A few new matchups have been revealed for upcoming fight cards, and I will 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, which was initially set to take place 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) could be 39-years old now but he showed age doesn’t mean anything to him when he completed the younger Karl Roberson in his last departure at UFC Fight Night 143. All-time Teixeira holds a 11-5 record in the Octagon and he may not be a real title contender anymore, he’s still a tough gatekeeper and the ideal test for climbing light heavyweights to continue as they seem to move up the ranks. Even late in his profession, he can still complete fights.
Cutelaba (14-3, 1 NC) is 3-2 at the UFC and is coming off of back-to-back knockout wins over Gadzhimurad Antigulov and Henrique da Silva. Just 25, Cutelaba is among the top youthful light heavyweights from the UFC, but he’s still very much unproven. After seeing Teixeira return from being down early and complete Roberson, I believe you have to favor him to get the win from 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 match UFC Fight Night 148 (UFC on ESPN+ 6), which takes place March 23 at Bridgestone Arena in 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 before making his ill-fated UFC debut. Gutierrez (12-4-1) is coming off of a submission loss to Raoni Barcelos in his own UFC debut but had won three straight fights in 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 looks on paper. I had slightly lean towards Day to get his hand raised, but it’s very near.
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 in the TUF 28 Finale before the battle was scrapped. News of this rebooking stems from Shawn Bitter. Salmon (6-1) picked up a decision win over Ricky Turcios on the Contender Series back in July 2017 but has not fought because due to injuries. Taha (12-2) dropped a decision to Nad Narimani in his UFC debut last summer. Given Salmon’s extended 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 expect a close line in any event.
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