The UFC is returning to “The City of Brotherly Love” and a couple of fights have already been announced for the event. Those fights, plus a couple other newly-revealed UFC bouts in today’s MMA odds and ends.
Polyana Viana vs. Hannah Cifer, UFC 235
Strawweights Polyana Viana and Hannah Cifers will meet at UFC 235, taking place March 2 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. ESPN broke the news. Viana (10-2) is 1-1 so far in the UFC and was recently in the news after stopping an attempted robbery. Cifers (8-3) is 0-1 so far in the UFC but put up a spirited attempt against Maycee Barber. Based on the hype, I’d expect Viana to be favored here, but I wouldn’t sleep on Cifers.
Tim Boetsch vs. Omari Akhmedov, UFC Fight Night 146
A middleweight bout between Tim Boetsch and Omari Akhmedov is set for UFC Fight Night 146, taking place March 9 at Intrust Bank Arena in Wichita, Kansas. Boetsch (21-12) is 13-11 in the UFC all-time and is coming off of a submission loss to Antonio Carlos Junior. Akhmedov (17-4-1) is 5-3-1 in the UFC and most recently fought to a draw against Marvin Vettori. This looks like a pretty competitive fight but I’m expecting most bettors will want to fade Boetsch here as they always seem to, leading to Akhmedov being the favorite.
Anthony Rocco Martin vs. Sergio Moraes, UFC Fight Night 146
A welterweight bout between Anthony Rocco Martin and Sergio Moraes is also set for UFC Fight Night 146. Martin (15-4) is 3-0 since moving up to welterweight and finished Jake Matthews in his last outing. Moraes (14-3-1) is 8-2-1 overall in the UFC and is one of the most underrated welterweights in the division. But he’s also getting up there in age, and at some point he’s going to slow down. This should be a good fight but I lean towards the younger and vastly-improved Martin getting his hand raised.
Michelle Waterson vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz, UFC on ESPN 2
The UFC will return to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on March 30 at Wells Farco Center with UFC on ESPN 2. The first fight announced is a women’s strawweight bout between contenders Michelle Waterson and Karolina Kowalkiewicz, which Brett Okamoto revealed. Waterson (16-6) is 4-2 in the UFC and recently defeated Felice Herrig by decision. Kowalkiewicz (12-3) is 5-3 overall in the UFC but was brutally knocked out by Jessica Andrade in her last outing. Tough fight to call here, but given how vicious Kowalkiewiz was knocked out in her last fight I believe bettors will look to fade her in this spot.
Alexa Grasso vs. Marina Rodriguez, UFC on ESPN 2
Also aded to UFC on ESPN 2 is a women’s strawweight bout between Alexa Grasso and Marina Rodriguez. Grasso (10-2) is just 2-2 in the UFC and was submitted by Tatiana Suarez in her last outing. Rodriguez (10-0-1) fought to a draw with Randa Markos in her UFC debut. While I do believe Grasso will be the favorite here because she’s more of a known commodity, I am going to be taking a long look at Rodriguez. I just feel like Grasso is overrated and we might be able to get a good line on Rodriguez here.