UFC matchmakers Sean Shelby and Mick Maynard have been very busy less than two weeks into 2019. The UFC continued its recent run of fight reveals over the weekend, and the new bouts are listed below along with my first thoughts on them.
Glover Teixeira vs. Karl Roberson, UFC on ESPN+ 1 (UFC FN 144)
Due to an injury to Ion Cutelaba, Karl Roberson has agreed to move up a weight class on short notice to fight Glover Teixeira at UFC on ESPN+ 1, taking place this Saturday at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Teixeira (27-7) is 10-5 in the UFC and most recently dropped a decision to Corey Anderson. Roberson (7-1) is 2-1 in the UFC and is coming off of a decision win over Jack Marshman. This is a pretty intriguing matchup considering Teixeira’s experience and Roberson as a total wildcard at light heavyweight. The oddsmakers opened Roberson as a -115 favorite and Teixeira as a -105 underdog.
Cory Sandhagen vs. Mario Bautista, UFC on ESPN+ 1
An injury to John Lineker knocked him out of his fight against Cory Sandhagen at UFC on ESPN+ 1, and newcomer Mario Bautista has agreed to step up on short notice. Sandhagen (9-1) is 2-0 in the UFC. Bautista (6-0) is an undefeated prospect out of the MMA Lab. Bautista is interesting as a prospect, but Sandhagen opened as a -475 favorite with the comeback on Bautista at +325.
Chance Rencountre vs. Dwight Grant, UFC on ESPN+ 1
An injury to Randy Brown has left Chance Rencountre with short-notice replacement Dwight Grant as his opponent in a welterweight contest at UFC on ESPN+ 1. Rencountre (12-3) dropped a decision to Belal Muhammad in his UFC debut while Grant (8-2) is 1-1 in the UFC and is coming off of a split decision loss to Zak Ottow. The oddsmakers opened Grant as a -195 favorite with the comeback on Rencountre at +155. UPDATE: Grant is out of the fight and has been replaced by Kyle Stewart.
Alex Gorgees vs. Jalin Turner, UFC 234
Lightweights Alex Gorgees and Jalin Turner will meet at UFC 234, taking place February 10 at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, Australia. MMA Today broke the news. Gorgees (6-1) dropped a decision to Damir Ismagulov in his UFC debut, while Turner (7-4) was knocked out by Vincente Luque in his UFC debut. Flip a coin here between two guys who probably aren’t UFC-caliber fighters.
John Dodson vs. Petr Yan, UFC Fight Night 145
Bantmaweight conteners John Dodson and Petr Yan are set to go to war at UFC Fight Night 145, going take February 23 at The O2 Arena in Prague, Czech Republic. ESPN broke the news. Dodson (20-10) is 10-5 in the UFC and is coming off of a decision loss to Jimmie Rivera. Yan (11-1) is 3-0 in the UFC and just defeated Douglas Silva de Andrade via TKO. Give me Yan in this one, and given all the hype behind him, I expect him to be heavily favored.
Daniel Teymur vs. Chris Fishgold, UFC Fight Night 145
Featherweights Daniel Teymur and Chris Fishgold are set to clash at UFC Fight Night 145. Teymur (6-2) is 0-2 in the UFC while Fishgold (17-2-1) is 0-1 in the Octagon. Another coin flip fight, though Teymur has the hot last name going for him.
Thomas Almeida vs. Marlon Vera, UFC 235
An exciting bantamweight clash between Thomas Almeida and Marlon is set for UFC 235, taking place March 2 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. FloCombat broke the news. Almeida (21-3) is 5-3 in the UFC. At one point in time many (including msyself) thought he was a future champion, but he’s lost three of his last four fights and his chin has not held up well. Vera (12-5-1) is 6-4 in the UFC and is coming off of a submission win over Guido Cannetti. At this point you have to favor Vera to win this fight.