The UFC has announced numerous new bouts over 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
Because of 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 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Bernardo (6-3) is 1-2 at 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 arena. Bernardo has not looked great from the UFC and considering Gatto is only 22-years-old she is definitely someone to keep your eye on when the chances 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 set for UFC 238, which takes place June 8 at United Center in Chicago, Illinois. The card comprises five women’s bouts in complete, including this particular fight.
Kowalkiewicz (12-4) is only 5-4 at the UFC and is coming from back-to-back losses to Jessica Andrade and Michelle Waterson. She is making a quick return to the Octagon since the struggle against Waterson took place just a few weeks ago, and she’s probably in a must-win position in this struggle against Grasso in UFC 238. Grasso (10-2) is 2-2 at the UFC but has not 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 are 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 one of those longest-tenured fighters on the UFC roster and also a future Hall of Famer. He proceeded to welterweight this past year and has since gone 1-2 using 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 last struggles, but provided that Sanchez is 37 and has obtained a ton of damage throughout 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 currently 2-0 in the UFC with a knockout win over Charles Byrd and a split decision win over Darren Stewart. He is among 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 off of a controversial split decision win over John Phillips. Although Marshman is a good gateekeeper in 185lbs, Shahbazyan is the future of the division, and he will definitely be a huge favorite heading into this bout.
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