We have nearly completed 2016, and the UFC’s calendar continues to fill up. Here are my thoughts on some recently booked matchups… Fight: Gegard Mousasi vs. Uriah Hall II Card: UFC Fight Night 99 Where: Belfast, Northern Ireland When: November 19, 2016 Thoughts: The original headliner for UFC Fight Night 99 was Gunnar Nelson vs. Dong Hyun Kim, but that fight fell apart, so a rematch between Mousasi and Hall was booked instead. Their first bout saw Mousasi dominate Hall on the mat for the entirety of the opening round, but Hall caught Mousasi with a spinning back kick and then a flying knee to start off the second. Hall followed it up with some ground-and-pound to get the referee to intervene and halt the action, rewarding him with the TKO victory. Mousasi was a massive betting favorite heading into the first matchup, and despite the outcome, it is no different this time around. Could lightning strike twice for Hall? We’ll find out November 19th. This is a rematch I look forward to, and in my opinion, a solid replacement for the main event in Belfast. Fight: Thomas Almeida vs. Albert Morales Card: UFC Fight Night 100 Where: Sao Paolo, Brazil When: November 19, 2016 Thoughts: I think this will be a very fun fight in the UFC’s banamweight division, regardless of how long it lasts. Whether it ends inside of one minute or goes for all 15, I think we will be in for an exciting time. Almeida is coming off the first official loss of his professional mixed martial arts career — a first-round knockout at the hands of Cody Garbrandt — while Morales fought to a controversial draw against Alejandro Perez in his promotional debut. Many felt Morales deserved the nod in that contest. Almeida versus Morales is certainly one matchup I will be looking forward to. Fight: Ben Nguyen vs. Geanne Herrera Card: UFC Fight Night 101 Where: Melbourne, Australia When: November 27, 2016 Thoughts: This fight will most likely be on the preliminary card for the fight card, though I think it could be a sleeper for the evening’s ‘Fight of the Night’ bonus. Both flyweight fighters are generally fun to watch and deliver exciting performances, so when pitted against each other inside the Octagon, I think will they will produce a fun scrap much more often than not. As a fan of both 125-pounders, I would hate to see either of them take another loss and potentially get placed on the chopping block, but I think this stylistically makes for a very entertaining matchup and look forward to seeing them throw down in Nguyen’s adopted Australian backyard. Fight: Oluwale Bamgbose vs. Joe Gigliotti Card: UFC Fight Night 103 Where: Albany, NY When: December 9, 2016 Thoughts: Bamgbose’s originally scheduled opponent Josh Samman passed away shortly after the fight booking, which was the first official matchup booked for this fight card. Since then, Gigliotti has stepped in for the late Samman and will take on Bamgbose in what should be quite the entertaining showdown between strikers. Bamgbose and Gigliotti are both knockout threats on the feet and have the ability to end fights at any moment. This fight is expected to take place on the feet, so my advice would be to not blink.
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