UFC 277 Pantoja vs Perez Picks and Predictions: The Cannibal Stands Tall

In what looks like an entertaining UFC 277 card, Pantoja vs. Perez has the making to be one of the toughest bouts of the evening. Which of these flyweights will pick up the win? Check out our UFC betting picks and predictions to find out.

Last Updated: Jul 30, 2022 8:19 AM ET Read Time: 4 min

Alexandre Pantoja vs. Alex Perez is scheduled for 3 rounds in the flyweight division as a featured attraction on the UFC 277 undercard in Dallas. These Top-10 flyweights are on the cusp of a potential world title fight, but only one of these formidable fighters will move on towards their destiny.

“The Cannibal” is a slight UFC odds favorite to outlast his fellow grappler with a price of -170. Perez, who has been inactive since a 2020 loss to champ Deivison Figueiredo, is a slight underdog at +145.

Here are tonight's Pantoja vs. Perez betting picks and predictions.

Pantoja vs Perez fight odds

Live odds courtesy of bet365

Pantoja vs Perez method of victory odds

Method of Victory Alexandre Pantoja Alex Perez
To win by KO/TKO +400 +650
To win by Points +175 +350
To win by Submission +330 +800
Draw +5,000 +5,000

Odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook on July 27, 2022.

Pantoja vs Perez picks

Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.

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Pantoja vs Perez betting preview

Alexandre Pantoja is making his way up the flyweight rankings thanks to a well-rounded skill set that has him on a two-fight winning streak. The Brazilian has rebounded after a narrow decision loss to Askar Askarov in 2020 with dominant performances over Manel Kape and Brandon Royval. In those two fights, he showcased excellent striking in one fight and vicious grappling in the second.

Overall, Pantoja is a dangerous fighter with 17 finishes in 24 wins. Landing 4.24 significant strikes per minute and scoring 1.26 takedowns per fight, he comes into the fight with a more varied skill set and better finishing instincts. Ring rust won’t be a factor as Pantoja has remained active.

Alex Perez is trying to make his 2022 debut after he blew the weigh-in and killed a fight with Matt Schnell last February. It would have ended an already long layoff following his first-round submission loss to Figueiredo, but he now finds himself in a fight with larger implications. The durable Perez cannot afford another setback here.

While Perez boasts a modest 12 finishes in 24 fights, only three of his fights have gone the distance, dating back five years. Using sharp boxing and excellent grappling, Perez can smother his opponents and opts to play the long game, but lands an impressive 4.62 significant strikes per minute and an eye-catching 2.92 takedowns per fight.

Perez comes right ahead for better or worse, and Pantoja’s sharper strikes along with his sizeable frame could lead to some early opportunities. If he can shake off the rust and comfortably make the weight, Perez will need to create the distance he needs to keep the fight on the end of his jab and leg kicks. Of all the fights on the main card, this could be the closest one to call.

Pantoja vs Perez tale of the tape

Alexandre Pantoja   Alex Perez
32 Age 30
5-foot-5 Height 5-foot-6
125 lbs Weight 123 lbs
68 inches Reach 65 inches
24-5 (8 KOs) Record 24-6 (5 KOs)

Pantoja vs Perez UFC prediction and best bet

Our prediction is compiled from the analysis of the fighters and is an indication of who we are leaning with to win this bout.
Our best bet is the play that we like the most for this fight or where the most value lies, and is where we would put some of our bankroll behind.

On paper, these two seem evenly matched, but the grittier and tougher Pantoja is favored for a reason. Perez is a solid fighter, but his power is average, and relies primarily on his grappling to establish his offense. Against that same physical type of style, he was outsmarted by Joseph Benavidez and mauled into a guillotine choke by Figueiredo.

If Pantoja can keep the fight standing, he’ll catch Perez with the harder shots and close the distance where he can either target his body or shoot for a takedown. Targeting the body as well as his legs might be a great way to test how ready Perez is after the layoff, and he’ll have a harder time shaking off the rust if his gas tank isn’t where it should be for the fight.

Pantoja’s explosive tendencies can change the course of the fight in mere moments, and that energy as well as his momentum makes him the rightful favorite. He should walk out of the octagon turning away a stiff challenge from Perez.

Prediction: Pantoja moneyline (-170 at DraftKings)

Of Perez’s last five fights, only one has gone past the first round. At the same time, betting trends show that whoever has been favored in his fights ends up winning. That may be a bad omen for Perez, but an intriguing betting opportunity for everyone else.

When coupling the ring rust, Pantoja’s tendency to overpower his opponents, and Perez’s misplaced bravery, this fight doesn’t seem like it will go the distance. While the fight can go either way, we feel the best bet to make is betting the fight ends in Under 2.5 rounds for a +110 pick up.

Pick: Under 2.5 rounds (+110 at DraftKings)

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