The hits keep coming this week as the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) announced a pair of upcoming fights, and just like yesterday, we’ll be detailing the latest fighters released from their contracts as well. Sage Northcutt vs. Cody Pfister – UFC Fight Night 80 Sage Northcutt took the world by storm with his UFC debut. The 19-year old Texan received a ton of hype and then lived up to it by blistering Francisco Trevino in just 90 seconds. His post-fight celebration front flip also went viral. Northcutt looks like a star in the making, so it makes sense the UFC isn’t pushing him straight to the moon against the elite of the elite on the lightweight roster. Instead, Northcutt will battle a game Cody Pfister, who has gone 1-1 thus far in his UFC career. Pfister will present an intriguing wrestling threat for Northcutt, but the athleticism, speed and power difference between these two fighters is massive. I expect Northcutt to be a big favorite here, and it’ll probably still get bumped up higher after the initial odds are released due to the wave of attention the newly joined Tristar fighter has been earning. Edgar Garcia vs. Sheldon Westcott – UFC 195 This is certainly a loser leaves town match. Garcia lost to Hector Urbina in his UFC return nearly a year ago, while Westcott was a former finalist of The Ultimate Fighter and has yet to pick up his first UFC victory after two Octagon appearances. Garcia has decent power and overall striking, while Westcott isn’t the most technical fighter, but he’s very high energy and blitzes his opponents very well. The problem with Westcott throughout his career has been his conditioning, as his cardio has failed him in both of his UFC defeats. The odds for this one should be close, because if Westcott doesn’t put Garcia away quickly, he’s probably going to lose this fight. Now moving on to the fighters released from their UFC contracts: TJ Waldburger – Waldburger was a spectacular submission artist, earning three of his four UFC victories by way of tapout, but the biggest issue he faced inside the Octagon was his ability to absorb punishment. Waldburger was knocked out in three of his four losses, and that’s a worrying trend for a fighter who’s still just 27 years old. The former Shark Fights welterweight champion finishes his UFC stint with a 4-4 overall record and lost his last two fights to Mike Pyle and Adlan Amagov, respectively. David Michaud – Michaud did what he could, making his UFC debut against Li Jianglang as an undersized welterweight on short notice and losing via decision. He picked up a win over Garrett Whitely in his second bout with the promotion, but was thrown to the wolves against top grappling prospect Olivier Aubin-Mercier in his last fight this past April and that was the last fight before his release. Michaud was an entertaining fighter both inside and outside the cage due to his bigger than life personality, but he didn’t quite have the skills to hang with the elite in the lightweight division. He’s still just 26 years old so we could see him again if he puts his time in on the regional circuit.
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