There are a couple fascinating new spells which have been revealed for upcoming fight cards, and below are my initial reactions to those bouts in today’s MMA odds and ends.
Johnny Walker vs. Misha Cirkunov, UFC 235
An injury to Ovince Saint-Preux has knocked him out of his UFC 235 matchup against Misha Cirkunov, also filling in on short notice will be Johnny Walker. UFC 235 take place March 2 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. MMAFighting.com broke the news of this replacement matchup. Walker (16-3) looks like he might be the next big thing at 205lbs. The Brazilian is about an eight-fight win streak and is 2-0 at the UFC with back-to-back KOs over Justin Ledet and Khalil Rountree. He is a star in the making and this fight will give him the chance to beat a ranked fighter and jump in the division’s top-10. Cirkunov (14-4) is 5-1 at the UFC with all of his wins coming from stoppage, but he has been knocked out twice. Cirkunov was arguably the best prospect at the light heavyweight division at one point, but Walker is currently, and I would have to believe Walker will be a large favorite to win this battle.
Alejandro Perez vs. Cody Stamann, UFC 235
Because of an injury to Song Yadong, Alejandro Perez will take on Cody Stamann in UFC 235. Perez (21-6-1) is 7-1-1 in the UFC and beat Eddie Wineland in his final struggle. Stamann (17-2) is 3-1 in the UFC and is coming off of a submission reduction to Aljamain Sterling. Perez has an wonderful album but stylistically Stamann presents matchup problems for him. I think Perez will be the favorite as a result of his win series, but Stamann is very live here.
Luis Pena vs. Steven Peterson, UFC Fight Night 148
Featherweights Luis Pena and Steven Peterson will meet UFC Fight Night 148, taking place March 23 in Bridgestone Arena at Nashville, Tennessee. Rodney James broke the information. Pena (5-1) is 1-1 in the UFC and also lost a split decision to Michael Trizano his out time. Peterson (17-7) is currently 1-1 at the UFC as well and is coming from a split decision win over Matt Bessete. Close battle here between two guys who must find more consistency, but based on his popularity Pena will be the betting favorite in this one despite creating his 145lbs debut.
David Branch vs. Jack Hermansson, UFC on ESPN 2 Middleweights David Branch and Jack Hermansson are set to lock horns at UFC on ESPN 2, occurring March 30 in Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Branch (22-5) is 2-2 in his latest stint in the UFC but is coming off of a surprising KO loss to Jared Cannonier. Hermansson (18-4) is 5-2 in the Octagon and is coming off of back-to-back stoppage wins over Thales Leites and Gerald Meerschaert. Branch was on a great win series for a while but both knockout losses he has in the UFC worries me. I’d have to favor Hermansson within this one only according to his momentum and also the fact he is the younger and larger fighter in this matchup.
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