The UFC was busy announcing new struggles. Below are some of the newest forthcoming midnight set for spring UFC cards, and my first thoughts on these.
Michel Prazeres vs. Ismail Naurdiev, UFC Fight Night 145
Because of an injury to Ramazan Emeev, Ismail Naurdiev has taken a short-notice struggle against Michel Prazeres in UFC Fight Night 145, occurring February 23 in The O2 Arena in Prague, Czech Republic. MMABrasil broke the news. Prazeres (26-2) is 10-2 in the UFC entire and will be riding an eight-fight win streak right now. He had trouble making the lightweight limit of 155lbs and since moving up to welterweight has arguably looked even better using back-to-back wins over Zak Cummings and Bartosz Fabinski. Naurdiev (17-2) is making his UFC debut on the strength of back-to-back knockout wins. He’s experience fighting in ACB, and the majority of his wins have come by stoppage. However he’s also fought an extremely low amount of rivalry and Prazeres is a major step up. I expect Prazeres for a solid favorite here, and he deserves it after the recent run he has went on inside the Octagon.
Enrique Barzola vs. Kevin Aguilar, UFC on ESPN two Featherweights Enrique Barzola and Kevin Aguilar are set to match at UFC on ESPN 2, taking place March 30 in Wells Fargo Arena in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The information broke. Barzola (15-3-1) is 5-1 in the UFC and is currently riding a four-fight win streak with all of his wins coming from choice. Barzola’s album is impressive, but his lack of completing instincts could hurt him as he advances up the featherweight ranks. Aguilar (16-1) is coming off of a powerful UFC debut when he won a unanimous decision over Rick Glenn, and overall he is riding an eight-fight win series. His only career loss came against Leonard Garcia back in 2013, but he’s been perfect in his MMA career. This is a fairly solid matchup between two guys on win streaks but based on his capacity to actually complete a struggle I would have to prefer Aguilar to get his hands raised.
Tom Breese vs. Ian Heinisch, UFC Fight Night 147
Due to an injury to Cezar Ferreira, Ian Heinisch is stepping up as an injury replacement to carry on Tom Breese in UFC Fight Night 147, taking place March 16 at The O2 Arena in London, England. Breese (11-1) is 4-1 in the UFC and is coming off of a TKO win over Dan Kelly in his middleweight debut. Heinisch (12-1) is currently riding a four-fight win series and is coming off of a successful UFC introduction when he conquered the above Ferreira by decision. His only career defeat came against Markus Perez, who only filed Anthony Hernandez in UFC Fight Night 144. This looks like a really solid matchup between two middleweights with future name aspirations. The two Breese and Heinisch are extremely well-rounded fighters and this will be a close battle. I would have to prefer Breese only based on the fact that the struggle is in England, however I anticipate Heinisch to be somewhat competitive in this matchup and he could be worth looking at as a puppy.
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