There are a few intriguing new bouts which have been shown for upcoming fight cards, and below are my first reactions to those bouts in today’s MMA odds and ends.
Johnny Walker vs. Misha Cirkunov, UFC 235
An accident to Ovince Saint-Preux has knocked him from the UFC 235 matchup from 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) seems like he is the upcoming huge thing at 205lbs. The Brazilian is on an eight-fight win streak and is 2-0 in the UFC with back-to-back KOs over Justin Ledet and Khalil Rountree. He’s a star in the making and this battle will give him the opportunity to beat a ranked fighter and jump into the division’s top-10. Cirkunov (14-4) is 5-1 in the UFC with all of 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 stage, but Walker is currently, and I would need to believe Walker will be a big favorite to win this fight.
Alejandro Perez vs. Cody Stamann, UFC 235
Because of an accident to Song Yadong, Alejandro Perez will now take on Cody Stamann at 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 at the UFC and is coming from a submission loss to Aljamain Sterling. Perez has an awesome album but stylistically Stamann presents matchup problems for him. I believe Perez will be the favorite as a result of his win series, 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 in 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 too and is coming from a split decision win over Matt Bessete. Close fight here between two men who must find more consistency, but depending on his popularity Pena will be the betting favorite in this one despite making 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 two, 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 from back-to-back stoppage wins over Thales Leites and Gerald Meerschaert. Branch was on a fantastic win series for some time but both knockout losses he has from the UFC worries me. I’d have to favor Hermansson in this one only based on his momentum as well as the fact he’s the younger and larger fighter in this matchup.
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