There are a few fascinating new spells that have been revealed for upcoming fight cards, and here are my initial 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 from his UFC 235 matchup against Misha Cirkunov, and filling in on short notice will be Johnny Walker. UFC 235 occur March 2 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. MMAFighting.com broke the news of the replacement matchup. Walker (16-3) seems like he is the upcoming huge thing at 205lbs. The Brazilian is on an eight-fight win streak and is 2-0 at the UFC with back-to-back KOs over Justin Ledet and Khalil Rountree. He is a superstar in the making and this fight will give him the opportunity to beat a ranked fighter and leap into the division’s top-10. Cirkunov (14-4) is 5-1 in the UFC with all his wins coming from stoppage, but he has been knocked out two. Cirkunov was arguably the best prospect at the light heavyweight division at one point, but Walker is currently, and I would need to think Walker will be a large favorite to win this fight.
Alejandro Perez vs. Cody Stamann, UFC 235
Because of an injury to Song Yadong, Alejandro Perez will take on Cody Stamann in UFC 235. Perez (21-6-1) is 7-1-1 in the UFC and beat Eddie Wineland in his last fight. Stamann (17-2) is currently 3-1 at the UFC and is coming off of a submission loss to Aljamain Sterling. Perez has an wonderful record but stylistically Stamann presents matchup problems for him. I believe Perez will be the favorite due to his win series, but Stamann is very live here.
Luis Pena vs. Steven Peterson, UFC Fight Night 148
Featherweights Luis Pena and Steven Peterson will meet UFC Fight Night 148, taking place March 23 at Bridgestone Arena at Nashville, Tennessee. Rodney James broke the information. Pena (5-1) is 1-1 in the UFC and also lost a split decision to Michael Trizano his last time out. Peterson (17-7) is 1-1 at the UFC too and is coming from a split decision win over Matt Bessete. Close battle here between two men who must find some more consistency, but depending on his popularity Pena will surely be the betting favorite in this one despite making his 145lbs debut.
David Branch vs. Jack Hermansson, UFC on ESPN 2 Middleweights David Branch and Jack Hermansson are set to lock horns in UFC on ESPN two, occurring March 30 in Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Branch (22-5) is 2-2 in his most recent stint at the UFC but is coming off of a sudden KO loss to Jared Cannonier. Hermansson (18-4) is 5-2 at the Octagon and is coming off of back-to-back stoppage wins over Thales Leites and Gerald Meerschaert. Branch was on a great win streak for a while but both knockout losses he has from the UFC worries me. I would have to favor Hermansson within this one only according to his momentum and also the fact he is the younger and bigger fighter in this matchup.
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