There are a couple fascinating new spells which have been revealed for upcoming fight cards, and here are my initial 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 out of the UFC 235 matchup against Misha Cirkunov, and 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 this replacement matchup. Walker (16-3) seems like he is the next huge thing in 205lbs. The Brazilian is about an eight-fight win streak and is 2-0 at 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 prospect in the light heavyweight division at the same point, but Walker is now, and I would need to believe Walker will be a large favorite to win this fight.
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 final struggle. Stamann (17-2) is 3-1 in the UFC and is coming from a submission loss to Aljamain Sterling. Perez has an wonderful album but stylistically Stamann poses matchup problems for him. I believe Perez will be the favorite as a result of his win streak, however, Stamann is very 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 in Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee. Rodney James broke the news. Pena (5-1) is 1-1 in the UFC and lost a split decision to Michael Trizano his last time out. Peterson (17-7) is 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 must find more consistency, but depending on his popularity Pena will surely 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 at UFC on ESPN 2, occurring March 30 in Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Branch (22-5) is 2-2 in his most recent stint at the UFC but is coming from a sudden KO loss to Jared Cannonier. Hermansson (18-4) is 5-2 at the Octagon and is coming off of 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 from the UFC concerns me. I would have to prefer Hermansson in this one only according to his momentum and also the fact he is the younger and bigger fighter in this matchup.
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