The UFC welterweight division continues to incorporate new high-profile matchups. Just a couple of days later Rafael dos Anjos vs. Colby Covington was targeted at an interim name fight at UFC 224, two great matchups have been booked. Here are my ideas on those two new main events, as well as other bouts recently declared by the UFC, listed in chronological order.
Sean Strickland vs. Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos, UFC 224
A welterweight bout between Sean Strickland and Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos is the latest addition to the piled UFC 224 card. The event takes place Saturday, May 24 in Jeunesse Arena at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and this bout rumor was reported by Combate. Strickland (19-2) is a remarkable 6-2 from the UFC and is coming off of a decision win over Court McGee. Dos Santos (18-5) is 4-1 at the UFC and has won”Fight of the Night” 3 times, including in his conclusion win over Max Griffin in his final fight. Both guys are excellent fighters that are continuously improving their games and that I anticipate a very close betting line here.
Santiago Ponzinibbio vs. Kamaru Usman, UFC Chile
A welterweight bout between Santiago Ponzinibbio and Kamaru Usman was formally declared by the UFC as the headliner of UFC Fight Night 129, which takes place Saturday, May 19 in Movistar Arena at Santiago, Chile. Ponzinibbio (26-3) is 8-2 in the UFC and is now riding a six-fight win streak, with a decision win over Mike Perry his last time out. Usman (12-1) is a perfect 7-0 at the UFC and defeated Emil Weber Meek in his final outing. Both guys are elite welterweights and this ought to be a fantastic battle. Look for Usman to be preferred heading into this battle due to his wrestling edge.
Darren Till vs. Stephen Thompson, UFC Liverpool
A welterweight showdown involving Darren Until and Stephen Thompson is expected to headline UFC Fight Night 130, which takes place Sunday, May 27 at Echo Arena in Liverpool, England. BJPenn.com reported that the matchup. Till (16-0-1) is 4-0-1 in the UFC and knocked out Donald Cerrone in spectacular fashion in his final fight. Thompson (14-2-1) is 9-2-1 from the UFC and is coming from a unanimous decision win over Jorge Masvidal. This is 1 hell of a matchup between two of the welterweight division’s elite strikers. All of the hype is behind Till right now so that I think he’ll be favored, but I personally prefer Thompson to win this fight and will be eyeing him as an underdog. I will be very curuous to see the way the public swings the chances for this one.
Dan Ige vs. Mike Santiago, UFC 225
And lastly, a welterweight bout between Dan Ige and Mike Santiago is going into UFC 225, which takes place Saturday, June 9 at United Center in Chicago, Illinois. The UFC affirmed the booking. Ige (8-2) lately made his UFC debut but missing a unanimous decison to Julio Arce. Santiago (20-11) has dropped both of his UFC struggles up to now from Zabit Magomedshapirov and Mads Burnell. Neither fighter looks like they will stay around the Octagon for long but I’d imagine Ige is a little favorite heading into this one.
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