The UFC has announced numerous new bouts over the past couple of weeks because of its forthcoming pay-per-view cards that summer. Below are my thoughts on those new matchups.
Talita Bernardo vs. Melissa Gatto, UFC 237
Because of an injury to Jessica Rose Clark, Talita Bernardo will now meet UFC newcomer Melissa Gatto in a women’s bantamweight bout at UFC 237, occurring May 11 in Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Bernardo (6-3) is 1-2 in the UFC and is coming from a decision win over Sarah Moras. Gatto (6-0-2) is undefeated in her MMA career fighting the Brazilian regional scene. Bernardo hasn’t looked very good in the UFC and considering Gatto is only 22-years-old she’s definitely someone to keep your eye on when the chances for this fight come out. If she’s the underdog she is worth a punt.
Karolina Kowalkiewicz vs. Alexa Grasso, UFC 238
A women’s strawweight bout between Karolina Kowalkiewicz and also Alexa Grasso is place for UFC 238, which takes place June 8 at United Center in Chicago, Illinois. The card comprises five women’s bouts in total, including this particular fight.
Kowalkiewicz (12-4) is just 5-4 at the UFC and is coming from back-to-back losses to Jessica Andrade and Michelle Waterson. She is making a quick return to the Octagon as the struggle against Waterson took place just a couple of weeks before, and she’s probably in a must-win position in this struggle against Grasso at UFC 238. Grasso (10-2) is 2-2 in the UFC but hasn’t fought since last May when she was filed by Tatiana Suarez. The two Kowalkiewicz and Grasso are solid-yet-flawed fighters, but based on her expertise I’d guess Kowalkiewicz are a small favorite at open.
Diego Sanchez vs. Michael Chiesa, UFC 239
Welterweights Diego Sanchez and Michael Chiesa are scheduled to fight at UFC 239, taking place July 6 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Sanchez (29-11) is 18-11 all-time inside the Octagon and is one of the longest-tenured fighters around the UFC roster and also a future Hall of Famer. He moved up to welterweight this past year and has since gone 1-2 with a knockout loss to Matt Brown followed by back-to-back wins over Craig White and Mickey Gall, who he only finished in catastrophic fashion. Chiesa (15-4) is 8-4 in the UFC and submitted Carlos Condit in his welterweight debut in his final bout. Both Sanchez and Chiesa looked amazing in their past struggles, but provided that Sanchez is 37 and has obtained a whole lot of harm throughout his career, you need to lean towards Chiesa here.
Edmen Shahbazyan vs. Jack Marshman, UFC 239
Middleweight prospect Edmen Shahbazyan returns at UFC 239 when he takes on Jack Marshman.
Shahbazyan (9-0) is just 21-years-old and is already 2-0 in the UFC with a knockout win over Charles Byrd and a split decision win over Darren Stewart. He’s one of the top young prospects at 185lbs and all but one of his career victories has come by knockout. Marshman (23-8) is 3-3 in the UFC and is coming off of a controversial split decision win over John Phillips. Though Marshman is a solid gateekeeper at 185lbs, Shahbazyan is the future of this division, and he’ll undoubtedly be a huge favorite heading into this bout.
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