The UFC welterweight division continues to incorporate new high profile matchups. Just a couple of days after Rafael dos Anjos vs. Colby Covington was targeted for an interim title fight at UFC 224, two more great matchups have been booked. Here are my thoughts on those two new primary events, as well as other bouts recently declared by the UFC, recorded in chronological order.
Sean Strickland vs. Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos, UFC 224
A welterweight bout between Sean Strickland and Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos is the latest addition to the stacked UFC 224 card. The event takes place Saturday, May 24 in Jeunesse Arena at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and this bout rumor was reported by Combate. Strickland (19-2) is a remarkable 6-2 from the UFC and is coming from a decision win over Court McGee. Dos Santos (18-5) is 4-1 at the UFC and has won”Fight of the Night” 3 times, including in his conclusion win over Max Griffin in his final struggle. Both guys are excellent fighters that are constantly improving their matches and that I anticipate a very close betting line here.
Santiago Ponzinibbio vs. Kamaru Usman, UFC Chile
A welterweight bout between Santiago Ponzinibbio and Kamaru Usman was officially declared by the UFC since the headliner of UFC Fight Night 129, which takes place Saturday, May 19 at Movistar Arena in Santiago, Chile. Ponzinibbio (26-3) is 8-2 in the UFC and is now riding a six-fight win streak, with a decision win over Mike Perry his last time out. Usman (12-1) is a perfect 7-0 in the UFC and conquered Emil Weber Meek in his final outing. Both men are elite welterweights and this should be a great fight. Look for Usman to become favored heading into this battle due to his wrestling advantage.
Darren Until Armour Stephen Thompson, UFC Liverpool
A welterweight showdown between Darren Till and Stephen Thompson is expected to headline UFC Fight Night 130, which takes place Sunday, May 27 in Echo Arena at Liverpool, England. BJPenn.com reported that the matchup. Till (16-0-1) is 4-0-1 in the UFC and knocked out Donald Cerrone in spectacular style in his last fight. Thompson (14-2-1) is 9-2-1 from the UFC and is coming off of a unanimous decision win over Jorge Masvidal. This is 1 hell of a matchup between two of the welterweight division’s elite strikers. All the hype is all behind Till right now so that I think he will be preferred, but I personally favor Thompson to win this fight and will be eyeing him as an underdog. I’ll be very curuous to see how the people swings the chances for this one.
Dan Ige vs. Mike Santiago, UFC 225
And finally, a welterweight bout between Dan Ige and Mike Santiago is going into UFC 225, that takes place Saturday, June 9 at United Center in Chicago, Illinois. The UFC confirmed the booking. Ige (8-2) lately made his UFC debut but lost a unanimous decison to Julio Arce. Santiago (20-11) has dropped both of his UFC struggles up to now from Zabit Magomedshapirov and Mads Burnell. Neither fighter looks like they will stick around the Octagon for extended but I’d imagine Ige is a little favorite heading into this one.
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