The UFC continued their recent string of fight announcements late into the week, and the newly-revealed bouts are recorded below in the MMA odds and ends.
UFC Fight Night 147 vs. Nick Negumereanu, saparbek Safarov Due to an injury to Gokhan Saki, light heavyweight Saparbek Safarov will now take on Octagon newcomer Nick Negumereanu at UFC Fight Night 147, set for March 16 at The O2 Arena in London, England. The information was broken by nolan King of all FloCombat. Safarov (8-2) was completed by Gian Villante and Tyson Pedro in his first two UFC fights and he hasn’t fought in over a year now. Negumereanu (9-0) is a undefeated 24-year-old prospect fighting from Romania who has finished all his pre-UFC opponents within the distance. Despite taking the fight on short notice and making his Octagon debut, I enjoy Negumereanu to win this particular fight. It’s a pure grin about the chinny Safarov, that I hope to get cut from the UFC when he loses this battle. The odds are already out for this one, and indeed the UFC newcomer is a 2-to-1 preferred to receive his hand raised.
Marlon Vera vs. Frankie Saenz, UFC Fight Night 148 The UFC has re-booked the bantamweight bout between Marlon Vera and Frankie Saenz that has been scrapped days ahead of UFC 235 for UFC Fight Night 148, which takes place March 23 in Bridgestone Arena in Nashville Tennessee. Vera (12-5-1) is 6-4 at the UFC and is coming off of back-to-back stoppage wins over Guido Cannetti and Wuliji Buren. Saenz (13-5) is 5-3 in the UFC and defeated Henry Briones and Merab Dvalishvili in his last two bouts by decision. I don’t see the line changing much from where it shut before Saenz got hurt. Start looking for the line to be equal to what it ended it, with Vera as a close 2-to-1 favorite.
Poliana Botelho vs. Lauren Mueller, UFC 236
Due to an arm injury, Paige VanZant is out of her women’s flyweight bout against Poliana Botelho in UFC 236 and instead Lauren Mueller is taking the fight. The card is set for April 13 in State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia. Botelho (7-2) is 2-1 at the UFC but dropped by submission to Cynthia Calvillo in her final fight. Mueller (5-1) is 1-1 at the UFC but was filed by Yanan Wu in her last fight. It is another battle involving two flawed fighters who may go either way, but based on title worth I’d expect Botelho to be favored here.
Greg Hardy vs. Dmitry Smoliakov, UFC on ESPN 3
Controversial heavyweight Greg Hardy will return at UFC on ESPN 3 against Dmitry Smoliakov. The card is currently set for April 27 at BB&T Center at Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Igor Lazorin broke the information. Hardy (3-1) dropped by DQ to Allen Crowder in his UFC debut as a massive favorite but had won his three former pro MMA bouts by knockout. Smoliakov (9-2) was completed in bout of his UFC looks before bouncing back with a submission win on the Russian regional scene in January. But at 36 decades of age he has no upside and the UFC is bringing him here to shed. I wouldn’t trust laying the juice Hardy after what happened in his UFC debut, but I fully expect him to be a monster favored yet again for this fight.
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