The UFC has been busy announcing new fights. Following are a few of the newest forthcoming midnight set for spring UFC cards, and my initial thoughts on these.
Michel Prazeres vs. Ismail Naurdiev, UFC Fight Night 145
Because of an injury to Ramazan Emeev, Ismail Naurdiev has obtained a short-notice fight against Michel Prazeres in UFC Fight Night 145, occurring February 23 at The O2 Arena in Prague, Czech Republic. MMABrasil broke the information. Prazeres (26-2) is 10-2 in the UFC entire and is riding an eight-fight win streak at the moment. He had difficulty making the lightweight limit of 155lbs and because moving up to welterweight has arguably looked even better with back-to-back wins over Zak Cummings and Bartosz Fabinski. Naurdiev (17-2) is making his UFC debut on the strength of back-to-back knockout wins. He’s experience fighting in ACB, and the vast majority of his wins have come by stoppage. However he has also fought a very low level of rivalry and Prazeres is a major step up. I expect Prazeres to be a solid favorite here, and he deserves it after the recent run he’s went on inside the Octagon.
Enrique Barzola vs. Kevin Aguilar, UFC on ESPN 2 Featherweights Enrique Barzola and Kevin Aguilar are set to meet UFC on ESPN two, occurring March 30 at Wells Fargo Arena in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The information was broken by mMAWeekly. Barzola (15-3-1) is 5-1 at the UFC and is currently riding a four-fight win streak together with all of his wins coming from choice. Barzola’s album is remarkable, but his lack of finishing instincts could hurt him as he advances up the featherweight ranks. Aguilar (16-1) is coming off of a powerful UFC debut when he won a unanimous decision over Rick Glenn, and overall he’s riding an eight-fight win series. His only career loss came from Leonard Garcia back in 2013, but otherwise he’s been perfect in his MMA career. This is a pretty solid matchup between two men on win streaks but based on his ability to really finish 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 currently 4-1 in the UFC and is coming from a TKO win over Dan Kelly in his middleweight debut. Heinisch (12-1) is currently riding a four-fight win streak and is coming off of a successful UFC debut when he conquered the aforementioned Ferreira by choice. His only career defeat came against Markus Perez, who just filed Anthony Hernandez in UFC Fight Night 144. This looks like a very good matchup between two middleweights with future title ambitions. Both Breese and Heinisch are very well-rounded fighters and this will be a close battle. I’d have to prefer Breese just based on the fact that the fight is in England, but I expect Heinisch to be somewhat competitive in this matchup and that he is well worth looking at as a puppy.
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