UFC Prague (UFC Fight Night 145) is set to take place February 23 in The O2 Arena at the capital city of the Czech Republic. The main event of the card is a light heavyweight bout between Thiago Santos and Jan Blachowicz, and the UFC is starting to fill the card out by announcing each one the preliminary bouts. Four new prelims are revealed for the card (in addition to people mention in previous posts here), and here are my thoughts on the new bouts in today’s MMA odds and ends.
Veronica Macedo vs. Gillian Robertson, UFC Fight Night 145
The very first new bout of course is that a women’s flyweight matchup between Veronica Macedo and Gillian Robertson. Nolan King of all FloCombat broke the brand new. Macedo (5-2-1) is 0-2 in the UFC but put up a spirited effort in a decision loss to Andrea Lee that won her a share of”Battle of the Night” Robertson (5-3) is 2-1 at the UFC, together with all her struggles ending in entry win or lose. Both women are in desperate need of a success, and this battle could go either way. I’d slightly lean towards Robertson since she has fought a higher level of competition, but it is close.
Carlo Pedersoli Jr. vs. Dwight Grant, UFC Fight Night 145
Then we have a welterweight bout between Carlo Pedersoli Jr. and Dwight Grant. Sherdog broke the news. Pedersoli Jr. (11-2) opened his UFC career with a split decision win over Brad Scott but endured a fast KO loss to Alex Oliveira his last time out. Grant (8-2) is coming off of a split decision loss to Zak Ottow in his last struggle. Both guys have a lot to prove but I believe Pedersoli Jr. is a much better fighter based on what we’ve seen in the UFC and Cage Warriors and I would favor him here.
Magomed Ankalaev vs. Klidson Farias de Abreu, UFC Fight Night 145
After a couple other opponents fell through, Magomed Ankalaev will return to the Octagon against UFC newcomer Klidson Farias de Abreu. Ankalaev (9-1) endured a catastrophic submission reduction to Paul Craig in his UFC debut but bounced back nicely with a TKO win over Marcin Prachnio in his final fight. Abreu (14-2) is riding a six-fight win streak into this competition and 16 of his wins have finished within the space. I would not feel comfortable laying huge juice Ankalaev after what happened in the Craig struggle, but on paper that he must have the advantage in this particular one. With that said, if Abreu is a huge underdog like Craig was, perhaps he could be worth taking a flier on.
Damir Ismagulov vs. Joel Alvarez, UFC Fight Night 145
And finally added to the card is a welterweight bout between Damir Ismagulov and Joel Alvarez. MMADNA broke the news. Ismagulov (17-2) is riding a 12-fight win series and won a decision over Alex Gorgees in his UFC debut. Alvarez (15-1) is a veteran of the Spanish regional scene and has finished all 15 of the professional victories. Alvarez looks like a solid potential but Ismagulov is on a whole other level and I would peg him as a big favorite to win this battle.
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