A trio of new women’s bouts have been announced for upcoming events. Here are the fights, along with my initial thoughts on them.
Emily Whitmire vs. Amanda Ribas, UFC on ESPN 3
An intriguing women’s strawweight bout between Emily Whitmire and Amanda Ribas has been scheduled for UFC on ESPN 3, taking place June 29 at Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Combate broke the news. Whitmire (4-2) is 2-1 in the UFC and recently needed just 61 seconds to submit Aleksandra Albu in a breakout performance that set a UFC women’s strawweight record for quickest submission win. Ribas (6-1) was recently cleared by USADA after sitting out two years due to a tainted supplement and will look to jump back into the win column for the first time since 2016. Given the long layoff for Ribas and the recent success of Whitmire inside the Octagon, look for Whitmire to be a solid betting favorite heading into this bout.
Angela Hill vs. Yan Xiaonan, UFC 238
Due to an injury to Wu Yanan, Angela Hill has agreed to step up on short notice when she takes on Yan Xiaonan at UFC 238, which is set for June 8 at United Center in Chicago, Illinois. ESPN broke the news. Hill (9-6) recently picked up a decision win over Jodie Esquibel to snap a two-fight win streak and will fight again less than six weeks later here against Xiaonan. It’s been a busy start to 2019 for Hill, who will be fighting for the third time in four months should she make it to this fight. Overall Hill is 4-6 in the Octagon in two different stints with the promotion. Xiaonan (10-1, 1 NC) is riding a nine-fight unbeaten streak and is 3-0 overall in the UFC with all three of her wins coming by decision. This should be a competitive fight but given the level of competition she’s fought and how busy she’s been so far in 2019, expect Hill to be favored in this one.
Claudia Gadelha vs. Randa Markos, UFC 239
Two of the best female strawweights in the world at set to meet at UFC 239 as Claudia Gadelha meets Randa Markos. The card takes place July 6 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Gadelha (16-4) is surprisingly just 6-4 in the UFC and is coming off of a surprising decision loss to Nina Ansaroff. Once one of the most feared women’s strawweights on the UFC roster, Gadelha has really struggled in recent years and appears to be on the decline at age 30 as all the wars she’s been in have caught up to her. Markos (9-6, 1 NC) is 5-5-1 in the UFC and recently picked up arguably her most impressive win yet, a first-round submission victory over Angela Hill. Markos has battled consistency issues inside the Octagon and has yet to rack up a win streak of more than one fight in a row, but the victory over Hill may be a sign that she’s finally figured things out. Considering Gadelha always gets plenty of respect from bettors I do expect her to be favored here, but Markos is absolutely a live dog in this fight.