MMA ODDS AND ENDS FOR TUESDAY: UPCOMING UFC CARD UPDATES
A pair of upcoming fight cards have received updates to them, and I will give my thoughts on the new bouts in today’s MMA odds and ends.
Chance Rencountre vs. Kyle Stewart, UFC on ESPN+ 1 (UFC Fight Night 143)
We hopefully have the last fight card upgrade for the UFC on ESPN+ 1 card this weekend, taking place Saturday at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Chance Rencountre eventually has his opponent as he will take on Octagon newcomer Kyle Stewart in a lightweight bout on the card. ESPN first broke news. Rencountre’s unique opponent Randy Brown was pulled from the card because of a rumored USADA flagging, while Dwight Grant wasn’t cleared to fight due to an eye injury. Rencountre (12-3) chose to Belal Muhammad in his UFC debut but had won four consecutive bouts before it. Stewart (11-1) has just lost once in his career, to top LFA prospect James Nakashima, also in his last bout defeated Braden Smith by choice. I believe most will seem to fade Rencountre in this spot, and I expect Stewart to actually be a slight favorite here despite making his UFC debut on short notice.
Lando Vannata vs. Marcos Rosa, UFC 234
Lightweight Lando Vannata lately reupped a new four-fight contract with the UFC, and that he now returns to fight Octagon newcomer Marcos Rosa at UFC 234, occurring February 10 at Rod Laver Arena at Melbourne, Australia. ESPN broke the news. Vannata (9-3-2) only has a 1-3-2 record in the UFC, but nearly every one of his fights was exciting that is why the UFC made a decision to bring him back. He is coming off of a draw against Matt Frevola, and hasn’t really won a fight as a KO win over John Makdessi in December 2016. Rosa (6-4) is a veteran of the Brazilian regional circuit and has actually won three of the final four bouts by stoppage. Ultimately it seems like the UFC has booked Vannata a winnable struggle, and I expect him to become a sizeable favorite to get his hands raised.
Dong Hyun Ma vs. Devonte Smith, UFC 234
And finally, Dong Hyun Ma (formerly called”another” Dong Yun Kim) will return at UFC 234 when he chooses on Devonte Smith in what ought to be an action-packed lightweight bout. Ma (16-8-3) is 3-2 overall in the UFC and is now riding a three-fight win series including a notable TKO win over Takanori Gomi and a decision win over Damien Brown. Smith (9-1) is 1-0 so far in the UFC with a ridiculous KO win over Julian Erosa. He’s won his last five fights, and all nine of his pro wins have come by stoppage, together with his lone defeat a TKO loss to John Gunther. I very much enjoy watching Ma battle and I must give the UFC matchmakers props for booking what’s sure to be an exciting fight. But I am quite high on Smith and I think he is likely to come in here and finish Ma’s win streak. Start looking for Smith to be the preferred from the sportsbooks after his flashy UFC debut.
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