The UFC has announced numerous new bouts over the past couple of weeks because of its upcoming pay-per-view cards that summer. Below are my thoughts on these new matchups.
Talita Bernardo vs. Melissa Gatto, UFC 237
Because of an injury to Jessica Rose Clark, Talita Bernardo will now meet UFC newcomer Melissa Gatto in a women’s bantamweight bout at UFC 237, taking place May 11 at Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Bernardo (6-3) is 1-2 in the UFC and is coming off of 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 just 22-years-old she is definitely someone to keep your eye when the odds for this fight come out. If she’s the underdog she could be worth a punt.
Karolina Kowalkiewicz vs. Alexa Grasso, UFC 238
A women’s strawweight bout between Karolina Kowalkiewicz and also Alexa Grasso is set for UFC 238, which takes place June 8 at United Center in Chicago, Illinois. The card features five women’s bouts in total, 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 is making a fast return to the Octagon since the struggle against Waterson happened just a couple of weeks ago, and she is likely in a must-win position in this struggle against Grasso in UFC 238. Grasso (10-2) is 2-2 at the UFC but hasn’t fought since last May when she had been filed by Tatiana Suarez. Both Kowalkiewicz and Grasso have been solid-yet-flawed fighters, but depending on her expertise I would guess Kowalkiewicz would be a small favorite in the open.
Diego Sanchez vs. Michael Chiesa, UFC 239
Welterweights Diego Sanchez and Michael Chiesa are scheduled to fight at UFC 239, occurring July 6 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Sanchez (29-11) is 18-11 all time inside the Octagon and is among the longest-tenured fighters around the UFC roster and a future Hall of Famer. He proceeded to welterweight this past year and has since gone 1-2 with a weight loss loss to Matt Brown followed closely by back-to-back wins Craig White and Mickey Gall, who he only finished in devastating fashion. Chiesa (15-4) is 8-4 at the UFC and submitted Carlos Condit in his welterweight debut in his final bout. Both Sanchez and Chiesa looked amazing in their past struggles, but provided that Sanchez is 37 and has taken a ton of damage during his career, you need to lean towards Chiesa here.
Edmen Shahbazyan vs. Jack Marshman, UFC 239
Middleweight prospect Edmen Shahbazyan returns at UFC 239 when 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 and a split decision win over Darren Stewart. He’s one of the top young prospects at 185lbs and all but one of his career victories has come by knockout. Marshman (23-8) is 3-3 at the UFC and is coming from a controversial split decision win over John Phillips. Though Marshman is a good gateekeeper at 185lbs, Shahbazyan is the future of the division, and he will undoubtedly be a huge favorite heading into this bout.
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