The UFC welterweight division continues to incorporate new high profile matchups. Only a couple of days after Rafael dos Anjos vs. Colby Covington was targeted for an interim name fight at UFC 224, two more great matchups have been booked. Here are my ideas on those two new main events, in addition to 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 most recent addition to the piled UFC 224 card. The event takes place Saturday, May 24 in Jeunesse Arena at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and this bout rumor premiered by Combate. Strickland (19-2) is a remarkable 6-2 in the UFC and is coming off of a decision win over Court McGee. Dos Santos (18-5) is 4-1 in the UFC and has won”Fight of the Night” 3 occasions, including in his decision win over Max Griffin in his final fight. Both men are excellent fighters that are continuously improving their matches and I expect a very close gaming lineup here.
Santiago Ponzinibbio vs. Kamaru Usman, UFC Chile
A welterweight bout between Santiago Ponzinibbio and Kamaru Usman has been officially announced 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 series, with a decision win over Mike Perry his out time. Usman (12-1) is a perfect 7-0 at the UFC and conquered Emil Weber Meek in his last outing. Both men are elite welterweights and this should be a great fight. Search for Usman to be preferred heading into this fight as a result of his wrestling edge.
Darren Till vs. 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 at Echo Arena at Liverpool, England. BJPenn.com reported the matchup. Till (16-0-1) is 4-0-1 in the UFC and knocked out Donald Cerrone in spectacular style in his final fight. Thompson (14-2-1) is 9-2-1 from the UFC and is coming from a unanimous decision win over Jorge Masvidal. This is 1 hell of a matchup between two of the welterweight division’s elite strikers. All of the hype is all behind Till right now so that I believe he will be favored, however I personally favor Thompson to win this fight and will be eyeing him as an underdog. I’ll be very curuous to see the way the people swings the odds for this one.
Dan Ige vs. Mike Santiago, UFC 225
And lastly, a welterweight bout between Dan Ige and Mike Santiago is heading into UFC 225, which takes place Saturday, June 9 at United Center in Chicago, Illinois. The UFC confirmed the booking. Ige (8-2) recently made his UFC debut but missing a unanimous decison to Julio Arce. Santiago (20-11) has lost both of his UFC fights so far against Zabit Magomedshapirov and Mads Burnell. Neither fighter seems like they’ll stay around the Octagon for extended but I’d envision Ige is a slight favorite heading into this one.
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