The UFC is planning on booking an intriguing lightweight connection between top-15 wrestlers. My ideas on that new matchup plus a few new bouts added to Nashville in today’s MMA odds and ends.
Kevin Lee vs. Gregor Gillespie, May UFC Event
The UFC is targeting a lightweight bout between Kevin Lee and Gregor Gillespie to headline a yet-to-be-announced occasion in May, according to ESPN’s Ariel Helwani. The battle is not finalized yet but is very likely to be made official soon. Lee (17-4) is 10-4 at the UFC and in his last fight lost a five-round decision to Al Iaquinta. Ahead of the Iaquinta loss, Lee had set on a beatdown on Edson Barboza and despite a submission loss to Tony Ferguson before he remains among the best lightweights in the sport now. Gillespie (13-0) is a perfect 6-0 in the UFC and in his final fight picked up a TKO win over Yancy Medeiros. Lee is among those top-ranked lightweights in the UFC and is really the younger fighter in this matchup, but I truly think in Gillespie and think that he has the potential to be a champion in this game. It is going to become a hard-fought fight, but one I think Gillespie can win. I’m curious to find out what the gambling line will be for this one, however when Gillespie is a dog there would surely be worth betting on him at plus cash.
Chris Gruetzemacher vs. Jesus Pinedo, UFC Fight Night 148
An enjoyable lightweight bout between Chris Gruetzemacher and Jesus Pinedo will take place at UFC Fight Night 148, set for March 23 at Bridgestone Arena at Nashville, Tennessee. Gruetzemacher (12-4) is 2-2 in the UFC and is coming off of a barbarous TKO win over Joe Lauzon. Pinedo (16-4-1) is riding a seven-fight win streak and defeated Devin Powell by conclusion within his UFC debut. Pinedo is a very wonderful prospect but Gruetzemacher has significantly more expertise against a high level of competition and based on the win over Lauzon he needs to be slightly favored here.
Eric Shelton vs. Jordan Espinosa, UFC Fight Night 148
A rare flyweight bout between Eric Shelton and Jordan Espinosa is set for UFC Fight Night 148. Shelton (12-5) is 2-3 in the UFC and is coming from a split decision win over Joseph Morales. Espinosa (13-5, 1 NC) is riding a four-fight win streak including a knockout win in Dana White’s Contender Series past summer. Shelton hasn’t been anything special in the UFC while Espinosa looks like he has some good potential. I would expect a close line here, with a slight lean to the dynamic Espinosa.
Chris Gutierrez vs. Ryan MacDonald, UFC Fight Night 148
Additionally at UFC Fight Night 148, bantamweight Chris Gutierrez will fulfill short-notice replacement Ryan MacDonald. Gutierrez (12-4-1) is coming from a submission loss to Raoni Barcelos in his UFC debut but had won three straight fights prior to that. MacDonald (10-0) is an undefeated prospect who is coming from a submission win in LFA. He’s carrying the fight on short notice for a wounded Martin Day. This ought to be a competitive fight but despite the short notice, the fact that MacDonald has never lost could make him a small betting favorite at open here.
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