A couple new matchups are revealed for upcoming battle cards, and I will present my thoughts on these 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 originally set to happen 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 today but he showed age does not mean anything to him when he finished the younger Karl Roberson in his final departure at UFC Fight Night 143. All-time Teixeira retains a 11-5 record at the Octagon and he might not be a true title competitor, he’s still a challenging gatekeeper and the perfect test for rising light heavyweights to continue as they seem to move up the rankings. Even late in his career, he could still complete struggles.
Cutelaba (14-3, 1 NC) is 3-2 in the UFC and is coming off of back-to-back knockout wins over Gadzhimurad Antigulov and Henrique da Silva. Only 25, Cutelaba is among the greatest young light heavyweights in the UFC, but he’s still very much unproven. After seeing Teixeira return from being down early and finish Roberson, I think you have to prefer him to get the win against Cutelaba, although I really 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 at UFC Fight Night 148 (UFC on ESPN+ 6), which takes place March 23 at 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 on the regional circuit before 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 had won three straight fights in the regional circuit before that as well. This looks like a very close fight and that I anticipate the opening number to be near a Pick’em given how even it seems on paper. I had slightly lean towards dawn to receive his hands raised, but it is 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 set to meet at the TUF 28 Finale prior to the fight was scrapped. News of the rebooking comes from Shawn Bitter. Steak (6-1) picked up a decision win over Ricky Turcios on the Contender Series back in July 2017 but hasn’t fought since due to injuries. Taha (12-2) fell a decision to Nad Narimani in his UFC debut last summer. Given Salmon’s long layoff, it is sensible to lean towards Taha here, however given that Taha is far from a top potential, but don’t be surprised is Salmon comes through and gets the win. I would anticipate a close line either way.
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