The UFC continued their recent series of struggle announcements late into the week, and also the newly-revealed bouts are listed below in the MMA odds and ends.
UFC Fight Night 147 vs. Nick Negumereanu, saparbek Safarov Due to an accident to Gokhan Saki, light heavyweight Saparbek Safarov will take on Octagon newcomer Nick Negumereanu at UFC Fight Night 147, set for March 16 at The O2 Arena in London, England. The news was broken by nolan King of all FloCombat. Safarov (8-2) has been finished by Gian Villante and Tyson Pedro in his first two UFC fights and that he has not fought in over a year now. Negumereanu (9-0) is a undefeated 24-year-old prospect fighting out of Romania that has completed all his pre-UFC competitions inside the space. Despite taking the fight on short notice and creating his Octagon introduction, I enjoy Negumereanu to win this particular battle. It is a pure grin about the chinny Safarov, who I expect to get cut out of the UFC if he loses this fight. The chances are already out with this one, and really the UFC newcomer is a 2-to-1 favorite to get his hand raised.
Marlon Vera vs. Frankie Saenz, UFC Fight Night 148 The UFC has re-booked that the bantamweight bout between Marlon Vera and Frankie Saenz which was scrapped days ahead of UFC 235 for UFC Fight Night 148, which takes place March 23 at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville Tennessee. Vera (12-5-1) is 6-4 at the UFC and is coming off of back-to-back stoppage wins over Guido Cannetti and Wuliji Buren. Saenz (13-5) is 5-3 at the UFC and conquered Henry Briones and Merab Dvalishvili in his last two bouts by choice. I really don’t find the lineup shifting much from where it shut before Saenz got injured. Start looking for the line to be equal to that which it ended it, with Vera as a near 2-to-1 favourite.
Poliana Botelho vs. Lauren Mueller, UFC 236
Due to an arm injury, Paige VanZant is from her women’s flyweight bout against Poliana Botelho in UFC 236 and instead Lauren Mueller is shooting the battle. The card has been set for April 13 at State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia. Botelho (7-2) is 2-1 at the UFC but lost by submission to Cynthia Calvillo in her last fight. Mueller (5-1) is 1-1 at the UFC but has been filed by Yanan Wu in her last fight. It’s another battle involving two flawed fighters who may go either way, but based on title worth I’d expect Botelho to be favored here.
Greg Hardy vs. Dmitry Smoliakov, UFC on ESPN 3
Controversial heavyweight Greg Hardy will return at UFC on ESPN 3 against Dmitry Smoliakov. The card is currently set for April 27 at BB&T Center at Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Igor Lazorin broke the news. Hardy (3-1) lost by DQ to Allen Crowder in his UFC debut as a massive favorite but’d won his three former pro MMA bouts by knockout. Smoliakov (9-2) has been completed in bout of his UFC looks before bouncing back with a submission win on the Russian regional scene in January. However, at 36 years old he has no upside and the UFC is bringing him here to lose. I wouldn’t trust laying the juice on Hardy after what happened in his UFC debut, but I fully expect him to become a monster favorite yet again for this particular fight.
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