UFC Prague (UFC Fight Night 145) is set to take place February 23 at The O2 Arena in the capital city of the Czech Republic. The main event of the card is a light heavyweight bout between Thiago Santos and Jan Blachowicz, and now the UFC is starting to fill the card out by announcing all of the preliminary bouts. Four new prelims have been revealed for the card (in addition to those mention in previous posts here), and here are my thoughts on the new bouts in today’s MMA odds and ends.
Veronica Macedo vs. Gillian Robertson, UFC Fight Night 145
The first new bout of mention is a women’s flyweight matchup between Veronica Macedo and Gillian Robertson. Nolan King of FloCombat broke the new. Macedo (5-2-1) is 0-2 in the UFC but put up a spirited effort in a decision loss to Andrea Lee that won her a share of “Fight of the Night.” Robertson (5-3) is 2-1 in the UFC, with all of her fights ending in submission win or lose. Both women are in dire need of a victory, and this fight could go either way. I would slightly lean towards Robertson because she has fought a higher level of competition, but it’s close.
Carlo Pedersoli Jr. vs. Dwight Grant, UFC Fight Night 145
Then we have a welterweight bout between Carlo Pedersoli Jr. and Dwight Grant. Sherdog broke the news. Pedersoli Jr. (11-2) opened his UFC career with a split decision win over Brad Scott but suffered a quick KO loss to Alex Oliveira his last time out. Grant (8-2) is coming off of a split decision loss to Zak Ottow in his last fight. Both guys have a lot to prove but I think Pedersoli Jr. is a better fighter based on what we’ve seen in the UFC and Cage Warriors and I would favor him here.
Magomed Ankalaev vs. Klidson Farias de Abreu, UFC Fight Night 145
After a couple other opponents fell through, Magomed Ankalaev will return to the Octagon against UFC newcomer Klidson Farias de Abreu. Ankalaev (9-1) suffered a devastating submission loss to Paul Craig in his UFC debut but bounced back nicely with a TKO win over Marcin Prachnio in his last fight. Abreu (14-2) is riding a six-fight win streak into this contest and all 16 of his wins have ended inside the distance. I wouldn’t feel comfortable laying huge juice on Ankalaev after what happened in the Craig fight, but on paper he should have the advantage in this one. Having said that, if Abreu is a massive underdog like Craig was, maybe he could be worth taking a flier on.
Damir Ismagulov vs. Joel Alvarez, UFC Fight Night 145
And finally added to the card is a welterweight bout between Damir Ismagulov and Joel Alvarez. MMADNA broke the news. Ismagulov (17-2) is riding a 12-fight win streak and won a decision over Alex Gorgees in his UFC debut. Alvarez (15-1) is a veteran of the Spanish regional scene and has finished all 15 of his professional victories. Alvarez looks like a solid prospect but Ismagulov is on a whole other level and I would peg him as a big favorite to win this fight.