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A pair of upcoming fight cards have received upgrades to them, and I will give my thoughts on the newest bouts in today’s MMA odds and ends.
Chance Rencountre vs. Kyle Stewart, UFC on ESPN+ 1 (UFC Fight Night 143)
We have the last fight card upgrade for the UFC on ESPN+ 1 card this weekend, taking place Saturday at Barclays Center at Brooklyn, New York. Chance Rencountre eventually has his competitor as he’ll take on Octagon newcomer Kyle Stewart at a lightweight bout on the card. ESPN first broke the news. Rencountre’s unique opponent Randy Brown was pulled in the card due to a rumored USADA flagging, while Dwight Grant wasn’t cleared to fight due to an eye injury. Rencountre (12-3) chose to Belal Muhammad in his UFC debut but had won four consecutive bouts before it. Stewart (11-1) has only lost once in his career, to top LFA potential James Nakashima, also in his final bout conquered Braden Smith by decision. I think most will look to fade Rencountre inside this spot, and I expect Stewart to actually be a small favorite here despite making his UFC debut on short notice.
Lando Vannata vs. Marcos Rosa, UFC 234
Lightweight Lando Vannata lately reupped a fresh four-fight contract with the UFC, and that he now returns to combat Octagon newcomer Marcos Rosa in UFC 234, occurring February 10 at Rod Laver Arena at Melbourne, Australia. ESPN broke the news. Vannata (9-3-2) only has a 1-3-2 album from the UFC, but almost every one of his fights was exciting which is why the UFC made a decision to bring him back. He is coming off of a draw against Matt Frevola, and hasn’t really won a fight as a KO win over John Makdessi in December 2016. Rosa (6-4) is a veteran of the Brazilian regional circuit also has really won three of the final four bouts by stoppage. Ultimately it feels like the UFC has reserved Vannata a winnable struggle, and I expect him to be quite a sizeable favorite to receive his hands raised.
Dong Hyun Ma vs. Devonte Smith, UFC 234
And lastly, Dong Hyun Ma (formerly known as”another” Dong Yun Kim) will return at UFC 234 when he takes on Devonte Smith in what ought to be an action-packed lightweight bout. Ma (16-8-3) is 3-2 overall in the UFC and is now riding a three-fight win series including a notable TKO win over Takanori Gomi along with a decision win over Damien Brown. Smith (9-1) is 1-0 so much in the UFC with a ridiculous KO win over Julian Erosa. He has won his last five fights, and all nine of his ace wins have come by stoppage, with his lone defeat a TKO loss to John Gunther. I very much like watching Ma battle and I must provide the UFC matchmakers props for reserving what’s sure to be an exciting fight. But I’m quite high on Smith and I think he is going to come back in here and end Ma’s win streak. Start looking for Smith to be the favorite in the sportsbooks following his flashy UFC debut.
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