INITIAL UFC MIAMI CARD REVEALED
The UFC recently demonstrated the first lineup for UFC on ESPN 3, which takes place April 27 in BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida. The rumored primary event between middleweight sluggers Yoel Romero and Paulo Costa was not officially announced, but the UFC did confirm a previously-reported light heavyweight bout between Glover Teixeira and Ion Cutelaba, in addition to a bantamweight bout between John Lineker and Cory Sandhagen. You may locate my recently-posted thoughts on these spells through the links. As for my thoughts on the other newly-announced bouts, you can read them below.
Carla Esparza vs. Livia Renato Souza, UFC on ESPN 3
The most notable of the new matchups declared is a women’s strawweight bout between Carla Esparza and Livia Renata Souza. Esparza (13-6) is 4-4 at the UFC and is a former winner, but she is coming off of a beatdown TKO loss to Tatiana Suarez. Souza (13-1) is currently 2-0 at the UFC and is a former Invicta champion herself, now riding a four-fight win streak overall. That is a winnable fight for Esparza but that I really don’t know how anyone can have faith in her at this stage. She might be a tiny popular here, but each of the upside down is with Souza.
Andrei Arlovski vs. Augusto Sakai, UFC on ESPN 3
Heavyweights Andrei Arlovski and Augusto Sakai will fulfill with this card. Arlovski (27-18, 1 NC) is 6-8 in his most recent stint at the UFC and is currently riding a three-fight losing skid with a decision loss to Walt Harris his last time out. Sakai (12-1-1) is coming off of a TKO win over Chase Sherman in his UFC debut and can be about a three-fight win streak overall. Arlovski is a simple fade at this point and I expect Sakai to bet a good favorite here.
Jim Miller vs. Jason Gonzalez, UFC on ESPN 3
Lightweights Jim Miller and Jason Gonzalez are set to do battle. Miller (29-13, 1 NC) is currently 18-12, 1 NC all-time from the UFC but has fallen on hard times as of late with losses in five of the last six bouts. Gonzalez (11-4) is only 1-2 in the UFC and was finished in both his losses. Miller is going to be the favorite here based on name value but I don’t know whether it’s possible to trust him at this point.
Dhiego Lima vs. Court McGee, UFC on ESPN 3
There’s also a welterweight bout between Dhiego Lima and Court McGee. Lima (13-7) is only 2-6 in the UFC but is coming off of a brutal KO win over Chad Laprise at UFC 231. McGee (19-7) is 8-6 in the UFC and defeated Alex Garcia via conclusion in his final struggle. I could see this one going either way, either Lima tests McGee’s fading chin or McGee takes down him and smothers him. Look for a close betting line , with maybe a small lean to McGee.
Jessica Penne vs. Jodie Esquibel, UFC on ESPN 3
And finally, women’s strawweights Jessica Penne and Jodie Esquibel have been re-booked for this event as their bout at UFC on ESPN 1 recently fell through following Penne hurt her ankle in warmups. Clearly, it wasn’t a super-serious harm as she is going to be battling just over a month afterwards. Penne was a small favored before the fight was pulled just hours before it was scheduled to happen, and I’d assume the new line is going to be set right where it left off.
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