Fight fans enjoyed a thrilling MMA double-header from London last weekend with Scottish bantamweight Reece McEwan lighting up the Cage Warriors 20th-anniversary show before Paddy Pimblett set pulses racing in the UFC. The big shows and mouth-watering fights keep coming as we move to Texas.
UFC 227 comes from the American Airlines Center in Dallas, with a rematch between female fighters Julianna Pena and Amanda Nunes serving as the main attraction. The women's bantamweight title is on the line on Saturday evening. The main attraction promises to be a classic, with the defending champion set to enter the octagon as the betting underdog.
Pena the play once again
Julianna Pena v Amanda Nunes
Live on BT Sport
Pena is the current women's bantamweight UFC champion, having won the title from Nunes in her previous outing. That upset for the Venezuelan Vixen came on UFC 269 in December before a shocked Las Vegas audience. It wasn't in the pre-fight script, but Pena was a deserved victor, snatching the title and performance of the night bonus courtesy of submission in round two.
That victory took the new champion's professional MMA record to 11 wins against four defeats, with five coming by submission, three by KO and the remaining three wins on the scorecards. She has lost twice by submission, one by KO and the other on points.
Pena has lost two of her last five but enters on a two-fight winning streak with both victories by submission. We're happy to stick with the underdog champion and back her for the win at 3.3512/5 on the Betfair Exchange.
Nunes is out for revenge as she plots to win her title back and put last year's defeat down as nothing more than a bump in the road. She is the more experienced fighter with a CV detailing 21 wins and five losses. Those looking to back the former champion may be interested to learn she has lost only to Pena since 2014. Nunes is 1.412/5 favourite in the fight winner betting.
Get More value with a points bet
Brandon Morena v Kai Kara-France
Live on BT Sport
The chief support comes from Morena v Kara-France in the flyweight division. This is a non-title bout, but that takes nothing away from what will be a fiercely competitive contest with both warriors confident they'll get the win and enhance their title chances.
Moreno is a former UFC flyweight champion, becoming the first Mexican to claim a belt in the promotion. His record stands at 19 wins against six defeats, but there's a worry that he enters on the back of a poor run, winning just one of his last three. He drew with Deiveson Figueiredo on UFC 256 before beating the same opponent by submission. He was beaten on points last time, losing the belt to the Brazilian in a trilogy.
Flicking through his recent form, we notice five of the former champ's last seven bouts have gone the distance. Back Morena to win on points @ 2.265/4.
Kara-France is a 29-year-old New Zealander ranked number two in the UFC, making this a likely eliminator for a UFC title. Kai is on a three-fight winning streak, claiming his last on points. He is a worthy opponent and a fighter with confidence to burn, but this represents a step up in class for Don't Blink. Kai trades at 2.9215/8.
Pavlovich can power past home favourite
Derrick Lewis v Sergei Pavlovich
Live on BT Sport
This looks to be the most competitive bout on the main card as two heavyweight hopefuls prepare to throw bombs. Lewis lives in Texas, meaning he will enjoy the backing of the crowd, and will need every bit of support he can get.
The Black Beast is ranked number five in the top division but was knocked out in two of his last three and suffered defeat in four of nine. He was KO'd on UFC 271 by Tai Tuivasa in Houston, making this a must-win for the 37-year-old. If you intend to back Lewis, you should know he holds the UFC record for the most knockout wins. You can back the win at 2.111/10.
Pavlovich is a Russian-born fighter ranked 11th in the division with a record showing 15 wins against one defeat. He has won his last three by KO and hasn't been involved in a bout that tested the scoring judges since June 2017, a run of five. He has the momentum behind him, and we're backing the Eagles MMA Moscow fighter to silence the crowd at 1.834/5, but another stoppage will attract attention in the betting.