The UFC has announced a number of new bouts throughout the last few weeks because of its forthcoming pay-per-view cards this summer. Below are my thoughts on those new matchups.
Talita Bernardo vs. Melissa Gatto, UFC 237
Because of an injury to Jessica Rose Clark, Talita Bernardo will now meet UFC newcomer Melissa Gatto in a women’s bantamweight bout at UFC 237, occurring May 11 in Jeunesse Arena at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Bernardo (6-3) is 1-2 at the UFC and is coming from a decision win over Sarah Moras. Gatto (6-0-2) is undefeated in her MMA career fighting the Brazilian regional scene. Bernardo has not looked very good in the UFC and considering Gatto is only 22-years-old she is definitely someone to keep your eye when the odds for this battle come out. If she’s the underdog she could be worth a punt.
Karolina Kowalkiewicz vs. Alexa Grasso, UFC 238
A women’s strawweight bout between Karolina Kowalkiewicz and also 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 fight.
Kowalkiewicz (12-4) is just 5-4 at the UFC and is coming off of back-to-back losses to Jessica Andrade and Michelle Waterson. She is making a fast return to the Octagon since the struggle against Waterson took place just a couple of weeks before, and she’s likely in a must-win position in this fight against Grasso in UFC 238. Grasso (10-2) is 2-2 at the UFC but hasn’t fought since last May when she was submitted by Tatiana Suarez. The two Kowalkiewicz and Grasso are solid-yet-flawed fighters, but depending on her expertise I’d guess Kowalkiewicz are a small 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 among those longest-tenured fighters around the UFC roster and a future Hall of Famer. He moved up to welterweight this past year and has since gone 1-2 with a knockout loss to Matt Brown followed closely by back-to-back wins Craig White and Mickey Gall, who he just finished in catastrophic fashion. Chiesa (15-4) is 8-4 in the UFC and filed Carlos Condit in his welterweight debut in his last bout. Both Sanchez and Chiesa looked amazing in their past 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 only 21-years-old and is already 2-0 in the UFC with a knockout win over Charles Byrd and also a split decision win over Darren Stewart. He’s among the top young prospects in 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 at 185lbs, Shahbazyan is the future of the branch, and he’ll definitely be a huge favorite heading into this particular bout.
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