A number of new UFC bouts were announced over the weekend. Here they are, along with my initial thoughts on them.
Yair Rodriguez vs. Chan Sung Jung, UFC Fight Night 139
An injury to Frankie Edgar has forced Yair Rodriguez to step up on short notice to take on Chan Sung Jung at UFC Fight Night 139, which takes place November 10 at Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado. Rodriguez (10-2) is 6-1 in the UFC but hasn’t fought since a TKO loss to Frankie Edgar in May 2017. Jung (14-4) is 4-1 in the UFC and is coming off of a KO win over Dennis Bermudez, though that was back in February 2017. Both guys are coming off of long layoffs so it makes this fight pretty interesting. I see it as a close fight, but Rodriguez despite the short notice will likely be favored as Jung has never gotten the respect from bettors that he deserves.
Eric Shelton vs. Joseph Morales, UFC Fight Night 139
Also added to UFC Fight Night 139 is a flyweight bout between Eric Shelton and Joseph Morales. Nolan King of FloCombat broke the news. Shelton (11-5) is just 1-3 in the UFC and is coming off of a decision loss to Alex Perez. He is at a real risk of being released from the UFC with another loss. Morales (9-1) is 1-1 in the UFC but is coming off of a TKO loss to Deiveson Figueiredo. You have to fade Shelton at this point and Morales should be the favorite heading into this one.
Nad Narimani vs. Sergio Giglio, UFC Fight Night 140
Due to an injury to Enrique Barzola, featherweight Nad Narimani will now fight Sergio Giglio at UFC Fight Night 140, which goes down November 17 at Mary Teran de Weiss Stadium in Beunos Aries, Argentina. Trome reported the switch. Narimani (11-2) defeated Khalid Taha by decision in his UFC debut and is on a four-fight win streak. Giglio (12-0) is undefeated in his career and the 21-year-old Peruvian looks like a real prospect. I think even with the short notice you have to favor the younger, undefeated fighter in Giglio in this one.
Kevin Holland vs. John Phillips, UFC Fight Night 141
Middleweights Kevin Holland and John Phillips are set to clash at UFC Fight Night 141, which takes place November 25 at Cadillac Arena in Beijing, China. Holland (12-4) dropped a decision to Thiago Santos in his UFC debut on short notice but had won four straight bouts before that. Phillips (21-7, 1 NC) was submitted by Charles Byrd in his UFC debut but had won four straight fights by KO before that. This should be a banger of a fight, but I believe Holland is a bit more well-rounded and I would favor him to win this fight.
Jake Matthews vs. Tony Martin, UFC Fight Night 142
Welterweights Jake Matthews and Tony Martin will meet at UFC Fight Night 142, set for December 2 at Adelaide Entertainment Centre in Adelaide, Australia. News.com.au broke the news. Matthews (14-3) is 7-3 in the UFC and is currently riding a three-fight win streak since moving up to welterweight. Martin (14-4) is 6-4 in the UFC and is on a two-fight win streak since moving up in weight, with a KO win over Ryan LaFlare in his last fight. Both guys are very solid fighters but based on that win over LaFlare I would have to favor Martin to get the win here.
Andrei Arlovski vs. Walt Harris, UFC 232
And finally, a heavyweight bout between Andrei Arlovski and Walt Harris has been added to UFC 232, which goes down Saturday, December 29 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Arlovski (27-17, 1 NC) is 6-7 in his second stint in the UFC but has dropped back-to-back decisions to Tai Tuivasa and Shamil Abdurakhimov. Harris (11-7) is just 4-6 in the UFC but is coming off of a TKO win over Daniel Spitz. Both guys should be faded but Arlovski moreso considering how bad he’s looked lately. I’m expecting close odds for this fight, but would be interesting in Harris if he’s a sizeable dog.