A few new matchups have been shown for upcoming fight cards, and I’ll give my thoughts on these brand new matchups in today’s 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 happen 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 news. Teixeira (28-7) could be 39-years old now but he revealed age does not mean anything when he finished the younger Karl Roberson in his final bout at UFC Fight Night 143. All-time Teixeira holds a 11-5 record at the Octagon and he might not be a real title competitor, he is still a challenging gatekeeper and the ideal test for rising light heavyweights to continue as they look to move up the ranks. Even late in his profession, he could still finish 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 top youthful light heavyweights from the UFC, but he’s still very much unproven. After viewing Teixeira return from being down early and finish Roberson, I believe you need to prefer him here to get the win from Cutelaba, although I 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 meet UFC Fight Night 148 (UFC on ESPN+ 6), which takes place March 23 at Bridgestone Arena at Nashville, Tennessee. Day (8-3) suffered a split decision loss to Pingyuan Liu in his UFC debut but had won three straight struggles on the regional circuit before making his unfortunate UFC debut. Gutierrez (12-4-1) is coming off of a submission reduction to Raoni Barcelos in his own UFC introduction but’d won three straight fights in the regional circuit prior to that too. This looks like a really close fight and that I expect the opening number to be close a Pick’em given how much it seems on paper. I had slightly lean towards dawn to get his hands raised, but it is very close.
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 at the TUF 28 Finale prior to the fight was scrapped. News of the rebooking comes from Shawn Bitter. Salmon (6-1) picked up a decision win over Ricky Turcios on the Contender Series back in July 2017 but hasn’t fought because due to injuries. Taha (12-2) fell a decision to Nad Narimani in his UFC debut last summer. Given Salmon’s extended layoff, it is sensible to slightly lean towards Taha here, but given that Taha is far from a top potential, but don’t be surprised is Salmon comes through and gets the win. I’d expect a close line in any event.
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