The UFC was occupied announcing bouts for upcoming fight cards in recent weeks, and under are my ideas on some of the newly-announced bouts for UFC Philadelphia and UFC Russia.
Josh Emmett vs. Michael Johnson, UFC on ESPN 2 Featherweight contender Josh Emmett will return from a lengthy layoff if he takes on Michael Johnson at UFC on ESPN 2, which takes place March 30 in Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. ESPN broke news of this fight. Emmett (13-2) is currently 4-2 in 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 reduction to Stephens where he broke his nose was a big setback. Johnson (19-13) is 11-9 in the UFC and is coming off of back-to-back decision wins over Andre Fili and Artem Lobov. However, he had lost three consecutive fights before that. Although Johnson is inconsistent, we understand how good he is when he is at his finest, and with Emmett coming off of such a lengthy layoff you need to fade him here and prefer Johnson to win this battle.
Ray Borg vs. Pingyuan Liu, UFC on ESPN 2 Ray Borg will move up to bantamweight when he takes on Pingyuan Liu at UFC on ESPN 2. The Philly Voice broke news. Borg (11-3) is currently 5-3 in the UFC but hasn’t fought as a submission reduction to Demetrious Johnson in October 2017. He was among the greatest flyweights from the UFC but will probably be moving up to bantamweight today 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 streak including a 2-0 mark at the Octagon with wins over Damian Stasiak and Martin Day. Even though he is moving up to bantamweight, there is no doubt Borg is going to be a big favorite here only according to his UFC expertise and level 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 in Yubileyny Sports Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia. Tybura (17-4) is 4-3 at the UFC and won a decision over Stefan Struve in his final outing. Abdurakhimov (19-4) is 4-2 at the UFC and is coming from back-to-back wins over Andrei Arlovski and Chase Sherman. It’s heavyweight MMA so you can never be sure of the result, but I believe 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 may also meet at UFC Fight Night 149. Meek (9-4, 1 NC) is currently 1-2 at the UFC and is coming from consecutive 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 men are disappointments in the UFC, but Meek usually gets more respect from bettors and that I suppose 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 at the UFC but is driving a three-fight losing skid including back-to-back KO losses to Uriah Hall and Brad Tavares. Kopylov (8-0) is making his UFC debut after going undefeated on the Russian regional arena. It’s hard to back Jotko following his recent win series, and I anticipate the undefeated Kopylov to be the preferred here.
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