A high-profile title fight has been added to UFC 231 and a couple other lower-profile fights have been added to upcoming fight cards, and I’ll give my thoughts on these new matchups in today’s MMA odds and ends.
Beneil Dariush vs. Chris Gruetzemacher, UFC Fight Night 139
A lightweight matchup between Beneil Dariush and Chris Gruetzemacher will take place at UFC Fight Night 139, which goes down Saturday, November 10 at Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado. The Denver Post reported the bout. Dariush (14-4-1) is 8-4-1 overall in the UFC but has struggled as of late as he’s winless in his last three bouts. In his last outing, he suffered a brutal KO loss to Alexander Hernandez that bumped him out of the top-15 rankings. Gruetzmacher (14-3) is 2-2 overall in the UFC and is coming off his best win to date, a TKO victory over Joe Lauzon. This is essentially a grappler vs. striker matchup and in this case I have to lean towards the grappler in Dariush. Despite his recent losing skid, I still think he’s the best overall MMA fighter in this matchup.
Davi Ramos vs. John Gunther, UFC Fight Night 139
Also at UFC Fight Night 139 will be a lightweight bout between Davi Ramos and John Gunther. Ramos (8-2) is 2-1 in the UFC and is coming off of back-to-back submission wins over Nick Hein and Chris Gruetzemacher. He is one of the most decorated grapplers in the lightweight division right now and has looked really good as of late. Gunther (7-0) earned a decision over Allan Zuniga in his UFC debut after a failed stint on The Ultimate Fighter. I think Ramos is the better fighter and I’d expect him to be a big favorite here.
Valentina Shevchenko vs. Joanna Jedrzejczyk, UFC 231
The co-main event for UFC 231 will be a five-round bout for the vacant women’s flyweight title between Valentina Shevchenko and Joanna Jedrzejczyk. The event takes place Saturday, December 8 at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and the UFC has officially confirmed the booking. Shevchenko (15-3) is 4-2 overall in the UFC and defeated Priscila Cachoeira via submission in her flyweight debut. She was supposed to fight Nicco Montano for the flyweight title at UFC 228 but Montano was removed due to a medical condition and Shevchenko was left without a fight. Jedrzejczyk (15-2) is 9-2 overall in the UFC and is coming off of a decision win over Tecia Torres. The two knockout losses to Rose Namajunas were enough of a reason for Jedrzejczyk to try to move up to flyweight and try her hand there, and I think it’s a good idea, albeit this is a tough debut fight against Shevchenko. These two have fought three times previously in Muay Thai with Shevchenko going 3-0, and I think she makes it 4-0 in the UFC. As good as Jedrzejczyk is, Shevchenko is going to be the bigger fighter in this fight and in my opinion she’s more well-rounded. The betting line should be more competitive than the Montano fight but I would still expect Shevchenko to be a sizeable favorite to win the belt.