Welcome to the UFC Octagon: Newcomers Debuting in April 2017

Pearl GonzalezThe Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is always releasing fighters from their roster, but to balance things out, new fighters are consistently making their debuts from show to show. Look for MMAOddsBreaker’s Jay Primetown to cover these fighters in-depth in his Newcomer Breakdown series in the upcoming month. Let’s take a quick peak at the five newcomers scheduled to make their UFC debuts on the world’s biggest stage in April… Pearl Gonzalez Gonzalez will be making her UFC debut on short notice when she takes on undefeated Team Alpha Male product Cynthia Calvillo at UFC 210 in Buffalo next Saturday night, April 8th. This bout is a very quick turnaround for Calvillo, who is coming off a first-round rear-naked choke submission win over Amanda Cooper at UFC 209 earlier this month. For Gonzalez, she is coming off an extended layoff, so ring rust, combined with Octagon jitters could be a concern, especially considering the fact that she is making her Octagon debut on Pay-Per-View. Calvillo made her UFC debut on PPV as well when she faced Cooper. Her bout was promoted to the main card when Nurmagomedov vs. Ferguson fell off, so this will make back-to-back main card fights for Calvillo, and Gonzalez will get the chance to capitalize on the massive opportunity. Gonzalez lost a decision in her professional MMA debut but has gone on to build a six-fight winning streak that includes a third-round armbar submission of current UFC strawweight Cortney Casey to earn her UFC contract. Desmond Green The 27-year-old went 3-2 in Bellator and then 5-2 in Titan FC. A four-fight winning streak earned him a contact with the UFC, and the fact that the big show was coming to his backyard of Buffalo played a role in it. He will be facing undefeated lightweight prospect Josh Emmett, who trains out of Team Alpha Male in Sacramento and already enjoys two wins inside the Octagon, the most recent being a unanimous decision over Scott Holtzman back in December. Emmett is a tough debut opponent for anybody, but Green is confident he will get the victory in front of his home crowd, and he plans to do so by first-round knockout. Magomed Bibulatov The Chechnyan is an undefeated flyweight who owns seven of his 13 pro MMA victories by way of finish, five submissions and two via T/KO. He is a solid prospect at 125 pounds and is a fighter to keep an eye on in this division. He will be making his Octagon debut against Filipino fighter Jenel Lausa, who is coming off a unanimous-decision win over Yao Zhikhui in what was his promotional debut and enjoys a five-fight winning streak heading into this bout in Buffalo. Bibulatov has a tough task ahead of him, as Lausa is arguably the best striker he has yet to face, and for the Filipino, Bibulatov will arguably be the best grappler he has met, which makes this an intriguing matchup at 125 pounds. This bout will kick off the Fight Pass prelims for UFC 210 in Buffalo, and it is expected to do so on a high note. Tom Duquesnoy “Fire Kid” is a French fighter who trains out of the Jackson-Wink MMA camp in Albuquerque, NM and is undefeated in his last 11 bouts. The bantamweight fighter owns a 14-1 professional record, with the lone blemish coming in the featherweight division against current UFC 145-pound prospect Makwan Amirkhani. He has not tasted defeat since moving down to 135 pounds and will look to keep it that way against Arizona wrestling standout Patrick Williams at UFC on FOX 24 in Kansas City, MO on Saturday, April 15th. Williams has not seen action since UFC 188 nearly two years ago, where he defeated Alejandro Perez by first-round guillotine choke. Cindy Dandois The Belgian rides an impressive three-fight winning streak heading into her promotional debut, with all three victories coming by way of submission, though she submitted her opponent with strikes in her most recent outing. Welcoming her to the UFC will be the veteran Alexis Davis, who is coming off a second-round arm-triangle choke submission loss to Sara McMann. This Fight Pass preliminary card matchup is expected to be a barn burner in the UFC’s women’s bantamweight division. The pair will square off at UFC Fight Night 108 in Nashville on Saturday, April 22nd.

Written by Gabe Killian

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