The UFC continued to announce new fights for upcoming 2019 cards, and I’ll give my thoughts on these new bouts in today’s MMA odds and ends.
Ricardo Ramaos vs. Said Nurmagomedov, UFC on ESPN+ 2
A bantamweight fight between prospects Ricardo Ramos and Said Nurmagomedov has been booked for UFC on ESPN+ 2, which takes place February 2 at Centro de Formação Olímpica do Nordeste in Fortaleza, Brazil. Akhmat MMA broke the news. Ramos (12-1) is 3-0 in the UFC and recently defeated Kyong Ho Kang via split decision. Nurmagomedov (12-1) defeated Justin Scoggins in his UFC debut and has only lost one in his career, a decision defeat to Magomed Bibulatov. This is a really close fight between two up-and-coming prospects but given Nurmagomedov’s hype due to his last name, I’d expect the sportsbooks to plug him in as the favorite.
Aljamain Sterling vs. Jimmie Rivera, UFC on ESPN 1
Bantamweight contenders Aljamain Sterling and Jimmie Rivera will meet at UFC on ESPN 1, which takes place February 17 at Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, Arizona. Greg Moore broke the news. Sterling (16-3) is 8-3 in the UFC and is coming off of back-to-back lopsided wins over Brett Johns and Cody Stamann. Rivera (22-2) is 6-1 in the UFC and is coming off of a decision win over John Dodson. Both guys are among the best bantamweights in the world, but I believe stylistically this fight favors Rivera and I expect him to be a small favorite here.
Myles Jury vs. Andre Fili, UFC on ESPN 1
Featherweights Myles Jury and Andre Fili will clash in an exciting bout set for UFC on ESPN 1. FloCombat broke the news. Jury (17-8) is 8-3 in the UFC and recently was knocked out by Chad Mendes. Fili (18-6) is 6-5 in the UFC and dropped a split decision to Michael Johnson in his last bout. I like this matchup between two underrated featherweights, but would lean towards Jury just due to his more well-rounded game.
Jodie Esquibel vs. Jessica Penne, UFC on ESPN 1
A women’s strawweight bout between Jodie Esquibel and Jessica Penne has also been added to UFC on ESPN 1. Eqsuibel (6-4) is 0-2 in the UFC and needs a win to save her job. Penne (12-5) is just 1-3 in the UFC and hasn’t fought since April 2017. This is a tough one to call give how much time Penne has missed, but she is the more talented fighter and I’d at least give her a slight edge to win this fight.
Lucie Pudilova vs. Liz Carmouche, UFC on ESPN+ 3
And finally, a women’s flyweight bout between Lucie Pudilova and Liz Carmouche has been added to UFC on ESPN+ 3, which takes place February 23 at O2 Arena in Prague, Czech Republic. Nova Sport broke the news. Pudilova (8-3) is 2-2 so far in the UFC and recently lost to Irene Aldana via split decision, but she is one of the Czech Republic’s most popular fighters currently in the UFC. Carmouche (12-6) is 4-4 in the UFC and is 1-1 since moving to flyweight with a decision win over Jennifer Maia in her last fight. This is a pretty close fight on paper but given Carmouche’s experience and wrestling advantage she should be a slight favorite in this one.