Spring Scraps to Look Forward to

Albert-Tumenov-WinsThe Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is set to deliver a handful of stacked fight cards this Spring. Here are my thoughts on a few of the scraps I very much look forward to… Fight: Randy Brown vs Michael Graves Card: UFC on FOX 19 Where: Tampa, FL When: April 16 Thoughts: This is a match-up in the UFC’s welterweight division between a pair of undefeated prospects who seek their second victory in the promotion. It is a “somebody’s O must go” type of fight, so I expect both 170-pounders to give it their all in an effort to get that win. I think both fighters have potential and am interested in seeing them battle it out inside the Octagon, especially considering the fact that I think this is an evenly matched contest. This bout will be on the Fight Pass preliminary card portion of the stacked UFC on FOX 19 card, and when Brown and Graves square off, I think fight fans/subscribers will be in for a show. Fight: Yair Rodriguez vs Andre Fili Card: UFC 197 Where: Las Vegas, NV When: April 23 Thoughts: This featherweight contest is part of the very stacked UFC 197 fight card and is set to kick off the evening’s main card on Pay Per View. I think this fight is a true barn-burner in the UFC’s 145-pound division and believe it to be great match-making by Sean Shelby and the UFC. There are a number of great scraps I look forward to on this fight card and this battle of surging featherweight prospects is certainly one of them. Both 145-pounders are fan favorites who put on a show every time they step foot inside the Octagon. On such a stacked card, I think this bout could very well be favored to take home the evening’s ‘Fight of the Night’ honors. Fight: Albert Tumenov vs Gunnar Nelson Card: UFC Fight Night 87 Where: Rotterdam, Netherlands When: May 8 Thoughts: This is a rare “winner vs” loser match-up in the UFC’s welterweight division, with Tumenov coming off a split decision victory over former Strikeforce middleweight champion Lorenz Larkin and Nelson coming off a unanimous decision loss against former UFC middleweight title challenger Demian Maia. Tumenov rides a five fight winning streak inside the Octagon, which he started following a split decision loss to Ildemar Alcantara in his promotional debut. Until meeting Nelson, Tumenov has not been threatened by a talented grappler since his loss to Alcantara, so I think this match-up will be a test for him, especially considering that I think Nelson is a more talented grappler than Alcantara and a bigger submission threat. This would also be a “striker vs grappler” match-up, as Tumenov would clearly enjoy the striking advantage, while Nelson would have the advanage in grappling and would likely be looking to take the fight to the mat. If the Russian is able to defeat Nelson in impressive fashion, then the SBG fighter may reflect on a move down to the 155-pound divison. Tumenov vs Nelson is an exciting match-up and I look forward to seeing these two compete in a human-chess-match inside the Octagon. Fight: Anderson Silva vs Uriah Hall Card: UFC 178 Where: Curitiba, Brazil When: May 14 Thoughts: When Uriah Hall was competing on Season 18 of The Ultimate Fighter and was favored to win the tournament, his coach Chael Sonnen kept telling him that he believes Hall can beat Anderson Silva, who was the UFC middleweight title-holder at the time and recognized as the ‘greatest of all time’. Though both fighters have since seen their careers take a bit of a slide, Hall now finally gets the opportunity to fight the man he once envisioned himself defeating for the championship belt. Timing and circumstances have made the pieces fall into place, and those pieces have formed a bout between Silva vs Hall. I think it is going to be a fun fight; I don’t think they will play it safe for all three rounds, I believe both fighters will be aiming for a finish, and I think one of them will find it within the scheduled 15-minutes of Octagon action. This is a fight that if Silva wins in impressive fashion, he will still be very relevant in the UFC’s division. However, should he come out on the losing end, I think it would really be time to hang up the gloves.

Written by Gabe Killian

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