The UFC continued to announce a number of fresh bouts for its forthcoming cards. Here are the new matchups, together with my initial thoughts on them.
David Teymur vs. Charles Oliveira, UFC Fight Night 144
Lightweights David Teymur and Charles Oliveira will struggle at UFC Fight Night 144, taking place February 2 at Centro de Forma????o Ol??mpica do Nordeste in Fortaleza, Brazil. Teymur (8-1) is 5-0 in the UFC and in his final outing defeated Nik Lentz. He’s had trouble getting opponents to fight him, as he’s super dangerous but not ranked in the top-15. Oliveira (25-8, 1 NC) is 13-8, 1 NC in the UFC and is coming from a three-fight win series, including a submission win over Jim Miller in his last struggle. As good as Oliveira is on the floor, this resembles the sort of matchup that is kryptonite for him against a much-better striker in Teymur who also has exceptional takedown defense. For that reason, I’d really favor Teymur inside this fight.
Junior Albini vs. Jairzinho Rozenstruik, UFC Fight Night 144
Due to an injury to Dmitry Sosnovskiy, Junior Albini will take on short-notice replacement Jarizinho Rozenstruik in UFC Fight Night 144. DWT broke the news. Albini (14-4) is 1-2 in the UFC and lost to Aleksiy Oleinik through Ezekiel choke in his last struggle. Rozenstruik (6-0) has won five of his fights by strikes except for his one look at RIZIN, which he won a decision in. Most bettors will look to fade Albini, however it is hard to say if this is the ideal spot to fade him as Rozenstruik is quite unproven against a decent level of competition.
Rani Yahya vs. Ricky Simon, UFC 234
Bantamweights Rani Yahya and Ricky Simon are set to battle UFC 234, occurring February 10 in Rod Laver Arena at Melbourne, Australia. Combate broke the information. Yahya (26-9, 1 NC) is 11-3, 1 NC in the UFC and has won seven of his last eight fights overall. He is a really underrated fighter and using a win here should land a top-10 opponent. Simon (14-1) is 2-0 in the UFC and is riding a seven-fight win streak overall. Yahya has all of the experience but Simon has lots of upside and I’d rather go with the younger fighter inside this spot.
Sam Alvey vs. Gadzhimurad Antigulov, UFC Fight Night 145
Light heavyweight action between Sam Alvey and Gadzhimurad Antigulov will take place at UFC Fight Night 145, on February 23 in O2 Arena in Prague, Czech Republic. Igor Lazorin broke the news. Alvey (33-11, 1 NC) is 10-6 at the UFC and was recently knocked out by Antonio Rogerio Nogueria. Antigulov (20-5) is 2-1 in the UFC but endured a KO loss to Ion Cutelaba in his final struggle. This should be a real banger of a fight but I need to fade Alvey inside this area and go with Antigulov, although I’m expecting a close line in any event.
Cezar Ferreira vs. Tom Breese, UFC Fight Night 147
Due to an injury to Alessio di Chirico, Cezar Ferreira has stepped up to combat Tom Breese in UFC Fight Night 147, which takes place March 16 in the O2 Arena in London, England. Ferreira (13-7) is 9-5 overall in the UFC but is coming off of a disappointing conclusion loss to Ian Heinisch. Breese (11-1) is 4-1 in the UFC and blasted Dan Kelly in his UFC middleweight debut. Ferreira is a solid fighter but I don’t trust his brow against a powerful puncher like Breese, who I hope to be greatly favored within his home country.
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