Amanda Nunes vs. Megan Anderson UFC 259 Odds, Pick & Prediction: How to Back the Women’s MMA GOAT (Saturday, March 6)

Amanda Nunes vs. Megan Anderson UFC 259 Odds, Pick & Prediction: How to Back the Women’s MMA GOAT (Saturday, March 6) article feature image
Credit:

Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC. Pictured: UFC fighter Amanda Nunes.

  • Amanda Nunes is a massive favorite against Meghan Anderson in the women’s featherweight title fight at UFC 259.
  • Nunes has won 11 straight and has established herself as the best female MMA fighter of all time.
  • Sean Zerillo breaks down where he sees betting value in what appears to be a lopsided matchup.

Amanda Nunes vs. Megan Anderson Odds

Nunes odds
-1110
Anderson odds
+600
Over/Under
2.5 (+175 / -228)
Venue
UFC APEX, Las Vegas
Time
Approx. 11:30 p.m ET
Channel
ESPN PPV
Odds as of Friday and via PointsBet.

It’s hard to imagine any fighter offering value at listed odds beyond -900 (90% implied). Given the average knockdown and knockout rates for all fights, pretty much anyone, or at least any fighter with enough power, has a puncher’s chance of at least 10%.

For a fighter like Megan Anderson, a true featherweight who holds a massive size advantage (four inches of height, three inches of reach) over Amanda Nunes, a true Bantamweight, and packs decent power, she gets a small extra bump.

But it’s hard to give Anderson credit for anything more than that, especially against the GOAT of women’s MMA. Despite the size discrepancy, this is a step down in competition for Nunes compared to recent opponents like Cris Cyborg, Germaine de Randamie and the notoriously tough Felicia Spencer.

Below I preview the matchup and odds for tonight’s co-main event. For more analysis on the rest of the card, you can check out my projections for the entire slate here.

Tale of the Tape

Nunes Anderson
Record 20-4 11-4
Avg. Fight Time 9:38 5:23
Height 5’8″ 6’0″
Weight (pounds) 145 lbs. 144.5 lbs.
Reach (inches) 69″ 72″
Stance Orthodox Orthodox
Date of birth 5/30/88 2/11/90
Sig Strikes Per Min 4.44 1.82
SS Accuracy 51% 46%
SS Absorbed Per Min 2.47 2.94
SS Defense 57% 38%
Take Down Avg 2.53 0.56
TD Acc 53% 33%
TD Def 84% 53%
Submission Avg 0.7 0.6

Sherdog rates Anderson as the fifth-best featherweight in the world, behind Spencer and two women who compete in Bellator (Cyborg and Julia Budd), and the Aussie, who is only a purple belt, has shown major holes on the ground against far lesser grapplers (Holly Holm, Norma Dumont) that Nunes should be able to exploit.

The question for Nunes, in terms of how long this fight lasts, is her motivation. If she wants to, I’m of the mind that she ends this fight with one takedown and a quick submission, but she has toyed with her opponents in her two most recent bouts and put an absolute beating on them, leaving no doubt that there is still a substantial gap between the “Lioness” and any other woman who competes between 135-145 pounds.

If she decides to stand and bang, Nunes should easily pull away on volume (+2.62 strikes landed per minute; +1.97 to -1.12 in strike differential; +5% strike accuracy; +19% striking defense) but as I indicated, if she wants to avoid any damage, she should immediately look to grapple (2.53 takedowns per 15 minutes, 53% accuracy) and turn Anderson’s height into a weakness (53% takedown defense).

Those long limbs should be readily available to leverage into submission attempts for the champ, and Nunes in Round 1 (+150) or by Round 1 submission (+550) is an interesting way to play the fight.

But if Nunes is wary of the power coming back the other way, with her eating a big shot looking like the only way that she loses this title defense, and Anderson decides to use her length to play the range game, this fight could get extended a bit longer than you might expect.

Nunes vs. Anderson Pick

I was able to pick off a solid -112 price on the Over 1.5 rounds (at FanDuel), a number that is still available but I wouldn’t play that total past -130. With most of the market sitting at -125 on that prop, I decided to play what looks like easily the best number available.

Otherwise, I don’t project any actionable betting value on this fight.

If you’re desperate to throw a longshot bet on Anderson, make sure to play her knockout prop at +1000 or better. There’s no sense in taking that moneyline if she’s not going to win minutes.

The Pick: Anderson/Nunes, Over 1.5 Rounds (-112, 0.5u)

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