Jordan Espinosa, knocked out Jose Torres and hit Carls John de Tomas with an anaconda choke. It may not be the fight of the night, but expect a solid encounter between Pantoja and Perez.

Honorable mentions: Drakkar Klose vs. Rafa Garcia, Drew Dober vs. Rafael Alvez

Who wins UFC 277: Peña vs. Nunes 2? And what other choices do you need to see? Visit SportsLine now for detailed top picks on UFC Fight Nightall from the insider who has earned over $10,000 on MMA picks in the past two years, and find out.

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