A pair of forthcoming fight cards have received upgrades to them, and I will offer my thoughts on the new bouts in the current MMA odds and ends.
Chance Rencountre vs. Kyle Stewart, UFC on ESPN+ 1 (UFC Fight Night 143)
We have the previous fight card upgrade for the UFC on ESPN+ 1 card this weekend, taking place Saturday at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Chance Rencountre eventually has his competitor as he will take on Octagon newcomer Kyle Stewart at a lightweight bout on the card. ESPN first broke the news. Rencountre’s unique opponent Randy Brown was pulled in the card because of a rumored USADA flagging, while Dwight Grant wasn’t cleared to fight due to an eye injury. Rencountre (12-3) chose to Belal Muhammad in his UFC debut but had won four straight bouts prior to it. Stewart (11-1) has only lost once in his career, to high LFA prospect James Nakashima, and in his last bout conquered Braden Smith by decision. I think most will seem to fade Rencountre in this area, and that I expect Stewart to actually be a slight favorite here despite making his UFC debut on short notice.
Lando Vannata vs. Marcos Rosa, UFC 234
Lightweight Lando Vannata lately reupped a new four-fight contract with the UFC, and that he returns to fight Octagon newcomer Marcos Rosa in UFC 234, taking place February 10 at Rod Laver Arena at Melbourne, Australia. ESPN broke the news. Vannata (9-3-2) only has a 1-3-2 album from the UFC, but almost every one of his fights was exciting that is the reason why the UFC made a decision to bring him back. He’s coming from a draw against Matt Frevola, and has not really won a fight as a KO win over John Makdessi in December 2016. Rosa (6-4) is a veteran of the Brazilian regional circuit and has actually won three of the last four bouts by stoppage. Finally it seems like the UFC has reserved Vannata a winnable fight, and I expect him to be a big favorite to receive his hand raised.
Dong Hyun Ma vs. Devonte Smith, UFC 234
And finally, Dong Hyun Ma (formerly known as”the other” Dong Yun Kim) will return at UFC 234 if he chooses on Devonte Smith in what ought to be an action-packed lightweight bout. Ma (16-8-3) is 3-2 overall from the UFC and is currently riding a three-fight win streak including a remarkable TKO win over Takanori Gomi along with a decision win over Damien Brown. Smith (9-1) is 1-0 so far in the UFC with a ridiculous KO win over Julian Erosa. He’s won his last five fights, and all nine of his ace wins have come by stoppage, with his lone defeat a TKO loss to John Gunther. I very much enjoy watching Ma fight and I must provide the UFC matchmakers props for reserving what’s sure to be a thrilling fight. But I am very high on Smith and I think he’s going to come back in here and finish Ma’s win streak. Start looking for Smith to be the preferred from the sportsbooks after his flashy UFC debut.
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