There are a few fascinating new spells which were revealed for upcoming battle cards, and here are my initial reactions to those bouts in the current MMA odds and ends.
Johnny Walker vs. Misha Cirkunov, UFC 235
An injury to Ovince Saint-Preux has knocked him from his UFC 235 matchup from Misha Cirkunov, also filling in on short notice will be Johnny Walker. UFC 235 take place March 2 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. MMAFighting.com broke the news of the replacement matchup. Walker (16-3) seems like he is the upcoming big thing at 205lbs. The Brazilian is on an eight-fight win streak and is 2-0 in the UFC with back-to-back KOs over Justin Ledet and Khalil Rountree. He is a star in the making and this fight will give him the opportunity to beat a ranked fighter and leap into the branch’s top-10. Cirkunov (14-4) is 5-1 in the UFC with all his wins coming by stoppage, but he himself has been knocked out two. Cirkunov was arguably the best prospect in the light heavyweight division at the same stage, but Walker is currently, and I’d have to think Walker will be a big favorite to win this battle.
Alejandro Perez vs. Cody Stamann, UFC 235
Because of an accident to Song Yadong, Alejandro Perez will take on Cody Stamann in UFC 235. Perez (21-6-1) is 7-1-1 in the UFC and conquer Eddie Wineland in his final struggle. Stamann (17-2) is 3-1 in the UFC and is coming from a submission reduction to Aljamain Sterling. Perez has an awesome album but stylistically Stamann presents matchup problems for him. I think Perez will be the favorite due to his win series, however, Stamann is very live here.
Luis Pena vs. Steven Peterson, UFC Fight Night 148
Featherweights Luis Pena and Steven Peterson will meet UFC Fight Night 148, taking place March 23 at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee. Rodney James broke the information. Pena (5-1) is 1-1 at the UFC and also lost a split decision to Michael Trizano his out time. Peterson (17-7) is currently 1-1 at the UFC too and is coming off of a split decision win over Matt Bessete. Close fight here between two guys who must obtain some more consistency, but based on his popularity Pena will be the betting favorite in this one despite making his 145lbs introduction.
David Branch vs. Jack Hermansson, UFC on ESPN two Middleweights David Branch and Jack Hermansson are set to lock horns at UFC on ESPN 2, occurring March 30 in Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Branch (22-5) is 2-2 in his most recent stint in the UFC but is coming from a surprising KO loss to Jared Cannonier. Hermansson (18-4) is 5-2 at the Octagon and is coming off of back-to-back stoppage wins over Thales Leites and Gerald Meerschaert. Branch was on a great win streak for some time but both knockout losses he has in the UFC concerns me. I’d have to favor Hermansson in this one only based on his momentum and also the fact he is the younger and larger fighter in this matchup.
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