There are a couple fascinating new spells which have been shown 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 the UFC 235 matchup against Misha Cirkunov, also filling in on short notice will be Johnny Walker. UFC 235 occur March 2 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. MMAFighting.com broke the news of the replacement matchup. Walker (16-3) looks like he might be the next huge thing in 205lbs. The Brazilian is about an eight-fight win series and is 2-0 at the UFC with back-to-back KOs over Justin Ledet and Khalil Rountree. He’s a superstar in the making and this battle will give him the chance to beat a ranked fighter and jump in the division’s top-10. Cirkunov (14-4) is 5-1 in the UFC with all his wins coming by stoppage, but he has been knocked out twice. Cirkunov was arguably the best potential at the light heavyweight division at one point, but Walker is now, and I would need to think Walker will be a large favorite to win this battle.
Alejandro Perez vs. Cody Stamann, UFC 235
Due to an accident to Song Yadong, Alejandro Perez will now take on Cody Stamann in UFC 235. Perez (21-6-1) is 7-1-1 in the UFC and beat Eddie Wineland in his last fight. Stamann (17-2) is currently 3-1 at the UFC and is coming from a submission reduction to Aljamain Sterling. Perez has an wonderful album but stylistically Stamann poses matchup problems for him. I think Perez will be the favorite due to his win streak, but Stamann is quite live here.
Luis Pena vs. Steven Peterson, UFC Fight Night 148
Featherweights Luis Pena and Steven Peterson will meet at UFC Fight Night 148, taking place March 23 at Bridgestone Arena at Nashville, Tennessee. Rodney James broke the news. Pena (5-1) is 1-1 at the UFC and lost a split decision to Michael Trizano his out time. Peterson (17-7) is currently 1-1 in the UFC too and is coming off of a split decision win over Matt Bessete. Close fight here between two guys who need to find some more consistency, but depending on his popularity Pena will be the betting favorite in this one despite creating his 145lbs introduction.
David Branch vs. Jack Hermansson, UFC on ESPN 2 Middleweights David Branch and Jack Hermansson are set to lock horns in 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 from a surprising KO loss to Jared Cannonier. Hermansson (18-4) is 5-2 in the Octagon and is coming from back-to-back stoppage wins over Thales Leites and Gerald Meerschaert. Branch was on a great win series for some time but both knockout losses he has in the UFC worries me. I would have to favor Hermansson in this one just based on his momentum as well as the fact he is the younger and larger fighter in this matchup.
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