INITIAL UFC 236 CARD ANNOUNCED

The UFC has been extremely busy over the past week, announcing a number of new bouts for upcoming fight cards. One of those cards is UFC 236, that takes place April 13 at State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia. Check out my ideas on the primary event between Max Holloway and Dustin Poirier here, and also my thoughts on another newly-announced bouts are below.
Eryk Anders vs. Khalil Rountree, UFC 236
Added to UFC 236 is a fascinating light heavyweight bout between Eryk Anders and Khalil Rountree. Anders (11-3) is just 3-3 in the UFC and is coming from a decision loss to Elias Theodorou. He has chosen to make the move up to light heavyweight forever rather than cutting all that weight should help him. Rountree (7-3, 1 NC) is 3-3, 1 NC from the UFC and is coming from a KO loss to Johnny Walker. While Rountree has much more experience battling as a light hearted and is a proven knockout artist, I still believe in Anders and think he has more potential than that which he’s shown in the UFC up to now. The opening line should be near a Select ’em, but my early lean is towards Anders.
Paige VanZant vs. Poliana Botelho, UFC 236
Women’s flyweights Paige VanZant and Poliana Botelho will battle at this event. VanZant (8-4) is currently 5-3 at the UFC and is coming off of a submission win over Rachael Ostovich. Botelho (7-2) is 2-1 in the UFC but dropped by entry to Cynthia Calvillo in her final struggle. I’d undoubtedly prefer VanZant to get the win and based on her fame that I wouldn’t be surprised if the lineup was hugely skewed in her favor.
Wilson Reis vs. Alexandre Pantoja, UFC 236
In a rare flyweight struggle, Wilson Reis takes on Alexandre Pantoja. Reis (23-9) is 7-5 in the UFC and conquered 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 of the upside here is with Pantoja and I expect him to be a tiny popular at open. Anticipate the loser of this struggle to be released as the UFC cuts virtually every flyweight coming off of a loss.
Ovince Saint-Preux vs. Nikita Krylov, UFC 236
In a rematch no one asked , 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 in 205lbs and is no longer a true title contender. Krylov (24-6) is 6-4 at the UFC and has been submitted by Jan Blachowicz in his final bout. OSP and Krylov formerly fulfilled at UFC 171 at 2014, with OSP winning by entry. I am not exactly certain why the UFC believed this rematch was essential, but given how their first fight went and how awful Krylov’s submission defense is, I’d prefer OSP to overcome him once again.
Montel Jackson vs. Andre Soukhamthath, UFC 236
And lastly, bantamweights Montel Jackson and Andre Soukhamthath match. Jackson (7-1) chose to Ricky Simon in his UFC debut but bounced back nicely with a submission win over Brian Kelleher. Soukhamthath (13-6) is only 2-3 in the UFC but beat Jonathan Martinez by choice in his final struggle. Soukhamthath is too inconsistent to trust, and I expect Jackson to be favored here.
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