A pair of upcoming fight cards have obtained updates to them, and I will offer my thoughts on the new bouts in the current MMA odds and ends.
Chance Rencountre vs. Kyle Stewart, UFC on ESPN+ 1 (UFC Fight Night 143)
We hopefully have the last fight card upgrade for the UFC on ESPN+ 1 card this weekend, taking place Saturday at Barclays Center at Brooklyn, New York. Chance Rencountre finally has his competitor as he will take on Octagon newcomer Kyle Stewart in a lightweight bout on the card. ESPN first broke the news. Rencountre’s unique opponent Randy Brown was pulled from the card due to a rumored USADA flagging, while Dwight Grant was not cleared to fight due to an eye injury. Rencountre (12-3) lost a decision to Belal Muhammad in his UFC debut but’d won four consecutive bouts before it. Stewart (11-1) has only lost once in his profession, to high LFA prospect James Nakashima, and in his final bout defeated Braden Smith by decision. I think most will seem to fade Rencountre in this area, and I expect Stewart to actually be a small favourite here despite making his UFC debut on short notice.
Lando Vannata vs. Marcos Rosa, UFC 234
Lightweight Lando Vannata recently reupped a fresh four-fight contract with the UFC, and that he now returns to combat Octagon newcomer Marcos Rosa in UFC 234, taking place February 10 at Rod Laver Arena at Melbourne, Australia. ESPN broke the news. Vannata (9-3-2) only has a 1-3-2 album in the UFC, but almost every one of his battles has been exciting that is why the UFC made a decision to bring him back. He’s coming off of a draw against Matt Frevola, and hasn’t actually won a fight since a KO win over John Makdessi at December 2016. Rosa (6-4) is a veteran of the Brazilian regional circuit and has actually won three of the last four bouts by stoppage. Ultimately it feels like the UFC has reserved Vannata a winnable struggle, and I expect him to become quite a big favorite to get his hands raised.
Dong Hyun Ma vs. Devonte Smith, UFC 234
And lastly, Dong Hyun Ma (formerly called”another” Dong Yun Kim) will return at UFC 234 when he takes on Devonte Smith in what ought to be an action-packed lightweight bout. Ma (16-8-3) is 3-2 overall in the UFC and is currently riding a three-fight win series including a remarkable TKO win over Takanori Gomi along with a decision win over Damien Brown. Smith (9-1) is 1-0 so much in the UFC with a ridiculous KO win over Julian Erosa. He’s won his last five fights, and all eight of his ace wins have come by stoppage, with his lone defeat a TKO loss to John Gunther. I very much enjoy watching Ma battle and I have to provide the UFC matchmakers props for booking what is guaranteed to be an exciting fight. But I’m quite high on Smith and I think he’s going to come back in here and end Ma’s win streak. Look for Smith to be the favorite from the sportsbooks after his flashy UFC debut.
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