The UFC has been extremely busy over the last week, announcing a number of new bouts for upcoming fight cards. One of those cards is UFC 236, which takes place April 13 at State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia. Check out my thoughts on the main event between Max Holloway and Dustin Poirier here, and my thoughts on the other newly-announced bouts are below.
Eryk Anders vs. Khalil Rountree, UFC 236
Added to UFC 236 is an intriguing light heavyweight bout between Eryk Anders and Khalil Rountree. Anders (11-3) is just 3-3 in the UFC and is coming off of a decision loss to Elias Theodorou. He has decided to make the move up to light heavyweight permanently and not cutting all that weight should help him. Rountree (7-3, 1 NC) is 3-3, 1 NC in the UFC and is coming off of a KO loss to Johnny Walker. While Rountree has more experience fighting as a light heavyweight and is a proven knockout artist, I still believe in Anders and think he has more potential than what he’s shown in the UFC so far. The opening line should be close to a Pick ’em, but my early lean is towards Anders.
Paige VanZant vs. Poliana Botelho, UFC 236
Women’s flyweights Paige VanZant and Poliana Botelho will clash at this event. VanZant (8-4) is 5-3 in the UFC and is coming off of a submission win over Rachael Ostovich. Botelho (7-2) is 2-1 in the UFC but lost by submission to Cynthia Calvillo in her last fight. I would definitely favor VanZant to get the win here and based on her popularity I wouldn’t be surprised if the line was massively skewed in her favor.
Wilson Reis vs. Alexandre Pantoja, UFC 236
In a rare flyweight fight, Wilson Reis takes on Alexandre Pantoja. Reis (23-9) is 7-5 in the UFC and defeated Ben Nguyen by decision in his last bout. Pantoja (20-3) is 4-1 in the UFC and is coming off of two straight wins over Brandon Moreno and Ulka Sasaki. Reis is a solid veteran but all the upside here is with Pantoja and I expect him to be a small favorite at open. Expect the loser of this fight to be released as the UFC cuts almost every flyweight coming off of a loss.
Ovince Saint-Preux vs. Nikita Krylov, UFC 236
In a rematch no one asked for, Ovince Saint-Preux takes on Nikita Krylov in a light heavyweight bout. St-Preux (23-12) is 11-7 in the UFC and is coming off of a decision loss to Dominick Reyes. He’s a gatekeeper at 205lbs and is no longer a true title contender. Krylov (24-6) is 6-4 in the UFC and was submitted by Jan Blachowicz in his last bout. OSP and Krylov previously met at UFC 171 in 2014, with OSP winning by submission. I’m not exactly sure why the UFC felt this rematch was necessary, but given how their first fight went and how bad Krylov’s submission defense is, I’d favor OSP to beat him once again.
Montel Jackson vs. Andre Soukhamthath, UFC 236
And finally, bantamweights Montel Jackson and Andre Soukhamthath meet. Jackson (7-1) lost a decision to Ricky Simon in his UFC debut but bounced back nicely with a submission win over Brian Kelleher. Soukhamthath (13-6) is just 2-3 in the UFC but beat Jonathan Martinez by decision in his last fight. Soukhamthath is too inconsistent to trust, and I expect Jackson to be favored here.