A few new matchups have been revealed for upcoming fight cards, and I’ll present my thoughts on those new matchups in today’s MMA odds and ends.
Glover Teixeira vs. Ion Cutelaba, UFC on ESPN 3
A light heavyweight bout between Glover Teixeira and Ion Cutelaba, which was originally set to happen back in 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) may be 39-years old now but he showed age does not mean anything to him when he finished the younger Karl Roberson in his last bout at UFC Fight Night 143. All-time Teixeira retains a 11-5 record in the Octagon and he might not be a real title competitor, he is still a challenging gatekeeper and the perfect test for rising light heavyweights to take on as they seem to move up the rankings. Even late in his profession, he can still finish fights.
Cutelaba (14-3, 1 NC) is 3-2 in the UFC and is coming off of back-to-back knockout wins over Gadzhimurad Antigulov and Henrique da Silva. Only 25, Cutelaba is one of the greatest young light heavyweights from the UFC, but he’s still very much unproven. After viewing Teixeira return from being down early and finish Roberson, I believe you have to favor him here to get the win against Cutelaba, though 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 in Bridgestone Arena at Nashville, Tennessee. Day (8-3) endured 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 reduction to Raoni Barcelos in his own UFC introduction but’d won three straight fights on the regional circuit before that too. This looks like a really close fight and that I anticipate the opening amount to be close a Pick’em given how even it seems on paper. I’d slightly lean towards Day to get his hands raised, but it is 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 before the fight was scrapped. News of the rebooking comes from Shawn Bitter. Salmon (6-1) picked up a decision win over Ricky Turcios about the Contender Series back in July 2017 but has not fought because due to accidents. Taha (12-2) fell a decision to Nad Narimani in his UFC debut last summer. Given Salmon’s long layoff, it is sensible to lean towards Taha here, however given that Taha is far from a top potential, but do not be surprised is Salmon comes through and gets the win. I would anticipate a close line either way.
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