This article is part of our UFC Picks series.
The UFC heads to the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas on Saturday, July 31 with two titles on the line (although one is an interim). The main event sees Julianna Pena rematch Amanda Nunes for the bantamweight belt while Brandon Moreno and Kai Kara-France rematch for the interim flyweight title.
Below I'll share my favorite play, an underdog, a prop and a two-fighter parlay. All odds are via the DraftKings Sportsbook and are accurate as of the post date of this article.
Weight Class: Flyweight
Perez has not fought since UFC 255, when he suffered a submission loss to Deiveson Figueiredo in a bid for the flyweight belt. Since then, he has had six canceled fights, -- some due to him missing weight and getting hurt -- and that layoff is a concern. Meanwhile, Pantoja has been excellent, and is arguably the best flyweight not named Figueiredo (given he has wins over both Brandon Moreno and Kai Kara-France).
Pantoja is the better grappler, and I think he can catch Perez in a choke if the American shoots a bad takedown, similar to what Figueiredo did to Perez.
UFC 277 Bet: Alexandre Pantoja (-180)
Weight Class: Heavyweight
Abdelwahab opened as a favorite, -- which shows you what the oddsmakers think of him -- but the public has been betting on Mayes. Although Abdelwahab is only 3-0 in MMA, he really is 5-0, as he has two more wins in Jorge Masvidal's bare-knuckle MMA promotion (which doesn't count on pro records for whatever reason).
The undefeated prospect is a great striker with one-punch KO power, but he is also a Greco-Roman Olympic wrestler. Mayes is there to be taken down, as he has 62 percent takedown defense. Mayes also only has a striking defense of 42 percent, as he is one of the lower-level heavyweights that also makes some questionable fight IQ decisions.
I do worry about Abdelwahab's cardio, but I think if he doesn't get Mayes out of there, he can win the first two rounds to get the decision win and remain undefeated.
UFC 277 Bet: Hamdy Abdelwahab (+155)
Weight Class: Lightweight
Dober has a ton of power and in his last 10 wins, six have come by knockout, three have been by decision and one by submission. Alves, meanwhile, has lost three times by knockout but six by submission. When he loses by submission, however, some have come by club-and-sub, where he gets hurt and the opponent hops on a choke. That won't be the case with Dober, who always looks for the KO.
On the feet, Dober lands 4.4 significant strikes per minute, while Alves absorbs 3.56. Alves also tends to slow down as the fight goes on, so I think Dober gets the KO in the second or third round.
UFC 277 Bet: Drew Dober by KO/TKO/DQ (+140)
Weight Class: Lightweight & Flyweight
Klose is taking on short-notice replacement in Rafa Garcia, which I think is a great style matchup for him. Garcia will struggle to get Klose down, as he has a takedown defense of 68 percent, but Garcia only has a takedown accuracy of 48 percent. On the feet, Klose lands 4.42 significant strikes per minute while Garcia absorbs 4.94. I expect Klose to just piece up Garcia on the feet and likely win a decision.
In the other leg, I like Brandon Moreno to get the interim flyweight title and defeat Kai Kara-France for the second time. Moreno and Kara-France fought at UFC 245, and Moreno won by decision in a fight he picked Kara-France apart and got better as the fight went on.
There's no question both men have gotten better, but Moreno is the better volume striker and can also mix in the wrestling to win the rounds and win a decision.
UFC 277 Bet: Klose & Moreno parlay (+113)
UFC 277 Best Bets:
Here is a recap of my best UFC picks for this weekend's UFC 277 event: