The UFC matchmakers have been busy sending out contracts. In the current MMA odds and ends I’ll give my thoughts on two fresh bouts for UFC 237, such as a possible No. 1 contender fight in the featherweight division, and my first reactions to 2 new bouts fights for UFC Russia.
Jose Aldo vs. Alexander Volkanovski, UFC 237
Featherweight contenders Jose Aldo and Alexander Volkanovski are set to battle at UFC 237 in a possible title eliminator. The card happens May 11 in Jeunesse Arena at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and information of this bout was initially revealed by MMA journalist Farah Hannoun. Aldo (28-4) is 10-3 at the UFC and is coming from back-to-back knockout wins over Renato Moicano and Jeremy Stephens. After a rough stretch which saw him get pumped three times in four fights, Aldo looks better than ever and can be making a late-career run for the belt that he once held for years. Volkanovski (19-1) is 6-0 at the UFC and in his last departure brutally knocked out Chad Mendes. Many believe him a future featherweight champion, and this fight should tell us a whole lot about that. This is a huge fight, and not an easy one to predict. Aldo will likely be favored because of his title value and Octagon experience, but Volkanovski has looked incredible from the UFC and should be a live dog in this bout.
Thiago Alves vs. Laureano Staropoli, UFC 237
Experienced welterweight Thiago Alves yields at UFC 237 if he chooses on potential Laureano Staropoli. MMAFighting.com broke the news. Alves (23-13) is 15-10 overall from the UFC and most recently won a controversial split decision over Max Griffin. Staropoli (8-1) is riding a six-fight win streak and in his UFC debut won a”Fight of the Night” bonus because of his decision win over Hector Aldana. At this point you have to fade Alves and I’d prefer the 26-year-old Staropoli to win this bout. But considering he is an unknown, it’s possible he will be an underdog in this bout, so keep your eye out for him.
Sultan Aliev vs. Keita Nakamura, UFC Fight Night 149
Welterweights Sultan Aliev and Keita Nakamura are set to clash at UFC Fight Night 149, taking place April 20 at Yubileyny Sports Palace at St. Petersburg, Russia. Nakamura replaced the wounded Emil Weber Meek on relatively short notice for this bout. Aliev (14-3) is just 1-2 in the UFC and most recently was finished by Warlley Alves. Nakamura (34-9-2, 1 NC) is 4-6 overall in the UFC, including a 4-3 mark in his next stint within the Octagon. In his last battle, he edged out a split decision over Salim Touahri. Both men will be on the chopping block with a reduction, and this fight looks like a close one. I would prefer Nakamura slightly simply because of his durability, but it could go either way.
Abdul-Kerim Edilov vs. Devin Clark, UFC Fight Night 149
A light heavyweight bout between Abdul Kerim-Edilov and Devin Clark can be slated for UFC Fight Night 149. Edilov (17-4) hasn’t fought as a September 2017 knockout win over Bojan Mihaljovic and has only 1 fight since 2015. However, he’s just 27-years-old and is now riding an 11-fight win streak dating back to 2013. He’s a small wild card at 205lbs, but overall seems like a promising prospect if he can stay healthy and keep out of trouble with USADA. Clark (9-3) is 3-3 at the UFC and is coming off of a brutal TKO loss to Aleksandar Rakic. Now it is simply very hard to trust that the chin of Clark, and a hard-hitter such as Edilov will be favored to beat him in this battle.
Disclaimer: This page contains affiliate links and MMA Odds Breaker is going to be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on the links.