The UFC was occupied announcing bouts for upcoming fight cards lately, and below are my ideas on a few of the newly-announced bouts for UFC Philadelphia and UFC Russia.
Josh Emmett vs. Michael Johnson, UFC on ESPN two Featherweight contender Josh Emmett will return from a lengthy layoff when he takes on Michael Johnson in UFC on ESPN two, which takes place March 30 in Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. ESPN broke news of this struggle. Emmett (13-2) is 4-2 at the UFC but has not fought because a brutal KO loss to Jeremy Stephens in February 2018. He rocketed up the rankings with a knockout win over Ricardo Lamas however, the loss to Stephens at which he broke his nose was a significant setback. Johnson (19-13) is 11-9 at the UFC and is coming from back-to-back decision wins over Andre Fili and Artem Lobov. However, he had lost three straight fights prior to that. Though Johnson is inconsistent, we understand how good he is when he’s at his finest, and with Emmett coming off of such a lengthy layoff you have to fade him and favor Johnson to win this fight.
Ray Borg vs. Pingyuan Liu, UFC on ESPN two Ray Borg will proceed up to bantamweight when he chooses on Pingyuan Liu at UFC on ESPN 2. The Philly Voice broke news. Borg (11-3) is 5-3 in the UFC but hasn’t fought since a submission loss to Demetrious Johnson in October 2017. He was one of the best flyweights in the UFC but will probably be moving up to bantamweight now and it will be interesting to see whether he could make a run in his new weight class. Liu (13-5) is riding a nine-fight win series including a 2-0 mark in the Octagon with wins over Damian Stasiak and Martin Day. Even though he’s going up to bantamweight, there is no doubt Borg will be a large favorite here just based on his UFC expertise and degree of competition.
Marcin Tybura vs. Shamil Abdurakhimov, UFC Fight Night 149
Heavyweights Marcin Tybura and Shamil Abdurakhimov will square off at UFC Fight Night 149, set for April 20 at Yubileyny Sports Palace at St. Petersburg, Russia. Tybura (17-4) is 4-3 at the UFC and chose over Stefan Struve in his last outing. Abdurakhimov (19-4) is 4-2 in the UFC and is coming from back-to-back wins over Andrei Arlovski and Chase Sherman. It’s heavyweight MMA so that you can never be sure of the result, but I think Tybura is the better fighter and should be favored here.
Emil Weber Meek vs. Sultan Aliev, UFC Fight Night 149
Welterweights Emil Weber Meek and Sultan Aliev will even meet at UFC Fight Night 149. Meek (9-4, 1 NC) is 1-2 in the UFC and is coming off of successive declines to Kamaru Usman and Bartosz Fabinski. Aliev (14-3) is currently 1-2 at the UFC and is coming off of a TKO loss to Warlley Alves. Both guys are disappointments in the UFC, but Meek usually gets more respect from bettors and that I assume he will be favored here.
Krzysztof Jotko vs. Roman Kopylov, UFC Fight Night 149
And lastly, a middleweight bout will visit Krzysztof Jotko take on UFC newcomer Roman Kopylov at UFC Fight Night 149. Jotko (19-4) is 6-4 in the UFC but is driving a three-fight losing skid including back-to-back KO declines to Uriah Hall and Brad Tavares. Kopylov (8-0) is making his UFC debut after going undefeated on the Russian regional scene. It’s difficult to back Jotko after his current win streak, and I anticipate the undefeated Kopylov to be the favorite here.
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