The UFC recently demonstrated the initial lineup for UFC on ESPN 3, which takes place April 27 at BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida. The rumored primary event between middleweight sluggers Yoel Romero and Paulo Costa wasn’t officially announced, but the UFC did affirm a previously-reported light heavyweight bout between Glover Teixeira and Ion Cutelaba, in addition to a bantamweight bout between John Lineker and Cory Sandhagen. You can locate my recently-posted thoughts on these bouts via the hyperlinks. As for my ideas on the other newly-announced bouts, you can read them under.
Carla Esparza vs. Livia Renato Souza, UFC on ESPN 3
The most notable of the new matchups declared is a women’s strawweight bout between Carla Esparza and Livia Renata Souza. Esparza (13-6) is 4-4 in the UFC and is a former winner, but she is coming off of a beatdown TKO loss to Tatiana Suarez. Souza (13-1) is currently 2-0 at the UFC and is a former Invicta winner himself, now riding a four-fight win streak in general. This is a winnable struggle for Esparza but that I don’t understand how anyone can have faith in her at this point. She is a small favorite here, but all the upside down is with Souza.
Andrei Arlovski vs. Augusto Sakai, UFC on ESPN 3
Heavyweights Andrei Arlovski and Augusto Sakai will meet on this card. Arlovski (27-18, 1 NC) is 6-8 in his latest stint at the UFC and is now riding a three-fight losing skid with a choice loss to Walt Harris his last time out. Sakai (12-1-1) is coming from a TKO win over Chase Sherman in his UFC debut and can be about a three-fight win series overall. Arlovski is an easy fade at this stage and I expect Sakai to wager a solid favorite here.
Jim Miller vs. Jason Gonzalez, UFC on ESPN 3
Lightweights Jim Miller and Jason Gonzalez are set to do battle. Miller (29-13, 1 NC) is 18-12, 1 NC all time from the UFC but has fallen on hard times as of late with reductions in five of his last six bouts. Gonzalez (11-4) is only 1-2 in the UFC and has been finished in his losses. Miller is going to be the favored here based on name worth but I do not know whether you can trust him at this point.
Dhiego Lima vs. Court McGee, UFC on ESPN 3
There is also a welterweight bout between Dhiego Lima and Court McGee. Lima (13-7) is only 2-6 in the UFC but is coming from a brutal KO win over Chad Laprise in UFC 231. McGee (19-7) is 8-6 at the UFC and defeated Alex Garcia via conclusion in his last struggle. I could see this one going either way, either Lima tests McGee’s fading chin or McGee takes down him and smothers him. Look for a close betting line here, with maybe a small lean to McGee.
Jessica Penne vs. Jodie Esquibel, UFC on ESPN 3
And lastly, women’s strawweights Jessica Penne and Jodie Esquibel have been re-booked for this particular occasion as their bout at UFC on ESPN 1 recently fell through after Penne hurt her ankle in warmups. Clearly, it wasn’t a super-serious injury as she is going to be fighting just over a month later. Penne was a small favorite before the struggle was pulled only hours before it was scheduled to occur, and I would assume the new line is going to be put right where it left off.
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