The UFC was busy announcing bouts for upcoming fight cards lately, and under are my ideas on some of the newly-announced bouts for UFC Philadelphia and UFC Russia.
Josh Emmett vs. Michael Johnson, UFC on ESPN two Featherweight contender Josh Emmett will come back from a lengthy layoff when he takes on Michael Johnson in UFC on ESPN two, which takes place March 30 at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. ESPN broke news of this struggle. Emmett (13-2) is currently 4-2 in the UFC but has not fought because a brutal KO loss to Jeremy Stephens in February 2018. He rocketed up the rankings with a knockout win over Ricardo Lamas however, the reduction to Stephens at which he broke his nose was a significant setback. Johnson (19-13) is 11-9 in the UFC and is coming from back-to-back decision wins over Andre Fili and Artem Lobov. However, he’d lost three straight fights before that. Although Johnson is inconsistent, we know how good he is when he’s at his best, and with Emmett coming off of such a lengthy layoff you need to fade him here and prefer Johnson to win this fight.
Ray Borg vs. Pingyuan Liu, UFC on ESPN 2 Ray Borg will proceed up to bantamweight if he chooses on Pingyuan Liu at UFC on ESPN 2. The Philly Voice broke news. Borg (11-3) is 5-3 in the UFC but has not fought as a submission loss to Demetrious Johnson in October 2017. He was one of the greatest flyweights from the UFC but will soon be moving up to bantamweight now and it’s going to be intriguing to see whether he can make a run in his new weight class. Liu (13-5) is riding a nine-fight win streak including a 2-0 mark at the Octagon with wins over Damian Stasiak and Martin Day. Even though he is moving up to bantamweight, there’s no doubt Borg will be a large favorite here only according to his UFC expertise and level of competition.
Marcin Tybura vs. Shamil Abdurakhimov, UFC Fight Night 149
Heavyweights Marcin Tybura and Shamil Abdurakhimov will square off at UFC Fight Night 149, set for April 20 in Yubileyny Sports Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia. Tybura (17-4) is 4-3 in the UFC and won a decision over Stefan Struve in his last outing. Abdurakhimov (19-4) is 4-2 at the UFC and is coming off of back-to-back wins over Andrei Arlovski and Chase Sherman. It is heavyweight MMA so that you can never be certain of the result, but I think Tybura is the better fighter and ought to be preferred here.
Emil Weber Meek vs. Sultan Aliev, UFC Fight Night 149
Welterweights Emil Weber Meek and Sultan Aliev will also fulfill at UFC Fight Night 149. Meek (9-4, 1 NC) is 1-2 at the UFC and is coming off of successive losses to Kamaru Usman and Bartosz Fabinski. Aliev (14-3) is 1-2 in the UFC and is coming off of a TKO loss to Warlley Alves. Both guys are disappointments in the UFC, but Meek usually gets more respect from bettors and that I suppose he will be favored here.
Krzysztof Jotko vs. Roman Kopylov, UFC Fight Night 149
And lastly, a middleweight bout will see Krzysztof Jotko take on UFC newcomer Roman Kopylov in UFC Fight Night 149. Jotko (19-4) is 6-4 at the UFC however is driving a three-fight losing skid including back-to-back KO losses to Uriah Hall and Brad Tavares. Kopylov (8-0) is making his UFC debut after going undefeated in the Russian regional scene. It is difficult to back Jotko following his current win streak, and I expect the undefeated Kopylov are the favorite here.
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