The UFC has announced a number of new bouts throughout the last few weeks because of its forthcoming pay-per-view cards that summer. Below are my thoughts on these new matchups.
Talita Bernardo vs. Melissa Gatto, UFC 237
Due to an injury to Jessica Rose Clark, Talita Bernardo will now meet UFC newcomer Melissa Gatto at a women’s bantamweight bout at UFC 237, occurring May 11 at Jeunesse Arena at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Bernardo (6-3) is currently 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 has not looked great from the UFC and contemplating Gatto is only 22-years-old she’s definitely someone to keep your eye on when the odds for this battle 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 Alexa Grasso is place for UFC 238, which takes place June 8 at United Center in Chicago, Illinois. The card features five women’s bouts in complete, including this particular fight.
Kowalkiewicz (12-4) is only 5-4 in the UFC and is coming from back-to-back losses to Jessica Andrade and Michelle Waterson. She’s making a fast return to the Octagon as the struggle against Waterson took place only a few weeks before, and she is likely in a must-win position in this fight against Grasso in UFC 238. Grasso (10-2) is 2-2 in the UFC but has not fought since last May when she had been submitted by Tatiana Suarez. The two Kowalkiewicz and Grasso are solid-yet-flawed fighters, but based on her experience I’d guess Kowalkiewicz would be a slight favorite at open.
Diego Sanchez vs. Michael Chiesa, UFC 239
Welterweights Diego Sanchez and Michael Chiesa are scheduled to fight at UFC 239, occurring July 6 in T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Sanchez (29-11) is 18-11 all-time inside the Octagon and is among those longest-tenured fighters around the UFC roster and a future Hall of Famer. He proceeded to welterweight last year and has since gone 1-2 with a knockout loss to Matt Brown followed by back-to-back wins Craig White and Mickey Gall, who he only finished in devastating fashion. Chiesa (15-4) is 8-4 in the UFC and filed Carlos Condit in his welterweight debut in his final bout. Both Sanchez and Chiesa looked amazing in their last struggles, but provided that Sanchez is 37 and has obtained a ton of damage during his career, you have to lean towards Chiesa here.
Edmen Shahbazyan vs. Jack Marshman, UFC 239
Middleweight prospect Edmen Shahbazyan returns at UFC 239 if 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 plus a split decision win over Darren Stewart. He is among the top young prospects at 185lbs and all but one of his career successes 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 in 185lbs, Shahbazyan is the future of the branch, and he’ll undoubtedly be a massive favorite heading into this bout.
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