A pair of upcoming fight cards have received updates to them, and I will offer my thoughts on the newest bouts in today’s MMA odds and ends.
Chance Rencountre vs. Kyle Stewart, UFC on ESPN+ 1 (UFC Fight Night 143)
We have the last fight card upgrade for the UFC on ESPN+ one card this weekend, taking place Saturday at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Chance Rencountre eventually has his competitor as he’ll take on Octagon newcomer Kyle Stewart in 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) lost a decision to Belal Muhammad in his UFC debut but’d won four consecutive bouts before it. Stewart (11-1) has only lost once in his career, to high LFA potential James Nakashima, also in his final bout defeated Braden Smith by choice. I believe most will look to fade Rencountre in this spot, and that I expect Stewart to really 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 fresh four-fight contract with the UFC, and he now returns to fight Octagon newcomer Marcos Rosa in UFC 234, taking place February 10 in Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, Australia. ESPN broke the information. Vannata (9-3-2) only has a 1-3-2 album in the UFC, but almost every one of his fights was exciting that is why the UFC decided to bring him back. He is coming off of a draw against Matt Frevola, and hasn’t actually won a fight as a KO win over John Makdessi at December 2016. Rosa (6-4) is a veteran of the Brazilian regional circuit and has really won three of his final four bouts by stoppage. Ultimately it seems like the UFC has reserved Vannata a winnable struggle, and I expect him to be a sizeable favorite to get his hands raised.
Dong Hyun Ma vs. Devonte Smith, UFC 234
And lastly, Dong Hyun Ma (formerly called”another” Dong Yun Kim) will return at UFC 234 when 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 notable TKO win over Takanori Gomi and 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 has won his last five fights, and all eight of his pro wins have come by stoppage, together with his lone defeat a TKO loss to John Gunther. I very much enjoy watching Ma battle and I have to give the UFC matchmakers props for booking what is guaranteed to be a thrilling fight. But I’m quite high on Smith and I think he is likely to come in here and end Ma’s win series. Start looking for Smith to be the preferred in the sportsbooks following his flashy UFC debut.
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