Highlighting Recent UFC Fight Bookings (March 26, 2017)

UFCWe are heading into the fourth month of the year, and the UFC’s 2017 calendar continues to fill up. Here are my thoughts on some recently booked matchups… Fight: Krzysztof Jotko vs. David Branch Card: UFC 211 Where: Dallas, TX When: May 13, 2017 Thoughts: Branch is giving up his WSOF middleweight and light heavyweight titles to make his return to the UFC, and greeting him in the Octagon will be surging 185-pound Polish prospect Jotko, who is coming off the biggest win of his career, which was a unanimous decision over former title challenger Thales Leites. Branch is not getting an easy fight back to kick off his second stint with the promotion, and I expect this to be a tough bout for the New Yorker. I like both middleweights, so I am not particularly thrilled with this matchup, as it means one of them must suffer a loss and return to the drawing board. This is going to be a difficult matchup for both, and while I am not thrilled with the booking, I do think it will be a solid scrap at 185 pounds. Fight: Mark Hunt vs. Derrick Lewis Card: UFC Fight Night 110 Where: Auckland, New Zealand When: June 11, 2017 Thoughts: This is the matchup Lewis wanted following his second-round knockout of Travis Browne, and while Hunt ended up suffering a third-round KO at the knees of Alistair Overeem at UFC 209 earlier this month, the UFC has decided to still go ahead and make this rare “winner versus loser” heavyweight matchup. The fight will be in Hunt’s backyard of Auckland, New Zealand, so perhaps the promotion was desperate for a headliner. Hunt will appear to have his back against the wall going into this one, and normally I would be happy to see this fight, but I am afraid it may be too soon for Hunt to step back in the cage following that brutal knockout loss. I suppose it helps that there’s no athletic commission in Australia, otherwise I’m not sure if they would allow him to fight in the States just three months after being removed from consciousness. Fight: Ilir Latifi vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira Card: UFC Fight Night 112 Where: Oklahoma City, OK When: June 25, 2017 Thoughts: The matchup makes sense to me, I suppose, considering how razor thin the UFC’s light heavyweight division is right now. Both fighters are coming off T/KO defeats against the same man in Ryan Bader, no less. What does not make sense to me is this fight taking place in Oklahoma City instead of Sweden or Brazil. The only things that could make sense are if one (or both) of the fighters were not able to be ready by June 6th (UFC 212 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), or if neither fighter wanted to compete on enemy territory, so they agreed on neutral ground.

Written by Gabe Killian

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