A few new matchups are revealed for upcoming fight cards, and I’ll present my thoughts on these brand new matchups in the current MMA odds and ends.
Glover Teixeira vs. Ion Cutelaba, UFC on ESPN 3
A light heavyweight bout between Glover Teixeira and Ion Cutelaba, that was initially set to happen back at UFC Fight Night 143, was rescheduled for UFC on ESPN 3, taking place April 27 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. Combate broke the information. Teixeira (28-7) may be 39-years old now but he showed age does not mean anything when he completed the younger Karl Roberson in his final bout at UFC Fight Night 143. All-time Teixeira holds a 11-5 record in the Octagon and he may not be a real title competitor, he’s still a challenging gatekeeper and the ideal test for rising light heavyweights to take on as they look to move up the ranks. Even late in his career, he could still complete fights.
Cutelaba (14-3, 1 NC) is 3-2 in the UFC and is coming from back-to-back knockout wins over Gadzhimurad Antigulov and Henrique da Silva. Just 25, Cutelaba is among the top youthful light heavyweights from the UFC, but he’s still very much unproven. After seeing Teixeira return from being down early and complete Roberson, I believe you have to prefer him here to get the win from Cutelaba, although I do think Cutelaba will be more aggressive than Roberson was.
Martin Day vs. Chris Gutierrez, UFC Fight Night 148
Bantamweights Martin Day and Chris Gutierrez are set to meet at UFC Fight Night 148 (UFC on ESPN+ 6), which takes place March 23 at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee. Day (8-3) endured a split decision loss to Pingyuan Liu in his UFC debut but’d won three straight struggles in the regional circuit before making his ill-fated UFC debut. Gutierrez (12-4-1) is coming off of a submission loss to Raoni Barcelos in his own UFC debut but’d won three straight struggles on the regional circuit before that too. This looks like a really close fight and I expect the opening number to be close a Pick’em given how even it looks on paper. I had slightly lean towards dawn to receive his hand raised, but it is very near.
Boston Salmon vs. Khalid Taha, UFC 236
Bantamweights Boston Salmon and Khalid Taha will meet at UFC 236, taking place April 13 at an undisclosed venue (rumored to be in Las Vegas, Nevada). These two were previously set to meet in the TUF 28 Finale prior to the fight was scrapped. News of this rebooking comes from Shawn Bitter. Salmon (6-1) picked up a decision win over Ricky Turcios about the Contender Series back in July 2017 but has not fought because due to injuries. Taha (12-2) dropped a decision to Nad Narimani in his UFC debut last summer. Given Salmon’s long layoff, it makes sense to slightly lean towards Taha here, but provided that Taha is far from a top potential, but do not be surprised is Salmon comes through and gets the win. I would anticipate a close line in any event.
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