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Storylines to watch during the UFC 277 early prelims

The UFC is again in Dallas this weekend for the primary time since Might 2017. Like that occasion, this weekend’s pay-per-view battle card options two title fights. In the principle occasion, Julianna Pea defends her bantamweight crown in opposition to the lady she defeated in December for that belt, Amanda Nunes. Within the night’s co-main occasion, former UFC flyweight champion Brandon Moreno matches up in opposition to Kai Kara-France in a bout that can decide the interim 125-pound champion.

UFC 277 takes place at American Airways Heart in Dallas, Texas. The primary card streams on ESPN+ pay-per-view following prelims on ABC and early prelims on ESPN+.

Forward of the July 30 occasion, I take a look at the storylines to observe on the early prelim portion of the UFC 277 battle card.

Michael Morales vs. Adam Fugitt

Michael Morales is 13-0 with 10 knockout wins to his title. The 22-year-old impressed in getting a knockout win over Trevin Giles when Morales made his UFC debut at UFC 270. The younger fighter confirmed off his submission protection and in addition displayed wonderful ending instincts after he damage Giles on the toes.

The problem with Morales is that he overextended himself at factors in his matchup with Giles and put himself out of place when putting. Morales has a four-inch attain benefit on this matchup and that might serve him effectively.

Adam Fugitt takes this battle on brief discover. The 33-year-old is coming off an enormous upset win on the LFA 125 card in February. Fugitt was a +400 in that matchup. His opening odds in opposition to Morales have been in that very same vary. Fugitt was extremely assured and aggressive within the LFA matchup reverse Solomon Renfro, utilizing plenty of head kicks proper from the opening of the battle. If Morales will get lured into pondering all Fugitt has are these kicks, he may discover himself in the identical scenario as Renfro did, staring up on the lights.

On the draw back, Fugitt carried his fingers very low whereas throwing his kicks and that’s one thing Morales can exploit. Like Morales, Fugitt is a finisher, as he has solely gone the space twice in his profession, as soon as in victory and as soon as in defeat.

Ji Yeon Kim vs. Joselyne Edwards

Ji Yeon Kim has displayed first rate technical putting abilities throughout her UFC tenure. Her drawback is that she doesn’t make use of these abilities — or her attain successfully. As an alternative, Kim permits herself to get drawn into brawls. Whereas that has earned her two consecutive post-fight bonuses, it has not earned her wins in her previous three outings. Kim was 6-0-2 when she joined the UFC. She is 9-5-2 heading into UFC 277 and is on a three-fight shedding skid. This might very effectively be last alternative to indicate the UFC matchmakers that she is making progress along with her abilities.

26-year-old Joselyne Edwards serves as a late alternative for the injured Mariya Agapova on this flyweight bout. Edwards ended a two-fight shedding skid on June 11 with a call win over Ramona Pascual. Edwards makes use of plenty of kicks in her putting. Nonetheless, these kicks should not very fast. What makes that fashion harmful for Edwards is that her takedown protection is under common. Whereas it is a late alternative battle for Edwards, it is a crucial bout for he as effectively. She is 2-2 within the UFC after starting her MMA profession on an 8-2 run. A win at UFC 277 will give Edwards her first two-fight successful streak below the UFC banner.

Nicolae Negumereanu vs. Ihor Potieria

Nicolae Negumereanu was at an enormous peak and attain drawback in his most up-to-date outing reverse Kennedy Nzechukwu. Nonetheless, Nzechukwu did nothing together with his bodily benefits and the 27-year-old Romanian made him pay for that mistake by turning the battle right into a brawl. Negumereanu isn’t a technical striker and his protection isn’t nice, but when his opponent engages him in a slugfest, he’ll oblige and he’ll normally win, as his 12-1 document — with seven knockouts — can attest.

Ihor Potieria heads into his UFC debut following a knockout win on a 2021 Dana White Contender Sequence card. Potieria’s 19-2 document appears to be like spectacular on paper, but when one spends a while researching his earlier opponents, that document loses plenty of its luster. With that, this battle represents an enormous take a look at, in addition to an enormous alternative for the 26-year-old Ukranian fighter.

Orion Cosce vs Blood Diamond

The UFC appears intent on making the battle between Orion Cosce and Mike “Blood Diamond” Mathetha occur. First scheduled for February, the battle fell by way of twice earlier than the welterweight matchup landed on UFC 277.

Each fighters are coming off their first skilled defeats. Cosce was favored over Phil Rowe in his UFC debut. The Staff Alpa Male fighter regarded to make use of his power within the clinch and on the mat in opposition to Rowe, however aside from getting positional benefit, he generated little or no scoring offense. When it got here to putting within the open, Cosce did little aside from present he can take plenty of abuse.

Blood Diamond, who trains out of the vaunted Metropolis Kickboxing in New Zealand, made his UFC debut with simply three MMA bouts to his title. His lack of wrestling abilities and submission protection have been evident in his first-round submission loss to Jeremiah Wells.

As I discussed above, I discover the UFC’s insistence on making this specific battle occur odd, however there should be a cause for that and I feel the explanation is likely to be twofold. The primary is to see if both of those fighters has made progress within the abilities they lacked of their first fights with the promotion. For Cosce, that’s putting offense and protection and for Blood Diamond, wrestling. The second cause is likely to be to see if it’d higher serve the loser of this contest to get extra MMA seasoning exterior the UFC.

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