The UFC continued their recent series of struggle announcements late to the week, and also the newly-revealed bouts are listed below in the MMA odds and ends.
Saparbek Safarov vs. Nick Negumereanu Because of an accident to Gokhan Saki, light heavyweight Saparbek Safarov will now take on Octagon newcomer Nick Negumereanu at UFC Fight Night 147, set for March 16 at The O2 Arena in London, England. The news broke. Safarov (8-2) has been finished by Gian Villante and Tyson Pedro in his first two UFC fights and he hasn’t fought in over a year today. Negumereanu (9-0) is an undefeated 24-year-old prospect fighting out of Romania who has finished all his pre-UFC opponents within the distance. Despite taking the fight on short notice and creating his Octagon introduction, I like Negumereanu to win this battle. It’s a pure grin about the chinny Safarov, that I hope to get cut out of the UFC when he loses this battle. The chances are already out with this one, and really the UFC newcomer is a 2-to-1 favorite to receive his hand raised.
Marlon Vera vs. Frankie Saenz The UFC has re-booked the bantamweight bout between Marlon Vera and Frankie Saenz which was scrapped days before UFC 235 for UFC Fight Night 148, which takes place March 23 at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville Tennessee. Vera (12-5-1) is 6-4 at the UFC and is coming from back-to-back stoppage wins over Guido Cannetti and Wuliji Buren. Saenz (13-5) is 5-3 in the UFC and defeated Henry Briones and Merab Dvalishvili in his last two bouts by choice. I don’t find the line changing much from where it shut before Saenz got injured. Look for the line to be identical to that which it finished it, with Vera as a near 2-to-1 favorite.
Poliana Botelho vs. Lauren Mueller, UFC 236
Because of an arm injury, Paige VanZant is out of her women’s flyweight bout against Poliana Botelho at UFC 236 and instead Lauren Mueller is shooting the fight. The card has been set for April 13 at State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia. Botelho (7-2) is 2-1 at the UFC but dropped by entry to Cynthia Calvillo in her final struggle. Mueller (5-1) is 1-1 at the UFC but was submitted by Yanan Wu in her final struggle. It is another fight between two faulty fighters who may go either way, but based on title worth I’d expect Botelho to be favored here.
Greg Hardy vs. Dmitry Smoliakov, UFC on ESPN 3
Controversial heavyweight Greg Hardy will return at UFC on ESPN 3 against Dmitry Smoliakov. The card is set for April 27 at BB&T Center in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Igor Lazorin broke the information. Hardy (3-1) dropped by DQ to Allen Crowder in his UFC debut as a massive favorite but’d won his three prior pro MMA bouts by knockout. Smoliakov (9-2) was finished at bout of his UFC looks before bouncing back with a submission win on the Russian regional arena in January. However, at 36 years old he has no upside and the UFC is bringing him here to shed. I wouldn’t advocate putting the juice Hardy after what occurred in his UFC debut, but I fully expect him to become a monster favored yet again for this fight.
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