A number of new UFC fights were announced just in time for the weekend, and I’ll give my thoughts on all of them in today’s MMA odds and ends.
Diego Sanchez vs. Craig White, UFC 228
A welterweight matchup between Diego Sanchez and Craig White is the latest addition to UFC 228, which is set for Saturday, September 8 at American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. Sanchez (27-11) has not fought since a brutal KO loss to Matt Brown last November and overall he has suffered KO losses in three of his last four fights. White (14-8) lost via TKO to Neil Magny in his UFC debut to snap the four-fight win streak he had in Cage Warriors. Sanchez is an auto-fade at this point and you have to side with White in this matchup as he’s the bigger, younger fighter.
Rustam Khabilov vs. Kajan Johnson, UFC Fight Night 136
Lightweights Rustam Khabilov and Kajan Johnson will throw down at UFC Fight Night 136, which takes place Saturday, September 15 at Olympic Stadium in Moscow, Russia. MMAUK.net broke the news. Khabilov (22-3) is currently riding a five-fight win streak and is 8-2 overall in the UFC. Johnson (23-13-1) is 4-2 in the UFC and recently was submitted by Islam Makhachev. This is another bad matchup for Johnson and Khabilov should be a monster favorite here.
Dominick Reyes vs. Ovince Saint-Preux, UFC 229
Light heavyweight contenders Dominick Reyes and Ovince Saint-Preux clash at UFC 229, set for Saturday, October 6 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Adam Hill confirmed the booking. Reyes (9-0) is a perfect 3-0 so far in the UFC with three finishes and he looks like a serious prospect for the title at 205lbs. OSP (23-11) is coming off of a submission win over Tyson Pedro and has won four of his last five fights. Even though OSP is the bigger name and has more experience I have to lean towards Reyes here as I believe he is the future of the light heavyweight division.
Tony Martin vs. Ryan LaFlare, UFC 229
Welterweights Tony Martin and Ryan LaFlare will meet at UFC 229. Martin (13-4) has won four of his last five fights including a decision win over Keita Nakamura in his welterweight debut. LaFlare (14-2) is coming off of a decision win over Alex Garcia. This is a close one to call but my initial lean is towards Martin based on how he’s looked as of late since moving up to welterweight.
Michelle Waterson vs. Felice Herrig, UFC 229
A women’s strawweight battle between Michelle Waterson and Felice Herrig was also added to UFC 229. Waterson (15-6) is coming off of a decision win over Cortney Casey. Herrig (14-7) is coming off of a decision loss to Karolina Kowalkiewicz which snapped her four-fight win streak. This is another competitive bout but I lean towards Herrig based on how she’s looked lately.
Raquel Pennington vs. Germaine de Randamie, UFC Fight Night 139
A pair of women’s bantamweights collide when Raquel Pennington fights Germaine de Randamie at UFC Fight Night 139, which takes place Saturday, November 10 at Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado. Pennington (9-6) was TKOed by Amanda Nunes in her last fight to snap a four-fight win streak. De Randamie (7-3) is on a three-fight win streak and beat Holly Holm in her last fight but hasn’t fought since vacating the featherweight title. I know GDR is not a fan favorite but stylistically this is a good fight for her.
Ashley Yoder vs. Amanda Cooper, UFC Fight Night 139
Women’s strawweights Ashley Yoder and Amanda Cooper will also meet at UFC Fight Night 139. Yoder (5-3) is 0-3 in the UFC. Cooper (3-4) is 2-3 in the UFC. Both women are fighting for their jobs and I expect a near Pick ’em line for this fight.