The upcoming UFC China and UFC Australia cards have had some notable bouts added to them, and I’ll give my thoughts on these new matchups in today’s MMA odds and ends.
Alistair Overeem vs. Sergey Pavlovich, UFC Fight Night 140
A heavyweight matchup between Alistair Overeem and Sergey Pavlovich is being targeted for UFC Fight Night 140, which takes place Sunday, November 25 at Cadillac Arena in Beijing, China. MMA journalist Farah Hannoun broke the news. Overeem (47-13, 1 NC) is 8-6 in the UFC and coming off of two consecutive brutal KO losses to Curtis Blaydes and Francis Ngannou. Pavlovich (12-0) is making his UFC debut after nine knockouts on the Russian regional circuit. Not much is known about Pavlovich but he has shown a lot of KO power and Overeem’s chin is always a risk. I’d still favor Overeem to win and I expect him to be the betting favorite but I don’t think I would want to put money on him here.
Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos vs. Li Jingliang, UFC Fight Night 140
An exciting welterweight matchup between Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos and Li Jingliang is official for UFC Fight Night 140. Dos Santos (20-5) is 6-1 in the UFC and coming off of back-to-back KO wins over Sean Strickland and Luigi Vendramini. Jingliang (15-5) is 7-3 in the UFC and coming off of a decision win over Daichi Abe. I like Jingliang but this is a difficult matchup for him against a stud in Dos Santos, who should be a monster favorite to win this fight.
Kenan Song vs. Alex Morono, UFC Fight Night 140
A welterweight bout bween Kenan Song and Alex Morono is also official for UFC Fight Night 140. Song (13-3) is 2-1 so far in the UFC and has won back-to-back fights over Bobby Nash and Hector Aldana via TKO. Morono (14-5, 1 NC) is 3-2, 1 NC in the UFC and dropped a decision to Jordan Mein in his last bout. Morono has been very disappointing lately and based on Song’s first couple of performances in the UFC it’s hard to go against him here.
Keita Nakamura vs. Salim Touahri, UFC Fight Night 141
A welterweight bout between Keita Nakamura and Salim Touahri is official for UFC Fight Night 141, which goes down Sunday, December 2 at Adelaide Entertainment Centre in Adelaide, Australia. Nakamura (33-9-2, 1 NC) is 3-3 in his most recent stint in the UFC, though he is coming off of a decision loss to Tony Martin. He is one of the most experienced welterweights in the UFC and has 23 wins by stoppage in his career. Touahri (10-2) lost a decision to Warlley Alves in his UFC debut which snapped a five-fight win streak. Nakamura is the far more experienced and proven fighter and deserves to be a favorite in this bout.
Geoff Neal vs. Luke Jumeau, UFC Fight Night 141
Also added to UFC Fight Night 141 is a welterweight bout between Geoff Neal and Luke Jumeau. Stuff.co.nz broke the news. Neal (10-2) is 2-0 so far in the UFC with stoppage wins over Frank Camacho and Brian Camozzi and he has won eight of his last nine fights overall. Jumeau (13-4) is 2-1 so far in the UFC and is coming off of a decision win over Daichi Abe. Although Jumeau will have homefield advantage for this bout I can’t see him winning. Neal deserves to be a huge favorite here based on his UFC run so far.