A few new matchups are revealed for upcoming battle cards, and I’ll give my thoughts on those 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 happen back in 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 doesn’t mean anything when he finished the younger Karl Roberson in his last departure at UFC Fight Night 143. All-time Teixeira retains a 11-5 record at the Octagon and although he might not be a true title competitor, he’s still a challenging gatekeeper and the perfect test for climbing light heavyweights to continue as they seem to move up the ranks. Even late in his career, he could still complete 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. Just 25, Cutelaba is among the top youthful light heavyweights in the UFC, but he is still very much unproven. After viewing Teixeira return from being down early and finish Roberson, I believe you have to prefer him here to get the win from Cutelaba, though I 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 match 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’d won three straight struggles on the regional circuit prior to making his unfortunate UFC debut. Gutierrez (12-4-1) is coming off of a submission reduction to Raoni Barcelos in his own UFC debut but had won three straight struggles on the regional circuit before that too. This looks like a very close fight and I anticipate the opening number to be close a Pick’em given how even it seems on paper. I’d slightly lean towards Day to get his hand raised, but it is very close.
Boston Salmon vs. Khalid Taha, UFC 236
Bantamweights Boston Salmon and Khalid Taha will meet UFC 236, taking place April 13 at an undisclosed venue (rumored to be in Las Vegas, Nevada). These two were previously set to meet at the TUF 28 Finale before the fight was scrapped. News of this 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 hasn’t fought because due to injuries. Taha (12-2) dropped a decision to Nad Narimani in his UFC debut . Given Salmon’s extended 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 would anticipate a close line either way.
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