A number of quality bouts have been revealed for upcoming UFC cards, and my thoughts on them are below.
Demian Maia vs. Anthony Rocco Martin, UFC on ESPN 3
Standout welterweights Demian Maia and Anthony Rocco Martin will fight at UFC on ESPN 3, taking place June 29 at Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Combate broke the news. Maia (26-9) is 20-9 in the UFC and is coming off of a submission win over Lyman Good. Martin (16-4) is 8-4 in the UFC and has won all four of his fights since moving up to welterweight. Martin is a fantastic fighter and could very well win this fight, but based on Maia’s level of experience and the quality of his opposition over the years he deserves to be the betting favorite here.
Paul Craig vs. Alonzo Menifield, UFC on ESPN 3
An intriguing light heavyweight bout between Paul Craig and Alonzo Menifield meet at UFC on ESPN 3. Craig (11-3) is 3-3 in the UFC and is coming off of a miracle submission win over Kennedy Nzechukwu. Menifield (8-0) is undefeated as a pro with all of his wins coming by stoppage, including a brutal KO over Vinicius Moreira in his UFC debut. You can never fully count Craig out as he’s proven he can come back and win late in the fight by submission, but on paper Menifield is the better athlete and he should be a huge favorite here.
Marlon Vera vs. Sean O’Malley, UFC 239
An exciting bantamweight bout between Marlon Vera and Sean O’Malley is scheduled for UFC 239, taking place June 6 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. ESPN’s Ariel Helwani broke the news. Vera (13-5-1) is 7-4 in the UFC and is coming off of three straight finishes over Frankie Saenz, Guido Cannetti and Wuliji Buren. O’Malley (10-0) is 2-0 in the UFC but hasn’t competed in over a year due to a USADA suspension. O’Malley is a tremendous young prospect but Vera is fighting at a high level right now and deserves to be the favorite here.
Cezar Ferreira vs. Martin Vettori, UFC Fight Night 155
Middleweights Cezar Ferreira and Marvin Vettori are set to fight at UFC Fight Night 155, taking place July 13 at an unannounced venue in Sacramento, California. Combate broke the news. Ferreira (13-7) is 9-5 in the UFC and is coming off of an upset decision loss to Ian Heinisch. Vettori (12-4-1) hasn’t fought in over a year due to a USADA suspension and in his last fight dropped a split decision to Israel Adesanya. This is a close fight but given how close Vettori was to beating Adesanya, even with the long layoff I would favor him slightly to get the win here over the aging and chinny Ferreira.
Beneil Dariush vs. Drakkar Klose, UFC on ESPN 3
Lightweights Beneil Dariush and Drakkar Klose will also meet at UFC Fight Night 155. Dariush (16-4-1) is 10-4-1 in the UFC and is coming off of back-to-back wins over Drew Dober and Thiago Moises. Klose (10-1-1) is 4-1 in the UFC and is coming off of consecutive wins over Bobby Green and Lando Vannata. This is a quality matchup but I would actually favor Klose as stylistically it’s a good fight for him as he should be able to keep it standing and win the striking battle.
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