A few new matchups are revealed for upcoming battle cards, and I will give my thoughts on these new matchups in the current MMA odds and ends.
Glover Teixeira vs. Ion Cutelaba, UFC on ESPN 3
A light heavyweight bout between Glover Teixeira and Ion Cutelaba, that was originally set to take place back at UFC Fight Night 143, has been rescheduled for UFC on ESPN 3, taking place April 27 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. Combate broke the information. Teixeira (28-7) could be 39-years old today but he showed age doesn’t mean anything when he completed the younger Karl Roberson in his last departure at UFC Fight Night 143. All-time Teixeira holds a 11-5 record at the Octagon and although he may not be a true title contender anymore, he’s still a tough gatekeeper and the perfect test for climbing light heavyweights to continue as they look to move up the ranks. Even late in his profession, he could still finish fights.
Cutelaba (14-3, 1 NC) is 3-2 in the UFC and is coming from back-to-back knockout wins over Gadzhimurad Antigulov and Henrique da Silva. Only 25, Cutelaba is among the top young light heavyweights in the UFC, but he’s still very much unproven. After viewing Teixeira return from being down early and finish Roberson, I think you need to prefer him to get the win against Cutelaba, although I really do think Cutelaba will be more aggressive than Roberson was.
Martin Day vs. Chris Gutierrez, UFC Fight Night 148
Bantamweights Martin Day and Chris Gutierrez are set to meet UFC Fight Night 148 (UFC on ESPN+ 6), which takes place March 23 at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee. Day (8-3) suffered a split decision loss to Pingyuan Liu in his UFC debut but had won three straight struggles in the regional circuit prior to making his unfortunate UFC debut. Gutierrez (12-4-1) is coming from a submission loss to Raoni Barcelos within his own UFC debut but’d won three straight struggles in the regional circuit before that too. This looks like a really close fight and that I expect the opening amount to be near a Pick’em given how even it looks on paper. I had slightly lean towards dawn to receive his hands raised, but it’s very near.
Boston Salmon vs. Khalid Taha, UFC 236
Bantamweights Boston Salmon and Khalid Taha will meet at UFC 236, taking place April 13 at an undisclosed venue (rumored to be in Las Vegas, Nevada). These two were set to meet at the TUF 28 Finale prior to the fight was scrapped. News of the rebooking stems from Shawn Bitter. Steak (6-1) picked up a decision win over Ricky Turcios about the Contender Series back in July 2017 but has not fought since due to accidents. Taha (12-2) dropped a choice to Nad Narimani in his UFC debut last summer. Given Salmon’s extended layoff, it makes sense to slightly lean towards Taha here, but provided that Taha is far from a top prospect, do not be surprised is Salmon comes through and gets the win. I would anticipate a close line in any event.
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