The official press conference was recently held for UFC 237, which takes place May 11 at Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The main event of the card was officially announced to be UFC women’s strawweight champion vs. Jessica Andrade, with a pair of co-main events featuring Jared Cannonier vs. Anderson Silva at middleweight and Alexander Volkanovski vs. Jose Aldo at featherweight. (As an aside, Aldo said he may be forced to pull out with injury, and Renato Moicano has been rumored as a replacement.) A couple new supporting fights were added to the card, and my initial thoughts on them are below.
Carlos Diego Ferreira vs. Francisco Trinaldo, UFC 237
An intriguing lightweight bout between Carlos Diego Ferreira and Francisco Trinaldo has been booked for UFC 237. MMAFighting.com broke the news. Ferreira (15-2) is 6-2 overall in the UFC and is riding an impressive four-fight win streak at the moment. That includes a decision win over Rustam Khabilov in his last fight that pushed him closer to the top-15 at 155lbs. Trinaldo (23-6) is 13-5 overall in the UFC and is coming off of a vicious TKO victory over Evan Dunham that knocked him into retirement. Though Trinaldo is 40, he’s proven time and time again he’s one of the best lightweights in the world, and he’s the perfect opponent to test where Ferreira is at right now. That being said, I think you have to favor Ferreira here given his recent win streak, and the opening line for this bout will be interesting to see.
Said Nurmagomedov vs. Raoni Barcelos, UFC 237
Bantamweights Said Nurmagomedov and Raoni Barcelos will meet at UFC 237. Gracie Mag broke the news. Nurmagomedov (13-1) is 2-0 in the UFC and is riding a seven-fight win streak overall including a knockout win over Ricardo Ramos in his last bout. Barcelos (13-1) is on a six-fight win streak and is 2-0 in the UFC as well with a submission win over Chris Gutierrez in his last fight, which looks even better after his recent victory over Ryan MacDonald. Both of these guys are promising young fighters and this is a great fight. I’d expect something near a Pick ’em line here, with perhaps a slight lean to Barcelos due to fighting in Brazil.
Warlley Alves vs. Sergio Moraes, UFC 237
An exciting welterweight bout between Warlley Alves and Sergio Moraes is also set for UFC 237. Alberto Mina was originally rumored as Alves’ opponent, but Moraes ultimately ended up getting the fight. Alves (12-3) is 6-2 in the UFC and is coming off of a surprising TKO loss to James Krause. He just hasn’t lived up to the hype following his win on TUF Brazil 3 and is likely in a must-win situation here. Moraes (14-4-1) is 8-3-1 overall in the UFC and recently had a two-fight win streak snapped by a decision loss to Anthony Rocco Martin. Both Alves and Moraes are solid fighters with holes in their game, but given the youth advantage for Alves I would expect him to be a small favorite here.
Kurt Holobaugh vs. Thiago Moises, UFC 237
And finally, featherweights Kurt Holobaugh and Thiago Moises will meet at this event. Holobaugh (17-6, 1 NC) has an overall record of 0-3 in the UFC, and is coming off of consecutive stoppage losses to Shane Burgos and Raoni Barcelos. Moises (11-3) was dominated in the grappling department by Beneil Dariush in his UFC debut, which snapped a two-fight win streak. Both these men are talented yet flawed fighters, and bettors can expect a Pick ’em type of line for this bout, with maybe a slight edge to Moises.