Two rematches take center stage in Dallas, Texas, at UFC 277 as arguably the greatest Women’s fighter of all time, Amanda Nunes, looks to regain her Bantamweight title; after Brandon Moreno looks to defeat his opponent Kai-Kara France once more to become the UFC Interim Flyweight champion.
Fight One: Orion Cosce (7-1) (-165) vs Blood Diamond (3-1) (+135)
Winner: Orion Cosce by Decision
In UFC 277’s first fight, Welterweights Orion Cosce and Blood Diamond look to pick up their first UFC win. I think this is a stylistic nightmare for Blood Diamond as he is fighting a similar fighter to his last opponent, Jeremiah Wells, who made quick work of him. I wouldn’t put Orion Cosce on the same level as Jerimiah Wells, which is why I’m not taking Cosce by submission, but I still think Cosce gets it done similarly. If Cosce could pin Diamond against the fence and drag him down to the ground, he would be able to avoid the dangerous striking of Diamond. As long as Cosce can use those abilities, this should be a relatively easy night at the office and enough to get his first win in the UFC.
Fight Two: Ihor Potieria (20-2) (-145) vs Nick Negumereanu (12-1) (+125)
Winner: Ihor Potieria by KO/TKO
In the Light Heavyweight division, Nick Negumereanu looks to extend his three-fight win streak to four over former Dana White’s contender series star Ihor Potieria. There is one path to victory for each fighter here. Potieria either finishes Negumereanu by knockout, or Negumereanu stays alive and allows Potieria to gas out and pick up a decision win. I know the Negumereanu has a solid chin, but I believe that Potieria will be the one to break it. I don’t think Negumereanu will be able to keep up with the volume that Potieria is going to put out, and with that volume comes his power. If Potieria can land more than a few of his looping knockout shots, he should win his UFC debut and be the first to finish Nick Negumeranu.
Fight Three: Ji Yeon Kim (9-5-2) (+115) vs. Joselyne Edwards (11-4) (-140)
Winner: Ji Yeon Kim by Decision
In the third fight of the evening, Ji Yeon Kim comes off a controversial loss in her last fight and is looking to break her three-fight losing streak against Joselyne Edwards. This should primarily be a striking match as neither fighter chooses to take the fight to the ground nearly at all, and I believe Kim’s volume on the feet may be too much for Edwards. We have seen the pattern with Edwards: she wins against lower-level competition but struggles against the more legit competition. I think that Kim is on a higher level than the opponents Edwards has beaten. What also scares me for Edwards is that she is taking this fight on short notice and is coming down two weight classes since her last fight, which was only six weeks ago. If Kim uses her jabs to out-strike Edwards and incorporates some dirty boxing against the cage, she should be able to take home a decision win.
Fight Four: Michael Morales (13-0) (-625) vs Adam Fugitt (8-2) (+425)
Winner: Michael Morales by KO/TKO
The undefeated Michael Morales comes into this fight against UFC newcomer Adam Fugitt as the heavy favorite, but deservedly so. Morales has proven he is a great all-around fighter, and Fugitt is unproven and taking the fight on short notice, so I can understand why Morales’s odds are so heavily in favor. I see Morales taking it slow early on and using jabs and leg kicks to feel what Fugitt will throw at him but eventually, in the second or third round, he will find that knockout blow and spoil the UFC debut of Adam Fugitt.
Fight Five: Drakkar Klose (12-2-1) (-225) vs Rafa Garcia (14-2) (+185)
Winner: Drakkar Klose by Decision
Drakkar Klose looks to get his second win in the Lightweight division in a row, but he’ll have to go through Rafa Garcia, who is on a two-fight win streak, to get there. I believe this fight is closer than the odds say it is; I have this fight closer to a pick ’em than I do over a -200 favorite for Klose, but I still think Klose can get it done. Klose holds the striking advantage over Garcia, and I believe that is where this fight primarily takes place, allowing Kose to pick up a win. Suppose Garcia can take this fight to the ground though Klose may find himself in trouble with Garcia’s grappling. I still believe that Klose has a good enough takedown defense to keep this on the feet and out-strike Garcia to win a decision.
Fight Six: Don’Tale Mays (9-4) (-150) vs Hamdy Abdelwahab (3-0) (+125)
Winner: Don’Tale Mays by KO/TKO
In the Heavyweight division, Don’Tale Mays looks to extend his winning streak in the UFC to three against the newcomer from Egypt, Hamdy Abedlwahab. This is one of my favorite bets on the card because Abdelwahab has never faced someone even close to the caliber as Don’Tale Mays and is giving up an eight-inch reach advantage. Mays is the better striker than Abdelwahab. He should use his reach advantage to land shots while keeping Abdelwahab at a distance, so he can’t implement his Olympic wrestling background. Mays is also a good wrestler, so I believe the gap on the feet will be too much for Abdelwahab to keep up with, and Mays should come home with a TKO victory.