The UFC is led back to the City of Brotherly Love after this month, and a couple fights are inserted on short notice. UFC on ESPN 2 takes place March 30 in Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, along with 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 battle at UFC on ESPN 2 in what should be an enjoyable fight for the fans. The Philly Voice broke news. Holland (13-4) fell a decision to Thiago Santos in his UFC debut but rebounded nicely with a submission win over John Phillips. In general, he has won five of his last six fights. Meerschaert (28-10) is 4-2 at the UFC but is coming off of a entry loss to Jack Hermansson. Both Holland and Meerschaert are very underrated and exciting fighters at middleweight, but given Holland’s childhood and physiological advantages in this fight, I’d make him the favorite here.
Ray Borg vs. Kyler Phillips, UFC on ESPN 2 Due to 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 from the UFC but has not fought since a submission reduction to Demetrious Johnson at October 2017. He’s dealt with a lot in his young career and hopefully he could put the past behind him. Phillips (6-1) is making his UFC debut after picking up a head kick KO in LFA just a few weeks ago. He’s a veteran of the Contender Series and looks like quite a promising prospect, but he lacks the UFC encounter that Borg has. I believe Phillips has a chance to win this fight, but you still have to favor Borg.
Alex Perez vs. Mark de la Rosa, UFC on ESPN two Moving up 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 this, he had been riding an eight-fight win streak. De la Rosa (11-1) is 2-1 in the UFC and his wife Montana de la Rosa is getting a lot of success in the Octagon, but the truth he struggled at a narrow split decision win over Joby Sanchez was troubling. Like many bantamweight bouts, this should be competitive, but I’d still favor Perez to get his hands raised.
John Makdessi vs. Jesus Pinedo, UFC Fight Night 148
Because of accidents Chris Gruetzemacher and Nasrat Haqparast, their original opponents John Makdessi and Jesus Pinedo will fight at UFC Fight Night 148, taking place March 23 in Bridgestone Arena at Nashville, Tennessee. Considering both men are lightweights who just lost their competitions, this was the best way to keep both men on the card. Makdessi (16-6) is 9-6 at 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 within his UFC debut. Makdessi has a whole lot of experience from the Octagon but Pinedo is just 22-years-old and seems like a fantastic prospect. I’d anticipate a close lineup here but awarded Pinedo’s childhood and upside down he is most likely the play in this one.
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