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The UFC is headed back into the City of Brotherly Love later this month, and a few fights have been inserted on short notice. UFC on ESPN 2 happens March 30 in Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and my initial thoughts on those new bouts are below.
Kevin Holland vs. Gerald Meerschaert, UFC on ESPN two Middleweights Kevin Holland Gerald Meerschaert are set to clash at UFC on ESPN two in what ought to be an enjoyable battle for the fans. The Philly Voice broke news. Holland (13-4) fell a choice to Thiago Santos in his UFC debut but rebounded nicely with a submission win over John Phillips. In general, he’s won five of his last six fights. Meerschaert (28-10) is currently 4-2 in the UFC but is coming from a submission loss to Jack Hermansson. Both Holland and Meerschaert are very underrated and exciting fighters in middleweight, but awarded Holland’s youth and physiological benefits in this particular fight, I’d make him the favorite here.
Ray Borg vs. Kyler Phillips, UFC on ESPN two Due to an accident to Pingyuan Liu, Ray Borg now meets short-notice replacement competitor Kyler Phillips in a bantamweight bout. Borg (11-3) is 5-3 overall from the UFC but hasn’t fought as a submission reduction to Demetrious Johnson in October 2017. He’s dealt with a lot in his young career and hopefully he can put the past behind him. Phillips (6-1) is making his UFC debut after picking up a head kick KO in LFA only a few weeks ago. He is a veteran of the Contender Series and seems like a very promising prospect, however, he lacks the UFC encounter that Borg has. I believe Phillips has a opportunity to win this fight, however you still have to favor Borg.
Alex Perez vs. Mark de la Rosa, UFC on ESPN two Moving upward from flyweight to bantamweight is Alex Perez, and he will take on Mark de la Rosa. Perez (21-5) won his first three UFC battles before getting knocked out by Joseph Benavidez in his last outing. Prior to that, he had been riding an eight-fight win series. De la Rosa (11-1) is 2-1 at the UFC and his wife Montana de la Rosa is having a great deal of success in the Octagon, but the fact he fought in a narrow split decision win over Joby Sanchez was bothering. Like most bantamweight bouts, this ought to be competitive, but I would still prefer Perez to get his hands raised.
John Makdessi vs. Jesus Pinedo, UFC Fight Night 148
Because of injuries to Chris Gruetzemacher and Nasrat Haqparast, their first rivals John Makdessi and Jesus Pinedo will now fight at UFC Fight Night 148, taking place March 23 in Bridgestone Arena at Nashville, Tennessee. Considering both guys are lightweights who just lost their opponents, this was the way to maintain both men on the card. Makdessi (16-6) is 9-6 in the UFC and is coming off of back-to-back wins over Ross Pearson and Abel Trujillo. Pinedo (16-4-1) is on a seven-fight win streak and beat Devin Powell by decision in his UFC debut. Makdessi has a whole lot of experience from the Octagon however Pinedo is just 22-years-old and seems like a fantastic prospect. I would expect a close line here but given Pinedo’s childhood and upside he’s most likely the play in this one.
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