UFC 277 Odds, Pick & Prediction for Brandon Moreno vs. Kai Kara-France: How to Bet Championship Co-Main Event (Saturday, July 30)
Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC. Pictured: UFC flyweights Kai Kara France and Brandon Moreno
Brandon Moreno vs. Kai Kara-France Odds
|Over/Under||4.5 (-160 / +130)|
|Venue||American Airlines Center|
|Time||Approx. 11:30 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Friday and via DraftKings.
Saturday’s UFC 277 co-main event features an interim title fight between flyweight standouts Brandon Moreno and Kai Kara-France. Like the main event, this bout is a rematch: Moreno defeated Kara-France by unanimous decision in 2019.
Both fighters have come a long way since then. Moreno captured (and then lost) the UFC title. Kara-France, meanwhile, is riding a three-fight winning streak.
Will history repeat itself, or will Kara-France make the needed adjustments to capture his first title?
Read on to find out, as well as how I’ll be betting this one.
Tale of the Tape
|Avg. Fight Time||14:55||11:34|
|Weight (pounds)||125 lbs.||125 lbs.|
|Date of birth||12/7/1993||3/26/1993|
|Sig Strikes Per Min||3.54||4.84|
|SS Absorbed Per Min||3.31||3.51|
|Take Down Avg||1.84||0.43|
It’s been nearly two years since Brandon Moreno fought anyone other than current UFC 125-pound champion Deivison Figueiredo, against whom he now has a 1-1-1 record. He’d likely be fighting Figueiredo for an unprecedented fourth consecutive fight if the champion weren’t injured, which led to the creation of an interim flyweight belt.
Moreno has a well-rounded game that has steadily improved in his UFC tenure. He entered the promotion as more of a grappler, winning two of his three first three UFC fights by submission.
Since then, though, he’s made significant improvements to his striking, utilizing a high-volume boxing attack while mixing in occasional kicks. In his victory over Figueiredo, Moreno was able to drop the champion at one point, though he has below-average power overall.
He’s also extremely durable and has never been finished in official competition, though he was submitted as a contestant on The Ultimate Fighter.
Moreno also has excellent cardio, tending to build as fights go on. In his first fight with Figueiredo (a draw), Moreno won the fourth round unanimously while taking the fifth on one of three scorecards. In his decision loss to the champ, the only round Moreno won was the fifth.
That’s a key angle to this fight, as Kara-France has never competed in a five-round fight. Kara-France has two first-round knockouts in his three-fight winning streak.
In the first fight with Moreno, Kara-France won the first round before losing the next two.
Kara-France certainly has the finishing upside in this one, though. His knockdown rate is more than three times Moreno’s, and he has arguably the most power in the flyweight division.
He’s also a product of New Zealand’s City Kickboxing, the home of dangerous strikers (and champions) Alexander Volkanovski and Israel Adesanya. The gym has done a good job of shoring up the ground game of their fighters, as well. That was evident in Kara-France’s most recent fight, in which he was able to avoid the takedowns of Askar Askarov, a high-level wrestler.
Moreno vs. Kara-France Pick
While Moreno is likely the better grappler here, Kara-France’s takedown defense is excellent, so I’m handicapping this one from the standpoint of a striking-only (or at least primarily) affair.
Kara-France should have the edge early, as he demonstrated in their first fight. He has one-shot knockout power. He also likely has a speed advantage over Moreno, as well.
Speed and power tend to fade as fights wear on, though, and Kara-France’s cardio into the championship rounds is questionable at best. That gives Moreno the upside late, both in striking and the potential of bringing a tired Kara-France to the mat.
For that reason, the majority of Kara-France’s win condition should be inside the distance. While it’s likely also via knockout, the lines are close enough that I want to be protected from a “club-‘n’-sub” scenario.
Kara-France is +185 on the moneyline at DraftKings, but +500 to win inside the distance. That’s my favorite pre-fight bet on this one, as those lines should be considerably closer.
My favorite betting angle though, is Moreno live after the first round or two. Depending on how they play out, I’ll be trying to get money down on Moreno at even or plus-money.
Personally, I wouldn’t bet this fight unless able to watch live and hedge appropriately in the live markets. I do see value on Kara-France’s ITD line, though.
The Pick: Kara-France ITD +500 (DraftKings) | Moreno Live after Rounds 1/2