The UFC has announced numerous new bouts over the past couple of weeks for its upcoming pay-per-view cards that summer. Below are my thoughts on those new matchups.
Talita Bernardo vs. Melissa Gatto, UFC 237
Due to an injury to Jessica Rose Clark, Talita Bernardo will meet UFC newcomer Melissa Gatto in a women’s bantamweight bout at UFC 237, taking place May 11 in 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 arena. Bernardo hasn’t looked very good from the UFC and considering Gatto is only 22-years-old she is definitely someone to keep your eye when the chances for this fight 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 also Alexa Grasso is set for UFC 238, which takes place June 8 at United Center in Chicago, Illinois. The card comprises five women’s bouts in total, including this fight.
Kowalkiewicz (12-4) is just 5-4 at the UFC and is coming off of back-to-back losses to Jessica Andrade and Michelle Waterson. She is making a fast return to the Octagon as the struggle against Waterson took place just a couple of weeks ago, and she is likely in a must-win situation in this struggle against Grasso at 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. The two Kowalkiewicz and Grasso are solid-yet-flawed fighters, but based on her expertise I would guess Kowalkiewicz would be a slight favorite in the open.
Diego Sanchez vs. Michael Chiesa, UFC 239
Welterweights Diego Sanchez and Michael Chiesa are scheduled to fight at UFC 239, taking place 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 on the UFC roster and also a future Hall of Famer. He moved up 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 over Craig White and Mickey Gall, who he only finished in catastrophic fashion. Chiesa (15-4) is 8-4 at the UFC and filed Carlos Condit in his welterweight debut in his last bout. Both Sanchez and Chiesa looked amazing in their past struggles, but given that Sanchez is 37 and has obtained a ton of harm during his career, you have to lean towards Chiesa here.
Edmen Shahbazyan vs. Jack Marshman, UFC 239
Middleweight prospect Edmen Shahbazyan yields at UFC 239 if he takes on Jack Marshman.
Shahbazyan (9-0) is just 21-years-old and is currently 2-0 at the UFC with a knockout win over Charles Byrd and a split decision win over Darren Stewart. He is one of the best young prospects at 185lbs and all but one of his career successes 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 solid gateekeeper in 185lbs, Shahbazyan is the future of the division, and he’ll undoubtedly be a massive favorite heading into the particular bout.
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