A few new UFC fights were announced over the weekend, and I’ll list these new bouts along with my initial thoughts on them in today’s MMA odds and ends.
Mark De La Rosa vs. Elias Garcia, UFC Fight Night 133
A bantamweight bout between prospects Mark De La Rosa and Elias Garcia will take place at UFC Fight Night 133, which goes down Saturday, July 14 at CenturyLink Arena in Boise, Idaho. The venue itself confirmed the booking. De La Rosa (9-1) is 0-1 in the UFC with a submission loss to Tim Elliott in his UFC debut. De La Rosa is a top prospect who had run off a string of submission wins in Combate Americas but he will need a win here to bounce back from that loss to Elliott. Garcia (5-0) has won four of his pro bouts via submission and will be making his UFC here. He has been fighting since 2013 but only has five fights so he’s either been quite selective about his opponents or injury prone. This is a pretty close fight but I would still expect De La Rosa to be favored since he’s the bigger name.
Angela Hill vs. Alexa Grasso, UFC Fight Night 135
A women’s strawweight bout between Angela Hill and Alexa Grasso will go down at UFC Fight Night 135, which takes place Saturday, August 25 at Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln, Nebraska. MMAjunkie.com had the news. Hill (8-4). is 3-4 overall in the UFC including a 2-2 mark in her second and most recent stint in the promotion. In her last bout, Hill defeated Maryna Moroz via decison, and she will now be looking to build the first multi-fight win streak of her UFC career. Grasso (10-2) is 2-2 in the UFC and was submitted by Tatiana Suarez in her last bout. Grasso is still one of the top prosepcts in the division but has a lot of holes in her game and may not be the contender some though she could be a few years ago. This should be a pretty competitive striking matchup, but even despite Grasso’s struggles I still believe the oddsmakers will set her as the favorite to win.
John Dodson vs. Jimmie Rivera, UFC 228
A bantamweight bout between top-ranked contenders John Dodson and Jimmie Rivera is set for UFC 228, which takes place Saturday, September 8 at a location to be determined. MMAFighting.com broke the news of the bout. Dodson (20-9) is 9-4 all-time in the UFC and in his last bout he defeated Pedro Munhoz via split decision. Dodson has gotten close to the title picture at 135lbs several times but has always lost the big one and will need to build a win streak to get back to the top. Rivera (21-2) is 5-1 in the UFC and in his last fight he was brutally knocked out by Marlon Moraes. Rivera is still one of the top-ranked contenders in the bantamweight division and he asked the UFC for a quick turnaround to forget about the Moraes fight. Both guys are very good fighters but I believe Rivera, even despite the loss to Moraes, is just a bit more well-rounded and I would slightly favor him to win this fight.