The UFC continued their recent string of fight announcements late to the week, and also the newly-revealed bouts are recorded 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 in The O2 Arena in London, England. Nolan King of FloCombat broke the news. Safarov (8-2) has been completed by Gian Villante and Tyson Pedro in his first two UFC fights and he hasn’t fought in over a year today. Negumereanu (9-0) is an undefeated 24-year-old prospect fighting out of Romania who has completed all of his pre-UFC opponents within the distance. Despite taking the fight on short notice and making his Octagon debut, I enjoy Negumereanu to win this particular battle. It is a pure fade on the chinny Safarov, that I hope to get cut out of the UFC if he loses this battle. The odds are already out for this one, and indeed the UFC newcomer is a 2-to-1 preferred to receive his hands 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 that has been scrapped days before UFC 235 for UFC Fight Night 148, which takes place March 23 in Bridgestone Arena in Nashville Tennessee. Vera (12-5-1) is 6-4 at the UFC and is coming from 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 hurt. Look for the line to be identical to what it finished it, with Vera as a near 2-to-1 favourite.
Poliana Botelho vs. Lauren Mueller, UFC 236
Because of an arm injury, Paige VanZant is out of her women’s flyweight bout against Poliana Botelho at UFC 236 and instead Lauren Mueller is shooting the battle. The card has been set for April 13 in State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia. Botelho (7-2) is 2-1 in the UFC but dropped by entry to Cynthia Calvillo in her last fight. Mueller (5-1) is 1-1 in the UFC but was filed by Yanan Wu in her last struggle. It is another battle involving two faulty fighters who may go either way, but based on name worth I would anticipate Botelho to be preferred 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 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 favored but’d won his three former pro MMA bouts by knockout. Smoliakov (9-2) has been finished at bout of his UFC looks before bouncing back with a entry win on the Russian regional arena in January. But at 36 decades old he does not have any upside and the UFC is bringing him here to lose. I would not trust laying the juice Hardy after what occurred in his UFC debut, but I fully expect him to become a monster favored yet again for this fight.
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