A couple new matchups are shown for upcoming fight cards, and I’ll give my thoughts on these 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 at UFC Fight Night 143, was rescheduled for UFC on ESPN 3, taking place April 27 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. Combate broke the news. Teixeira (28-7) could be 39-years old now but he revealed age does not mean anything when he finished the younger Karl Roberson in his final departure at UFC Fight Night 143. All-time Teixeira retains a 11-5 record at the Octagon and he may not be a real title contender anymore, he’s still a challenging gatekeeper and the ideal test for climbing light heavyweights to continue as they seem to move up the rankings. Even late in his profession, he can still complete struggles.
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 among the top youthful light heavyweights from the UFC, but he’s still very much unproven. After viewing Teixeira come back from being down early and finish Roberson, I believe you have to prefer him to get the win against Cutelaba, although I really do think Cutelaba will be more competitive 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’d won three straight fights in the regional circuit prior to making his unfortunate UFC debut. Gutierrez (12-4-1) is coming off of a submission loss to Raoni Barcelos in his own UFC introduction but had won three straight fights on the regional circuit before that too. This looks like a really close fight and that I anticipate the opening number to be close a Pick’em given how even it looks on paper. I’d slightly lean towards Day to receive his hand raised, but it is very close.
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 previously set to meet in the TUF 28 Finale prior to the fight was scrapped. News of this rebooking stems 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 injuries. Taha (12-2) fell a choice to Nad Narimani in his UFC debut . Given Salmon’s long layoff, it is sensible to lean towards Taha here, however given that Taha is far from a top prospect, don’t be surprised is Salmon comes through and gets the win. I’d anticipate a close line in any event.
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