The UFC was busy announcing new fights. Following are a few of the new forthcoming midnight set for spring UFC cards, and my first thoughts on these.
Michel Prazeres vs. Ismail Naurdiev, UFC Fight Night 145
Because of 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 information. Prazeres (26-2) is 10-2 at the UFC entire and is riding an eight-fight win streak right now. He had trouble making the lightweight limit of 155lbs and because moving up to welterweight has 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, along with the majority of his wins have come by stoppage. But he has also fought a very low amount of competition and Prazeres is a major step up. I anticipate Prazeres for a solid favorite here, and he deserves it after the current run he has went on inside the Octagon.
Enrique Barzola vs. Kevin Aguilar, UFC on ESPN 2 Featherweights Enrique Barzola and Kevin Aguilar are set to match at UFC on ESPN 2, taking place March 30 at Wells Fargo Arena in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The information was broken by mMAWeekly. Barzola (15-3-1) is 5-1 at the UFC and is now riding a four-fight win streak together with all of his wins coming by choice. Barzola’s record is remarkable, but his lack of finishing instincts could damage him as he advances up the featherweight ranks. Aguilar (16-1) is coming off of a successful UFC debut when he won a unanimous decision over Rick Glenn, and overall he’s riding an eight-fight win streak. His only career loss came from Leonard Garcia back in 2013, but he’s been perfect in his MMA career. This is a pretty solid matchup between two men on win streaks but based on his capacity to actually complete a fight I would have to favor Aguilar to get his hand raised.
Tom Breese vs. Ian Heinisch, UFC Fight Night 147
Due to an injury to Cezar Ferreira, Ian Heinisch is stepping up as an injury replacement to take on Tom Breese at UFC Fight Night 147, taking place March 16 at The O2 Arena in London, England. Breese (11-1) is currently 4-1 at the UFC and is coming from a TKO win over Dan Kelly in his middleweight debut. Heinisch (12-1) is currently riding a four-fight win series and is coming from a successful UFC debut when he conquered the aforementioned Ferreira by decision. His only career defeat came against Markus Perez, who only submitted Anthony Hernandez at UFC Fight Night 144. This looks like a very good matchup between two middleweights with prospective name aspirations. The two Breese and Heinisch are extremely well-rounded fighters and this will be a close fight. I would have to favor Breese just based on the fact the struggle is in England, however I anticipate Heinisch to be very competitive in this matchup and he could be worth looking at as a dog.
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