The UFC is headed back to the City of Brotherly Love after this month, and a couple fights have been added on short notice. UFC on ESPN 2 takes place March 30 at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and my initial thoughts on these new bouts are under.
Kevin Holland vs. Gerald Meerschaert, UFC on ESPN 2 Middleweights Kevin Holland Gerald Meerschaert are set to battle at UFC on ESPN two in what should 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 has won five of the last six fights. Meerschaert (28-10) is currently 4-2 in 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 youth and physical benefits in this fight, I would make him the favorite here.
Ray Borg vs. Kyler Phillips, UFC on ESPN two Because of an injury to Pingyuan Liu, Ray Borg currently 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 since a submission reduction to Demetrious Johnson at October 2017. He has 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 just a few weeks ago. He’s a veteran of the Contender Series and seems like a very promising prospect, but he lacks the UFC experience that Borg has. I think Phillips has a opportunity to win this particular fight, however you still must prefer Borg.
Alex Perez vs. Mark de la Rosa, UFC on ESPN 2 Moving up from flyweight into 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 was riding an eight-fight win streak. De la Rosa (11-1) is 2-1 at the UFC and his spouse Montana de la Rosa is getting a lot of success from the Octagon, but the fact he fought at a narrow split decision win over Joby Sanchez was troubling. Like most bantamweight bouts, this ought to be competitive, but I would still favor Perez to get his hand 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 at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee. Considering both men are lightweights who only lost their opponents, this is the way to keep 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 really on a seven-fight win series and beat Devin Powell by decision within his UFC debut. Makdessi has a ton of experience in the Octagon however Pinedo is just 22-years-old and looks like a great prospect. I’d anticipate a close line here but given Pinedo’s youth and upside he’s most likely the play in this one.
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