A pair of upcoming fight cards have obtained 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 last fight card update for the UFC on ESPN+ 1 card this weekend, taking place Saturday in Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Chance Rencountre finally has his opponent as he will take on Octagon newcomer Kyle Stewart in a lightweight bout on the card. ESPN first broke the news. Rencountre’s original opponent Randy Brown was pulled from the card due to a rumored USADA flagging, while Dwight Grant was not 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 profession, to top LFA potential James Nakashima, also in his last bout conquered Braden Smith by choice. I believe most will seem to fade Rencountre inside this area, and that I expect Stewart to really be a small favourite here despite making his UFC debut on short notice.
Lando Vannata vs. Marcos Rosa, UFC 234
Lightweight Lando Vannata recently reupped a fresh four-fight contract with the UFC, and he now returns to combat 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) just has a 1-3-2 album from the UFC, but nearly every one of his battles has been exciting which is the reason why the UFC made a decision to bring him back. He is coming off of a draw against Matt Frevola, also hasn’t actually won a fight since a KO win over John Makdessi at December 2016. Rosa (6-4) is a veteran of the Brazilian regional circuit also has really won three of the final four bouts by stoppage. Ultimately it feels like the UFC has booked Vannata a winnable struggle, and I expect him to become a sizeable favorite to receive his hands raised.
Dong Hyun Ma vs. Devonte Smith, UFC 234
And lastly, Dong Hyun Ma (formerly called”the other” Dong Yun Kim) will return at UFC 234 if he takes on Devonte Smith in what should be an action-packed lightweight bout. Ma (16-8-3) is 3-2 overall from the UFC and is now riding a three-fight win series including a notable TKO win over Takanori Gomi and a decision win over Damien Brown. Smith (9-1) is 1-0 so much in the UFC with a ridiculous KO win over Julian Erosa. He’s won his last five fights, and all nine of his pro wins have come by stoppage, together with his lone defeat a TKO loss to John Gunther. I very much like watching Ma fight and I have to give the UFC matchmakers props for reserving what’s sure to be an exciting fight. But I am quite high on Smith and I think he’s likely to come back in here and end Ma’s win series. Look for Smith to be the favorite from the sportsbooks after his flashy UFC debut.
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