The UFC 277 early prelims will feature an exciting women’s bout at 135 pounds. The American Airlines Center in Dallas will play host to Ji Yeon Kim and Joselyne Edwards, two bantamweights who have been chipping away at the competition in hopes of climbing to the top.
However, both are currently in need of a win. Kim, after earning a career-high knockout against Nadia Kassem in 2019, has since fallen thrice against the likes of Alexa Grasso, Molly McCann, and Priscila Cachoeira. Although fighting valiantly and hanging in each bout, all decisions were unanimous.
Edwards, on the other hand, was on a two-fight win streak in 2021, including a knockout over Pamela Gonzalez. Following these, however, was a similar fall, ending up on the losing side of unanimous decisions to Karol Rosa and Jessica-Rose Clark. Edwards is coming off of a victory over Ramona Pascual at 145 pounds, but if she wishes to earn her way to a belt in her home division, a win over Kim would go a long way to getting her back on track.
UFC 277 is this Saturday night, and the PPV main card will stream live exclusively on
It’s difficult to pick, even for the matchmakers, as both women will require a bit of an investment in order to pay out. To make a profit of $100, one would need to wager $135 on Edwards.
Both women actually share a lot in common in terms of how they fight. Both are tall fighters with good range, although Kim will enjoy an extra 2 inches of reach at 72 to 70 against Edwards. This is significant because both women rely on their reach advantage often in their fights and look to land their heaviest shots by keeping their opponents on the end of their punches. Their arm reach is also notable as neither of them particularly kick much, Edwards throwing kicks primarily to manage distance in order to set up flurries from her hands.
Both women are patient in their fights, they prefer to be methodical in picking their moments to commit to attacks. Kim tends to land with short combinations, she likes to snap out and land on the end of exchanges, whereas Edwards will throw in flurries slightly more. Edwards easily has the power advantage but Kim’s accuracy puts significant snap on her shots as well.
In terms of grappling, both Kim and Edwards have three submission victories on their records, however, they have not come at the level in the UFC, having happened before their days in the octagon. Although it’s unlikely that we will see much grappling in this matchup because the two women tend to instead strike and then grapple reactively to their opponent’s takedowns, it’s good to understand what skills are there, should it happen. Kim is the more technical basic grappler with a well-rounded approach to advancing towards submissions, but what Joselyne Edward thrives at is counter positioning. Her skills are mostly defensive and she is great at taking advantage of her opponents’ mistakes but the problem is, if no mistakes materialize she may end up waiting too long and find herself trapped in bottom position.
Both women are so similar it comes down to a few important factors to determine a victor. Kim has shown an ability to maintain a much higher pace in her fights, but she tends to let her opponents dictate that pace and she simply reacts to it. Edwards is such a patient fighter, and Kim will so readily prefer a patient fight that I believe we will see a relatively slow chess match here, with both women using the extent of their reach to box from the outside, leaving little opportunity to find clean level changes from afar.
If takedowns do happen, it will be against the cage and likely be on the side of Kim, however, because Edwards poses a larger power threat, it would be a tad more dangerous for Kim to box her way into the clinch on multiple occasions. This leads me to lean towards Edwards as the more favorable fighter.
Prediction: Joselyne Edwards to win (-135 odds at MyBookie)