A number of new matchups for upcomng UFC cards have been revealed, and I’ll give my initial takes on all of them in today’s MMA odds and ends.
Lyman Good vs. Ben Saunders, UFC 230
Welterweights Lyman Good and Ben Saunders will now meet at UFC 230 due to an injury to Sultan Aliev, who Saunders is filling in for on short notice. UFC 230 takes place Saturday, November 3 at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York. Good (19-4, 1 NC) is just 1-1 in the UFC and has struggled to stay healthy as he’s competed just twice since 2015. In his last fight, Good lost a split decision to Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos. Saunders (22-10-2) is 2-3 in his most recent stint in the UFC and was submitted for the first time in his MMA career by Sergio Moraes in his last fight. Saunders has had a nice career but he appears to be on the downside, and so even though he hasn’t been very active I would still lean towards Good here.
Mark De La Rosa vs. Jordan Espinosa, UFC Fight Night 139
Bantamweights Mark De La Rosa and Jordan Espinosa will clash at UFC Fight Night 139, which takes place Saturday, November 10 at Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado. De La Rosa (10-1) is 1-1 in the UFC and defeated Elias Garcia via submission in his last fight. Espinosa (13-5, 1 NC) was signed to the UFC after scoring a KO win on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series and overall he’s won his last four fights in a row. This should be a good fight between prospects but I’d slightly lean De La Rosa due to his UFC experience.
Ross Pearson vs. Joe Duffy, UFC Fight Night 142
Veteran lightweights Ross Pearson and Joe Duffy will meet at UFC Fight Night 142, which is set for Sunday, December 2 at Adelaide Entertainment Centre in Adelaide, Australia. Damon Martin of MMANytt.com broke the news. Pearson (20-15, 1 NC) has only one win in his last six fights and dropped a decision to John Makdessi in his last outing. He won “Fight of the Night” for that outing and that might be the only reason he’s still in the UFC. Duffy (17-3) is 4-2 in the UFC but was knocked out by James Vick in his last fight. At this point you have to fade Pearson and I’d peg Duffy as a big favorite in this fight.
Renato Moicano vs. Mirsad Bektic, UFC 231
An intriguing featherweight bout between Renato Moicano and Mirsad Bektic is set for UFC 231, which goes down Saturday, December 8 at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Combate broke the news. Moicano (13-1-1) is 5-2 overall in the UFC and has won back-to-back fights over Calvin Kattar and Cub Swanson to emerge as a serious featherwight title contender. Bektic (13-1) is 6-1 in the UFC and beat Ricardo Lamas and Godofredo Pepey in his last two fights after his lone career loss to Darren Elkins. Both guys are excellent young featherweights, but I have been more impressed with Moicano. I think he has less holes in his game and is more dangerous with his striking and I’d favor him to win this fight.
Gunnar Nelson vs. Alex Oliveira, UFC 231
Also added to UFC 231 is a welterweight bout between Gunnar Nelson and Alex Oliviera, according to Brett Okamoto of ESPN. Nelson (16-3-1) is just 7-3 overall in the UFC and has never lived up to the expectations placed on him when he first got into the Octagon. He hasn’t fought in over a year since being KOed by Santiago Ponzinibbio. Oliviera (19-5-1, 2 NC) is 9-3, 1 NC in the UFC and is coming off of consecutive finishes over Carlos Condit and Carlo Pedersoli Jr. Based on Oliveira’s activity level you have to favor him to win this contest.