A couple new matchups have been shown for upcoming battle cards, and I will present my thoughts on these new matchups in today’s MMA odds and ends.
Glover Teixeira vs. Ion Cutelaba, UFC on ESPN 3
A light heavyweight bout between Glover Teixeira and Ion Cutelaba, that was initially set to take place back at UFC Fight Night 143, has been rescheduled for UFC on ESPN 3, taking place April 27 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. Combate broke the information. Teixeira (28-7) could be 39-years old today but he showed age does not mean anything to him when he completed the younger Karl Roberson in his last departure at UFC Fight Night 143. All-time Teixeira holds a 11-5 record in the Octagon and although he might not be a real title competitor, he’s still a tough gatekeeper and the ideal test for climbing light heavyweights to take on as they seem to move up the ranks. Even late in his career, he could still complete struggles.
Cutelaba (14-3, 1 NC) is 3-2 in the UFC and is coming from back-to-back knockout wins over Gadzhimurad Antigulov and Henrique da Silva. Only 25, Cutelaba is one of the top young light heavyweights from the UFC, but he’s still very much unproven. After viewing Teixeira return from being down early and complete Roberson, I think you need to prefer him here to get the win against Cutelaba, although I really do think Cutelaba will be more competitive than Roberson was.
Martin Day vs. Chris Gutierrez, UFC Fight Night 148
Bantamweights Martin Day and Chris Gutierrez are set to match at UFC Fight Night 148 (UFC on ESPN+ 6), which takes place March 23 in Bridgestone Arena at Nashville, Tennessee. Day (8-3) suffered a split decision loss to Pingyuan Liu in his UFC debut but’d won three straight struggles on the regional circuit before making his unfortunate UFC debut. Gutierrez (12-4-1) is coming off of a submission loss to Raoni Barcelos within his own UFC introduction but had won three straight struggles on the regional circuit before that too. This looks like a really close fight and I expect the opening number to be near a Pick’em given how even it seems on paper. I had slightly lean towards dawn to get his hands raised, but it is very near.
Boston Salmon vs. Khalid Taha, UFC 236
Bantamweights Boston Salmon and Khalid Taha will fulfill at UFC 236, taking place April 13 at an undisclosed venue (rumored to be in Las Vegas, Nevada). These two were set to meet in the TUF 28 Finale before the battle was scrapped. News of this rebooking comes from Shawn Bitter. Steak (6-1) picked up a decision win over Ricky Turcios about the Contender Series back in July 2017 but has not fought since due to injuries. Taha (12-2) fell a choice to Nad Narimani in his UFC debut last summer. Given Salmon’s long layoff, it is sensible to slightly lean towards Taha here, however given that Taha is far from a top prospect, don’t be surprised is Salmon comes through and gets the win. I would anticipate a close line either way.
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