The UFC has been busy announcing new struggles. Below are some of the newest 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 fight against Michel Prazeres in UFC Fight Night 145, taking place February 23 at The O2 Arena in Prague, Czech Republic. MMABrasil broke the news. Prazeres (26-2) is 10-2 in the UFC entire and will be riding an eight-fight win series right now. He had trouble making the lightweight limit of 155lbs and because moving up to welterweight has arguably looked even better using 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 has also fought a very low amount of rivalry and Prazeres is a major step up. I anticipate Prazeres to be a good favorite here, and he deserves it after the current series he has went on within the Octagon.
Enrique Barzola vs. Kevin Aguilar, UFC on ESPN 2 Featherweights Enrique Barzola and Kevin Aguilar are set to match UFC on ESPN two, taking place March 30 at Wells Fargo Arena in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. MMAWeekly broke the information. Barzola (15-3-1) is 5-1 at the UFC and is now riding a four-fight win series with all his wins coming from choice. Barzola’s album is remarkable, but his lack of completing instincts could hurt 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’s riding an eight-fight win series. His only career loss came against Leonard Garcia back in 2013, but otherwise he’s been flawless in his MMA career. This is a fairly solid matchup between two guys on win stripes but based on his capacity to really complete a struggle I would have to favor Aguilar to receive his hand raised.
Tom Breese vs. Ian Heinisch, UFC Fight Night 147
Because of an injury to Cezar Ferreira, Ian Heinisch is stepping up as an injury replacement to carry on Tom Breese at 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 off of a TKO win over Dan Kelly in his middleweight debut. Heinisch (12-1) is currently riding a four-fight win streak and is coming from a successful UFC introduction when he conquered the above Ferreira by decision. His only career defeat came from Markus Perez, who only submitted Anthony Hernandez in UFC Fight Night 144. This looks like a very good matchup between two middleweights with prospective title ambitions. Both Breese and Heinisch are extremely well-rounded fighters and this is going to be a close battle. I would have to favor Breese only based on the fact the struggle is in England, but I expect Heinisch to be somewhat competitive in this matchup and that he is well worth considering as a puppy.
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