A couple new fights have been added to upcoming fight cards this summer, and I’ll give my thoughts on these new matchups to today’s MMA odds and ends.
Joe Giannetti vs. Mike Trizano, TUF 27 Finale
A lightweight bout between Joe Giannetti and Mike Trizano is set for next weekend’s TUF 27 Finale, which goes down Firday, July 6 at Pearl Theater in Las Vegas, Nevada. The UFC has made the bout between TUF 27 vets official with the lightweight tournament title and UFC contract on the line. Giannetti (6-0) defeated John Gunther and Allan Zuniga via stoppage on the show to make it to the finals. Trizano (6-0) defeated Thailand Clark and Gunther to make to the finals himself. Both guys are impressive prospects but considering Giannetti’s wins on the show both came by finish, I’m assuming he will get a slight nod here from the books.
John Gunther vs. Allan Zuniga, TUF 27 Finale
A lightweight bout featuring TUF 27 veterans John Gunther and Allan Zuniga will take place at the TUF 27 Finale as well. Gunther (6-0) lost to Giannetti and Trizano on the show. Zuniga (13-0) got a bye over the injured Richie Smullen but lost to Giannetti in his next fight. Both guys didn’t impress on the show but both are undefeated as pros. With more experience in the cage, I would give a slight lean towards Zuniga, but it’s hard to be confident in either fighter.
Mike Perry vs. Paul Felder, UFC 226
After Yancy Medeiros pulled out with injury, Mike Perry was left without an opponent, and stepping in on short notice and up a weight class is Paul Felder, who will move to welterweight on a week’s notice to take on Perry at UFC 226, which goes down Saturday, July 7 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. MMAjunkie.com reported the new fight. Perry (11-3) is 4-3 in the UFC with four knockout wins and three decision losses. When he’s knocking out his opponents he looks great, but he’s a bit of a front-runner as when the fight isn’t going his way he tends to wilt as the fight goes on. Felder (15-3) is 7-3 in the UFC and has won his last three-straight fights by knockout. He’s one of the best strikers in the lightweight division, but how will he look at a higher weight class? What a great fight this is. It’s not an easy one to predict given that Felder is moving up a weight class, but I do feel like Felder is the smarter, more technical fighter so he’ll have some advantages despite being the smaller man. Perry has a ton of knockout power but has a lot of holes in his game defensively. I’d expect Perry to be a small favorite, and if that’s the case, I’d take a look at Felder here as an underdog.
Michael Johnson vs. Andre Fili, UFC Fight Night 135
An intriguing featherweight bout between Michael Johnson and Andre Fili will take place at UFC Fight Night 135, which goes down Saturday, August 25 at Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln, Nebraska. The bout was reported by by the Lincoln Journal Star. Johnson (17-13) is on a three-fight losing streak and has lost five of his last six bouts overall with his lone win since 2015 coming over Dustin Poirier. To be fair to Johnson, he has been fighting elite talent, but the results just haven’t been there. In his last fight, he was stopped by Darren Elkins in his featherweight debut. Fili (18-5) has had more success as of late, as he’s currently riding a two-fight win streak over Dennis Bermudez and Artem Lobov. He’s generally a very inconsistent fighter, but the talent is there. This is a tough fight to call as both men are very talented but both are hard to trust. Despite the losing skid, I favor Johnson slightly, but I wouldn’t want to put any money on him until he proves he can win at 145lbs.
CB Dollaway vs. Omari Akhmedov, UFC Fight Night 136
A middleweight bout between CB Dollaway and Omari Akhmedov will take place at UFC Fight Night 136, which goes down Saturday, September 15 at Olympic Stadium im Moscow, Russia. The news was first reported by ESPN’s Ariel Helwani. Dollaway (17-8) is 11-8 in the UFC and has won two-straight fights over Hector Lombard and Ed Herman. Akhmedov (17-4-1) is 5-3-1 in the UFC and is unbeaten in his last three fights. Despite his win streak I would still look to fade Dollaway at every opportunity and I expect Akhmedov to be a sizeable favorite in this bout.