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The UFC is led back to the City of Brotherly Love later this month, and a few fights are inserted on short notice. UFC on ESPN two happens March 30 at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, along with my initial thoughts on these 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 2 in what ought to be a fun battle for the fans. The Philly Voice broke news. Holland (13-4) dropped a choice to Thiago Santos in his UFC debut but rebounded nicely with a submission win over John Phillips. In general, he has won five of the last six fights. Meerschaert (28-10) is currently 4-2 at the UFC but is coming off of a submission loss to Jack Hermansson. Both Holland and Meerschaert are extremely underrated and exciting fighters at middleweight, but given Holland’s youth and physical benefits in this particular fight, I would make him the favorite here.
Ray Borg vs. Kyler Phillips, UFC on ESPN 2 Because of an accident to Pingyuan Liu, Ray Borg currently meets short-notice replacement competitor Kyler Phillips at a bantamweight bout. Borg (11-3) is 5-3 overall in the UFC but has not fought as a submission reduction to Demetrious Johnson in October 2017. He has dealt with a lot in his young career and he can put the past behind him. Phillips (6-1) is making his UFC debut after picking up a head kick KO in LFA just a couple of weeks ago. He’s a veteran of the Contender Series and seems like quite a promising prospect, but he lacks the UFC experience that Borg has. I believe Phillips has a chance to win this fight, however you still have to prefer Borg.
Alex Perez vs. Mark de la Rosa, UFC on ESPN two Moving up from flyweight into bantamweight is Alex Perez, and he’ll 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 was 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 getting a great deal of success from the Octagon, but the truth he fought at a narrow split decision win over Joby Sanchez was bothering. Like many bantamweight bouts, this should be competitive, but I would still favor Perez to receive his hands raised.
John Makdessi vs. Jesus Pinedo, UFC Fight Night 148
Because of accidents Chris Gruetzemacher and Nasrat Haqparast, their first rivals John Makdessi and Jesus Pinedo will fight at UFC Fight Night 148, taking place March 23 at Bridgestone Arena at Nashville, Tennessee. Considering both men are lightweights who only lost their competitions, this is the best way to keep both guys on the card. Makdessi (16-6) is 9-6 at the UFC and is coming from back-to-back wins over Ross Pearson and Abel Trujillo. Pinedo (16-4-1) is really on a seven-fight win series and conquer Devin Powell by choice within his UFC debut. Makdessi has a whole lot of experience in the Octagon but Pinedo is just 22-years-old and seems like a great prospect. I would anticipate a close lineup here but given Pinedo’s childhood and upside he’s probably the play in this one.
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