Into the second month of 2016 and the UFC’s calendar year continues to fill up. Here are my thoughts on some recently booked match-ups… Fight: Amanda Nunes vs Valentina Shevchenko Card: UFC 196 Where: Las Vegas, NV When: March 5, 2016 Thoughts: Man, I think this is going to be an extremely entertaining fight in the women’s bantamweight division, and I am expecting fireworks from start to finish. I could see it ending within minutes and I could also see it being a three round war. Nunes has been dominant in her performances inside the Octagon as of late and Shevchenko really impressed in her promotional debut, by taking out former Strikeforce women’s bantamweight champion Sarah Kaufman. This is going to be a fun scrap and I can’t wait to see it. Fight: Justin Scoggins vs Ben Nguyen Card: UFC Fight Night 85 Where: Brisbane, Australia When: March 20, 2016 Thoughts: I was hoping for Scoggins vs Horiguchi in a bout between Karate specialists, but I like this fight, too, so I’ll take it. Nguyen has been solid since entering the UFC, scoring a pair of first round finishes over Alptekin Ozkilic and Ryan Benoit, respectively. He will aim to make it three in a row inside the Octagon by taking out Scoggins, who is coming off a unanimous decision victory over highly touted flyweight prospect Ray Borg just a week ago. Scoggins vs Nguyen will be taking place in Nguyen’s backyard of Brisbane, so he will be enjoying a hometown advantage heading into the contest. This should be fireworks at 125-pounds and is a scrap I very much look forward to. Fight: Ben Rothwell vs Junior Dos Santos Card: UFC Fight Night 86 Where: Zagreb, Croatia When: April 10, 2016 Thoughts: This match-up, though solid, is an example of a razor-thin division. One guy is one his way up and on a winning streak, and the other is on a decline and coming off a knockout defeat, but due to lack of opposition for both heavyweights, Joe Silva and the UFC have pitted them against each other. It is not a match-up that makes much sense, but it should be a fun fight. I am a fan of both heavyweights and hope to see a good fight here, regardless of who gets his hand raised. Fight: Rose Namajunas vs Tecia Torres II Card: UFC on FOX 19 Where: Tampa FL When: April 16, 2016 Thoughts: This is a rematch of a fight that took place under the Invicta banner nearly three years ago, in which Torres walked away with a unanimous decision victory. Now in the UFC, both women’s strawweights are currently on winning streaks and will look to extend them against each other in a match-up that is another example of a razor-thin division. Due to lack of opposition for both ladies, UFC matchmakers felt this was the best pairing. I can’t say they were wrong, and am interested in seeing how things play out in the second go around. Fight: Rafael Natal vs Robert Whittaker Card: UFC 197 Where: Las Vegas, NV When: April 23, 2016 Thoughts: This is a match-up pitting two ranked middleweights against each other in which one will continue to climb the rankings, while the other will take a slide. Both 185-pounders have been impressive inside the Octagon in recent performances and have been showing improvements from fight to fight. They both currently enjoy four-fight winning streaks, so a win will be huge for either fighter, as it will put them at five wins in a row at 170-pounds, which is no easy feat. This is a solid pairing and one that makes plenty of sense, I look forward to seeing Natal and Whittaker throw down in Vegas.