There are a few intriguing new bouts which have been revealed for upcoming battle cards, and here are my first reactions to these bouts in the current MMA odds and ends.
Johnny Walker vs. Misha Cirkunov, UFC 235
An accident to Ovince Saint-Preux has knocked him out of his UFC 235 matchup against 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 this replacement matchup. Walker (16-3) seems like he might be the next big thing in 205lbs. The Brazilian is about an eight-fight win streak and is 2-0 at the UFC with back-to-back KOs over Justin Ledet and Khalil Rountree. He’s a star in the making and this battle will give him the opportunity to beat a ranked fighter and jump into the division’s top-10. Cirkunov (14-4) is 5-1 at the UFC with all of his wins coming by stoppage, but he has been knocked out two. Cirkunov was arguably the best potential in the light heavyweight division at the same stage, but Walker is currently, and I’d have to believe Walker will be a big favorite to win this fight.
Alejandro Perez vs. Cody Stamann, UFC 235
Because of an injury to Song Yadong, Alejandro Perez will now 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 fight. Stamann (17-2) is 3-1 at the UFC and is coming off of a submission loss to Aljamain Sterling. Perez has an awesome album but stylistically Stamann presents matchup problems for him. I think Perez is going to be the favorite due to his win series, but Stamann is quite live here.
Luis Pena vs. Steven Peterson, UFC Fight Night 148
Featherweights Luis Pena and Steven Peterson will meet at UFC Fight Night 148, taking place March 23 in Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee. Rodney James broke the news. Pena (5-1) is 1-1 at the UFC and also lost a split decision to Michael Trizano his last time out. Peterson (17-7) is 1-1 in the UFC as well 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 depending on his popularity Pena will surely 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 in UFC on ESPN two, taking place March 30 at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Branch (22-5) is 2-2 in his latest stint at the UFC but is coming off of a sudden KO loss to Jared Cannonier. Hermansson (18-4) is 5-2 in the Octagon and is coming off of back-to-back stoppage wins over Thales Leites and Gerald Meerschaert. Branch was on a fantastic win series for some time but both knockout losses he has in the UFC concerns me. I would have to favor Hermansson in this one only based on his momentum and also the fact he’s the younger and bigger fighter in this matchup.
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