The UFC was busy announcing new fights. Following are a few of the new forthcoming midnight set for spring UFC cards, and my initial thoughts on these.
Michel Prazeres vs. Ismail Naurdiev, UFC Fight Night 145
Due to an injury to Ramazan Emeev, Ismail Naurdiev has taken a short-notice struggle against Michel Prazeres at 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 at the UFC overall 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 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 majority of his wins have come by stoppage. However he’s also fought an extremely low level of rivalry and Prazeres is a major step up. I anticipate Prazeres for a good 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 two Featherweights Enrique Barzola and Kevin Aguilar are set to match UFC on ESPN two, occurring March 30 at Wells Fargo Arena in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. MMAWeekly broke the news. Barzola (15-3-1) is 5-1 in the UFC and is now riding a four-fight win series together with all his wins coming by decision. Barzola’s record is impressive, but his lack of finishing instincts could damage 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 guys on win stripes but based on his ability to actually complete a fight I would have to favor 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 at 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 series and is coming off of a successful UFC debut when he defeated the aforementioned Ferreira by choice. His only career defeat came from Markus Perez, who just submitted Anthony Hernandez at UFC Fight Night 144. This looks like a very solid matchup between two middleweights with prospective name aspirations. The two Breese and Heinisch are extremely well-rounded fighters and this will be a close battle. I would have to prefer Breese only based on the fact that the struggle is in England, however I expect Heinisch to be somewhat aggressive in this matchup and that he is worth looking at as a dog.
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