A couple new matchups have been shown for upcoming battle 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, 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 now but he revealed age does not mean anything to him when he finished the younger Karl Roberson in his final bout at UFC Fight Night 143. All-time Teixeira holds a 11-5 record in the Octagon and although he might not be a true title contender anymore, he’s still a tough gatekeeper and the perfect test for rising light heavyweights to take on as they seem to move up the ranks. Even late in his career, he can still complete struggles.
Cutelaba (14-3, 1 NC) is 3-2 at the UFC and is coming from back-to-back knockout wins over Gadzhimurad Antigulov and Henrique da Silva. Just 25, Cutelaba is among the greatest 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 need 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 match at UFC Fight Night 148 (UFC on ESPN+ 6), which takes place March 23 in 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 struggles 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 within his own UFC introduction but’d won three straight struggles in the regional circuit prior to that too. This looks like a really close fight and that I expect the opening amount to be close a Select’em given how even it looks on paper. I had slightly lean towards dawn to receive his hand raised, but it’s very near.
Boston Salmon vs. Khalid Taha, UFC 236
Bantamweights Boston Salmon and Khalid Taha will fulfill 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 this 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 hasn’t fought because due to injuries. Taha (12-2) dropped a choice to Nad Narimani in his UFC debut . Given Salmon’s extended layoff, it is sensible to slightly lean towards Taha here, but 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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