The UFC welterweight division continues to incorporate new high-profile matchups. Just a couple of days later Rafael dos Anjos vs. Colby Covington was targeted at an interim name fight at UFC 224, two great matchups have been booked. Here are my thoughts on those two new primary events, in addition to other bouts recently declared by the UFC, listed 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 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 in 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»Battle of the Night» three occasions, such as in his decision win over Max Griffin in his final struggle. Both men are excellent fighters who are constantly 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 declared by the UFC as the headliner of UFC Fight Night 129, which takes place Saturday, May 19 at Movistar Arena at Santiago, Chile. Ponzinibbio (26-3) is 8-2 at 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 at the UFC and defeated Emil Weber Meek in his last outing. Both men are elite welterweights and this ought to be a great fight. Search for Usman to be preferred heading into this battle due to his wrestling edge.
Darren Until Armour Stephen Thompson, UFC Liverpool
A welterweight showdown involving 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 in the UFC and is coming off of a unanimous decision win over Jorge Masvidal. This is one hell of a matchup between two of the welterweight division’s elite strikers. All of the hype is behind Till right now so I think he’ll be preferred, however I personally favor Thompson to win this battle and will be eyeing him as an underdog. I’ll be quite curuous to see how the people swings the chances with 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, that 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 dropped both of his UFC struggles up to now from 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 favourite heading into this one.
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