The UFC matchmakers are busy sending out contracts. In the current MMA odds and ends I’ll give my thoughts on two new spells for UFC 237, such as a potential No. 1 contender struggle from the featherweight division, and my first reactions to two new bouts struggles for UFC Russia.
Jose Aldo vs. Alexander Volkanovski, UFC 237
Featherweight contenders Jose Aldo and Alexander Volkanovski are set to clash at UFC 237 in a possible title eliminator. The card takes place May 11 at Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and news of this bout was first revealed by MMA journalist Farah Hannoun. Aldo (28-4) is 10-3 at the UFC and is coming off of back-to-back knockout wins over Renato Moicano and Jeremy Stephens. After a rough stretch which saw him get pumped three times in four fights, Aldo looks better than ever and can be creating a late-career run to the belt that he once held for years. Volkanovski (19-1) is 6-0 at the UFC and in his final bout brutally knocked out Chad Mendes. Many consider him a prospective featherweight champion, and this fight should tell us a lot about that. This is a tremendous fight, rather than an easy one to call. Aldo will probably be favored due to his name value and Octagon experience, but Volkanovski has appeared incredible in the UFC and should be a live puppy in this bout.
Thiago Alves vs. Laureano Staropoli, UFC 237
Experienced welterweight Thiago Alves returns at UFC 237 when he chooses on potential Laureano Staropoli. broke the information. Alves (23-13) is currently 15-10 overall in the UFC and most recently won a controversial split decision over Max Griffin. Staropoli (8-1) is riding a six-fight win series and in his UFC debut won a”Battle of the Night” bonus because of his decision win over Hector Aldana. At this point you need to fade Alves and I’d favor the 26-year-old Staropoli to win this bout. But considering he’s an unknown, it is possible he will be an underdog in this bout, so keep your eye out for him.
Sultan Aliev vs. Keita Nakamura, UFC Fight Night 149
Welterweights Sultan Aliev and Keita Nakamura are set to battle UFC Fight Night 149, taking place April 20 at Yubileyny Sports Palace at St. Petersburg, Russia. Nakamura replaced the wounded Emil Weber Meek on relatively short notice with this bout. Aliev (14-3) is only 1-2 in the UFC and most recently was completed by Warlley Alves. Nakamura (34-9-2, 1 NC) is 4-6 overall from the UFC, including a 4-3 mark in his next stint within the Octagon. In his last fight, he edged out a split decision over Salim Touahri. Both guys will be on the chopping block with a loss, and this fight resembles a close one. I’d prefer Nakamura slightly simply due to his durability, but it could go either way.
Abdul-Kerim Edilov vs. Devin Clark, UFC Fight Night 149
A light heavyweight bout between Abdul Kerim-Edilov and Devin Clark is also slated for UFC Fight Night 149. Edilov (17-4) hasn’t fought as a September 2017 knockout win over Bojan Mihaljovic and contains just 1 battle since 2015. But he’s only 27-years-old and is now riding an 11-fight win streak dating back to 2013. He is a small wild card at 205lbs, but overall seems like a promising prospect if he can remain healthy and keep out of trouble with USADA. Clark (9-3) is 3-3 at the UFC and is coming off of a brutal TKO loss to Aleksandar Rakic. Now it’s just very difficult to trust that the chin of Clark, and a hard-hitter such as Edilov will be favored to beat him in this battle.
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