| Sportsbook Wire
In a women’s bantamweight bout on Saturday’s preliminary card, Julianna Pena and Sara McMann meet at UFC 257 at the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The early prelims and prelims kick off at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN/ ESPN+, followed by the main card on Pay-Per-View at 10 p.m. ET.
Pena (10-4) is looking to rebound after a loss to Germaine de Randamie last time out on Oct. 3, 2020. That loss was via submission in Round 3, and she has lost two of the past three bouts overall.
Since arriving at the UFC level, she has won four of six fights overall, and been featured in the main event once on Jan. 28, 2017. Five of her past eight fights have finished inside the distance, too. She enters with 2.80 significant strikes landed per minute, with a 47.36 significant strikes accuracy percentage. She also holds a three-inch reach advantage over her counterpart.
McMann (12-5) was on a two-bout skid before a unanimous decision victory over Lina Lansberg on Jan. 25, 2020. Like Pena, McMann’s previous two losses each came via submission, so neither of the combatants will likely be too keen to go to the canvas.
However, McMann is a wrestler, and four of her past five fights have ended via submission (2-2). Seven of her previous 11 bouts have ended up finishing inside the distance.
Pena vs. McMann: Betting odds,predictions and picks
PENA (+110) is a nice value at plus-money, as McMann (-130) just doesn’t seem to be hitting on all cylinders lately. Yes, Pena has two losses in the past three outings, too, but losses against de Randamie and Valentina Shevchenko, two of the top fighters in the division, is nothing to be ashamed about. Back “The Venezuelan Vixen” on the 2-way line.
I think that the submission losses for both fighters recently will have them a little leery about going to the mat in this bout. We might get a bit of a sluggish, slow-paced bout with each fighter playing it close to the vest.
As such, YES (-190) ON ‘WILL THE FIGHT GO THE DISTANCE?’ is a little pricey, but a strong bet. Taking PENA ON POINTS (+240) is a decent value, too, as you can more than double up and build up your bankroll for the main card.
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