The UFC has been busy announcing new fights. Below are some of the newest forthcoming midnight set for spring UFC cards, and my first thoughts on these.
Michel Prazeres vs. Ismail Naurdiev, UFC Fight Night 145
Due to an accident to Ramazan Emeev, Ismail Naurdiev has obtained a short-notice fight against Michel Prazeres at UFC Fight Night 145, taking place February 23 in The O2 Arena in Prague, Czech Republic. MMABrasil broke the information. Prazeres (26-2) is 10-2 in the UFC overall and is riding an eight-fight win series right now. He had difficulty making the lightweight limit of 155lbs and since moving up to welterweight has arguably looked even better using back-to-back wins over Zak Cummings and Bartosz Fabinski. Naurdiev (17-2) is making his UFC debut on the potency of back-to-back knockout wins. He’s experience fighting in ACB, along with the majority of his wins have come by stoppage. However he’s also fought an extremely low amount of competition and Prazeres is a major step up. I expect Prazeres to be a solid favorite here, and he deserves it after the current run he’s went on within the Octagon.
Enrique Barzola vs. Kevin Aguilar, UFC on ESPN 2 Featherweights Enrique Barzola and Kevin Aguilar are set to match UFC on ESPN two, taking place March 30 in Wells Fargo Arena in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The news was broken by mMAWeekly. Barzola (15-3-1) is 5-1 in the UFC and is currently riding a four-fight win streak together with all his wins coming by choice. Barzola’s album is remarkable, but his lack of completing instincts could hurt him as he progresses up the featherweight ranks. Aguilar (16-1) is coming from a successful UFC debut when he won a unanimous decision over Rick Glenn, and overall he is riding an eight-fight win series. His only career loss came against Leonard Garcia back in 2013, but otherwise he’s been perfect in his MMA career. This is a pretty good matchup between two men on win streaks but based on his ability to actually complete a fight I’d have to prefer Aguilar to receive his hands raised.
Tom Breese vs. Ian Heinisch, UFC Fight Night 147
Due to an injury to Cezar Ferreira, Ian Heinisch is stepping up as an injury replacement to take on Tom Breese in UFC Fight Night 147, taking place March 16 at The O2 Arena in London, England. Breese (11-1) is 4-1 in the UFC and is coming off of a TKO win over Dan Kelly in his middleweight debut. Heinisch (12-1) is now riding a four-fight win streak and is coming off of a successful UFC introduction when he conquered the aforementioned Ferreira by decision. His only career defeat came against Markus Perez, who just submitted Anthony Hernandez at UFC Fight Night 144. This looks like a really good matchup between two middleweights with prospective title ambitions. Both Breese and Heinisch are very well-rounded fighters and this is going to be a close fight. I’d have to favor Breese just based on the fact the struggle is in England, but I expect Heinisch to be very competitive in this matchup and he is worth looking at as a puppy.
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