A number of new bouts have been added to the upcoming UFC Fight Night 140 card, which goes down Saturday, November 17 at Estadio Mary Teran de Weiss in Beunos Aries, Argentina, and I’ll give my thoughts on these new matchups in today’s MMA odds and ends.
Darren Elkins vs. Ricardo Lamas, UFC Fight Night 140
The UFC announced the co-main event will be a featheweight bout between Darren Elkins and Ricardo Lamas. Elkins (24-6) is one of the most underrated fighters in the UFC and prior to losing a decision to Alexander Volkanovski in his last fight he had won six straight fights at 145lbs. Lamas (18-7) has had a solid career in the UFC but has really fallen off lately as he’s dropped his last two bouts to Mirsad Bektic and Josh Emmett. His chin hasn’t held up at the later stage of his MMA career which is always a red flag. At this point I think you need to fade Lamas and I think Elkins can outwork him and grind out a decision.
Ulka Sasaki vs. Aleandre Pantoja, UFC Fight Night 140
Also added to UFC Argentina is a flyweight bout between Ulka Sasaki and Alexandre Pantoja. Combate broke the news of the bout first. Sasaki (21-5-1) is 4-4 overall in the UFC, though it’s been a tale of two fighters with him. All four of Sasaki’s wins have come by rear-naked choke, so when he wins he often looks really impressive. But he’s been finished in three of his losses, and hasn’t proven to be much more than a gatekeeper at this point. Pantoja (19-3) was a standout on TUF 24 and has since gone on to achieve a 3-1 record in the UFC with a decision win over Brandon Moreno in his last fight. Pantoja has just looked like a more solid fighter in the UFC and should be favored to win this bout as he’s the more well-rounded fighter of the two despite Sasaki’s dangerous submission skills.
Austin Arnett vs. Humberto Bandenay, UFC Fight Night 140
Also added to the card is a featherweight matchup between Austin Arnett and Humberto Bandenay. MMAFusion broke the news. Arnett (15-5) is 0-2 in the UFC and is 0-3 in his last three bouts dating back to his stint on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series. Losses to quality fighters like Brandon Davis, Hakeem Dawodu and Cory Sandhagen aren’t terrible, but the fact remains he has not won a fight in the UFC yet. Bandenay (14-5, 1 NC) knocked out Martin Bravo in devastating fashion in his UFC debut but he suffered a brutal slam KO loss to Gabriel Benitez earlier this year. There are a lot of question marks about both guys, but at least we have seen Bandenay finish a fight in the UFC, let alone win one. I think Arnett has to be faded here and I’d favor Bandenay to get the win, especially with the fight taking place close to his native Peru.
Laureano Staropoli vs. Hector Aldana, UFC Fight Night 140
And finally, there’s a welterweright bout between UFC newcomer Laureano Staropoli and Hector Aldana that will take place at this event. MMADNA had the news first. Staropoli (7-1) has finished all seven of his wins and at 25 years of age the Argentinian looks like someone the UFC can market in South America as a young, exciting talent. Ast the same time, Staropoli is very unproven and hasn’t fought a high level of competition, so we should be careful to hype him up too much, but he looks like he has some potential at least. Aldana (4-1) on the other hand was knocked out by Kenan Song in his UFC debut earlier this year after not having competed in a pro bout since 2013. Aldana has not impressed me and he barely fights as he has one pro bout in the last five years. I’d have to favor Staropoli just as a straight fade here on Aldana.